Sunday, May 5, 2013

What an ACTUAL Show is like: IN This Generation, Iridium, 3pm

WARNING:  The following critique is offered as affectionately and truthfully as possible. The show is a MUST SEE and features rare material, amazing stories and wonderful music (as always). After years of working in theater, my bias is to comment on the unpolished nature of his shows, which some might not bother with, or even romanticize. If anything, my one grudge is that I want "Peter Tork" to be slightly more polished than he is. I find it distracting and at times, awkward.  This is intended to be a detailed description of my own experience, feel free to skip/skim when you get bored or distracted.

Everything begins at arrival.  I arrive at the venue an hour before the show is scheduled to start. 2pm for a 3pm show. (At 3:20, there is still no sign of it starting).

Turns out he's just arrived at 2pm as well, and needs to do a sound check. (That NYC traffic!!) And isn't there some kind of projection element, as well??

So the fans are left to mingle and get to know each other.  (When kept waiting, make nice.) Out of maybe 50 people, I personally think I recognize about 5 that I've seen at other Monkee related events. Maybe another 5 are under 12 (A Matinee show, but some are really young 5? or so). About 20 in line are men, some with their families or significant other, but a good proportion seem to be attending with their male pal. (The crowds are almost exclusively heterosexual, at least in terms of the men)

This show is sold out, but the next two aren't. Not yet. And someone said the show tomorrow night will include the Les Paul Trio (that's what it says on the Iridium Program). Which would be amazing!! But I cannot imagine that it's true, no publicity. But there might be an impromptu jam session, which is more probable. And way more fun!

3:24pm Lights go down.  They begin showing "The Love Potion"-a short movie, which can be found on Youtube, or the Monkees Wiki. The film itself is an odd choice.  10 minutes (yes, they show the whole thing-or try to).  PT plays a character in love with a girl who doesn't love him, goes to a gypsy, gets a potion, brings it to a picnic where it gets dropped into a pitcher of lemonade and ends with ALL the women chasing him.  Silent, paired with 4 Monkee recordings:

1) "When loves comes knocking at your door"
2) "I don't think I'll ever get her off of my mind"
3) "I don't think you know me at all" (Rare recording with PT on lead)
4) "The Kind of girl I could love" 

Unfortunately, and perhaps having something to do with arriving late at the theater, there is a technical mishap.  There are 2 screens, the larger one fails early on and goes in and out for the entire show.  So we are left to stare at a tv screen in the corner.  The film itself is "difficult to see" bad 16mm quality.  (10 minutes is a VERY long time when you are waiting for a performer, the screen is annoyingly small and the film itself would work edited down to 3 minutes.)

There was a funny coincidence, when Davy sings the line, "Her little hand in mine", PT is left with 2 ice creams,  and a very sad face; a direct juxtaposition with the happy line in the song.  (Otherwise, there is very little rapport between the music and the visuals) The bunson burner fire rages out of control, but otherwise the film is only notable for a very young, crew-cut Tork.

The actual performer tries to sneak out on stage in the darkness, before the end of the film, no dice.  The audience applauds.  He stand before the mic, on a darkened stage and says  "Can I have some lights??" Gets a huge laugh.

5) "Do I have to do this all over again?"-the first live performance. Interesting choice, does he really want to be doing this (performing thing, reliving his Monkee life?)  And, yes, we are making him do it all over again.  (The first strains are also met with a pitiful clap, should the audience acknowledge this obscure song with a cheer or not?)  Behind him (and us) is a photo montage of Monkee to modern pictures, cut to the tempo of the song.  This comes off as VERY distracting-do you watch him, or these rare photos?  An intimate show is NOT a Monkee show, a live Peter Tork at 10 feet away is MUCH more interesting than pictures.  Or maybe it would work later on in the show, for variety.  Placed here, we wonder if this is setting precedence for the entire show.

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