So Her Mims and I are approaching June at a leislurely and carefree pace, with less work and more art appreciation, albeit not timely. You know you live  near the sticks when you review musicals after they’ve won Tonys and concert tours on their final leg.  So it is that we’ve taken in some theatre wearing our finery and laughing in the face of Depression Deux.

fotoflexer_spring-awakeningFirst off was the touring company of Rosie O’Donnell’s favortite musical, “Spring Awakening!” Based on a 19th Century German play by Frank Wedekind that explores youthful sexual exploration with tragic results, and set to a rock score written by Indie-Ivy League rocker Duncan Sheik this musical delivers the goods. It’s Little Red Riding Hood without a wolf but with plenty of guitar. The staging was a bit odd with the band and rows of customers on stage with the actors, but it worked. A cautionary tale that blames sexual repression more than sexual behaviour for the tragic consequences, many prudish patrons left the theatre in a huff (though, none of the ones on stage, I think – just some in the seats). If you’re interested, there is also a translation of the German play by Jonathan Franzen available. Or you could buy the soundtrack and read some Brothers Grimm.

Next up was a production of Tom Stoppard’s “Rock N Roll,” that felt like a graduate class on socialism, world cultures, literature and pop music. Apparently, 1968 was a bad year to dig the Velvet Underground in Czechoslavkia as the tanks rolled in from the Soviet Union to suppress the “Prague Spring.”  Our protagonist, Jan, leaves his philosophy studies in Cambridge to return to Prague armed only with his record albums and his belief that change will come about through underground rock shows. Well, the secret police beat that notion out of him. Well, not really, but Stoppard does liberally sprinkle in appearances by Syd Barrett, Sappho and cancer.  Best to see this play on Ginkgo Biloba.

fotoflexer_coldplaySpeaking of the rock and rolls, Mims and I took in Coldplay at the local outdoor amphitheatre and they did not disappoint. Chris Martin, the one guy, that other guy and the drummer put on a spectacle of sound, light and bouncing yellow balls that delighted the capacity crowd of couples. Martin even lead the crowd in a wave of lighted cell phones. Good to see they were able to survive “X & Y,” however, I couldn’t help but wonder why them and not Del Amitri.

Finally, our immersion into the art world took us to a film destined to be a comedia classico. “The Hangover” takes the inventive notion of a bachelor party gone awry and places it in the context of a screwball comedy rather than a horror or crime story. Usually the setting for detective noir or crime scene investigations, Las Vegas serves to actually the lighten the mood of this buddy film wherein the characters aren’t actually buddies.  Ed Helms, whom I believe may be Fred Gwynne CGI’d into the picture, steals the movie by constantly shrieking. The oddest thing, though, is the lack of Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogan or Paul Rudd. Don’t see this movie expecting to cry unless they’re tears of laughter, that is.

Well, we leave for Italia in 13 days. Hopefully, Interpol has a short memory.