Friday, September 21, 2007

Theatre That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 15

Class Notes at the San Francisco Fringe Festival

I actually saw improviser and comedian Kurt Bodden's solo show at the Fringe Festival with Chris and Rachel last Sunday afternoon, but I am just getting around to writing about it. However, please do not take that lag time to be any indication of how I feel about this show.... because it is positively hysterical.

Bodden, a 1985 Harvard graduate, has taken actual class notes from his alumni magazine to create this piece. He contrasts his fellow alums' all-too typical updates on law careers, successful businesses, broods of children and home ownership with his own life as a divorced writer and performer who lives in a rent-controlled San Francisco apartment and works part time to supplement the income from his creative habit.

The result is brilliant. Positively brilliant.

Bodden comes across as self-deprecating but not at all pathetic. He mocks his fellow Harvard grads just a bit, but he really needn't say much about them. The class notes themselves offer all the unintentional humor necessary to leave you in stitches. As a fellow Ivy League graduate who chose a career that does not require such a prestigious degree, this show definitely resonated with me. Don't get me wrong, I work in an industry that is very competitive and even somewhat impressive, but if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, "You went to Brown, and you do this for a living?"... Well, let's just say I wouldn't need to work anymore.

Apparently, the idea of an excellent education being its own reward is an antiquated concept these days. And Bodden appropriately skewers the attitude that Ivy League degrees are to be justified by pursuing only certain types of jobs.

Even if you didn't go to a school like Harvard or Brown, you will delight in Class Notes. Here's to hoping it makes Best of Fringe in a couple of weeks. Or that Bodden sees fit to mount it again soon.


Not theatre exactly but definitely theatrical was the Macy's Passport Fashion Show, which I also attended this week. Believe it or not, in nearly eleven years as a San Francisco resident, I had never been to the Passport Fashion show before.

My very favorite part was the Via Spiga shoe presentation. To some fabulous '60's tunes, the models dressed, danced and lip-synced (lip-sanc?) as the Supremes, the Four Tops, Tina Turner and Nancy Sinatra. I have to admit, I didn't pay much attention to the shoes, but the segment was very entertaining. Especially the guys who played the Four Tops and the woman who played Tina Turner. My least favorite part came at the end when the spokeswoman for Mac Cosmetics (who my friend Tihanna tells me is the ex-wife of Marilyn Manson... whaddya know?) did a burlesque-style strip tease. I know stripping is revered in our society, but honestly, I didn't see the point.

All in all, though, I'd say this was a decent week for culture.

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