Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!

Who doesn't like monkeys? Bad people, that's who.

Here's another completely, utterly enthusiastic and totally biased theatrical endorsement: Piper McKenzie's Craven Monkey and the Mountain of Fury must be seen for many, many reasons. I have constructed a comprehensive list, so that there can be no excuses of any sort for missing one of the last few performances (ever, as far as I am aware) of one of the greatest pieces of monkey oriented theater I have seen.

  1. As stated above: Only bad people don't like monkeys.
  2. It is subtitled, "A Darwinian Martial-Arts Fairy Tale In Which Monkeys and Monsters Beat the Crap Out of Each Other." If this doesn't sound appealing to you, you are likely reading the wrong blog.
  3. Hope Cartelli. Some of you reading this haven't had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, which is unfortunate, as Hope is awesome. She co-conceived the piece with her husband, Mr. Cartelli (also known as Jeff Lewonczyk, also known as the director of this show). She also plays the Monkey's antagonist, the Vital Spirit.
  4. I've read more fairy tales than anyone you know. Trust me. I tend to get really irate at poorly done, know nothing interpretations of fairy tales based on vague ideas sparked by Disney and reading Bettelheim in some psych class in undergrad. I thought the fairy tale elements were great and true and completely satisfying.
  5. There is lots of monkey sex. If there are any creepy, uptight puritans reading this: do not fear! One could also interpret the action as coming down firmly on the side of a Darwinian argument for monogamy. The advancement in monkey-kind is made when the indiscriminate monkey orgy stops being so appealing to our Craven Monkey, as he has face to face sex for the first time with his Lady Monkey. The monkey sex is also completely hilarious.
  6. There is a squid. Again, if this alone does not make you want to see this show, you are likely reading the wrong blog.
  7. Qui Nguyen (of Vampire Cowboy fame) and Adam Swiderski's fight choreography is fabulous.
  8. Jessi Gotta is in it. She plays Lady Monkey.
  9. The costumes. To die.
  10. Jeff Lewonczyk's narration. It's dry, factual, British, and just like watching Wild Kingdom if you had taken a large amount of peyote.
  11. Monkeys! It's all about monkeys!
  12. Just go. I hear the final performances are selling out quick.

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