Friday, January 27, 2006

"Manos" The Hands of Fate

Last Rites Productions
January 27, 2006; closes February 4, 2006

Great band, cool programs, but not enough to hold me for second act, even with promise of surprise ending. B-movie spoof, apparently filled with insider jokes, was teenage take on Rocky floor-show; funnier – and more accessible – if movie screened as scenery. Tighter pace might’ve kept bits from falling to pieces.


Isaac said...

Granted, I definitely felt that I would have appreciated this show more had I seen the film it was spoofing. That said, I thought it was hysterical, with many good performances, and a few I might go so far as to call inspired. In addition, I thought the project used another company's space and lights with effective creativity. I agree about the pacing, and didn't understand why there was an intermission. The band was great.

Anonymous said...

Pacing was actually as a result to keep the pace of the original movie, which was worse, holding the plot the way a strainer holds water.

Follow Spot said...

Well, that's an interesting choice then, leading me to ask, to what end, artistically? I think there's sort of a grey area among: replicating a movie with the original goal, replicating a movie with comic effect (parody, I suppose), and full-out satire.

So I ask (in a very nonchallenging, but only curious way), how does following bad pacing of the movie enhance the stage production? Did it add to the comic effect? And, if so, was the payoff great enough to continue throughout? (and how does one who hasn't seen the movie understand that the pacing itself is a joke?)

And along those lines ... a production like this is an interesting experiment in just how close to you follow the movie, and, perhaps more importantly, just how "insider" are the jokes to the specific movie? How would it have played, for example, if this particular movie were used as a lens to send-up its genre?

Those may not have been the artistic goals of the production, and that's fine. I do still think, for those who know the movie and those who don't, that a deeper (perhaps funnier) convention would have been to screen the movie as projected scenery -- which would have played to the humour of the strainer-like pacing. And, unlike Rocky Horror, instead of playing up the campiness, one might choose to play against it, to take the floorshow model in a whole new direction.

Again, this is all "coulda/woulda/shoulda" from the armchair critic, but those are some ideas of how I think the golden nuggets of characterizations evident in what I saw (granted, just the first act) might have been more compelling.

Like the Tribe folks, there's a raw energy here that I neglected to recognize in my original post. That is admirable and justification alone for coming back to see what's next.

anonymous 2 said...

I'd agree that a flaw of the production is that it plays too much to the insiders. Having seen the film more times than I'd care to count (due to a Manos-obsessed roommate), I can offer the following comments:
1) In the film, the daughter's voice-over is done badly by a middle aged man, and the actress playing that role did an admirable job being as incomprehensible as the film.
2) Torgo is freaking fabulous. Scary good, people.
3) The single best representation of the bad pacing (both in the film and the play) is when Torgo takes an eternity to walk over to the wife and touch her hair, and although she is creeped out and knows he's gonna touch her, she merely stands there and does nothing.

I do think the choices made in being faithful to the film absoultely delighted the fans of the film (the night I saw the show the crowd was REALLY loud and freaking out), but yes, my friend who hadn't seen the film was baffled by the laughter that burst out at the oddest moments.

Agreeing that the band was AWESOME.