October 27, 2006

"Will the idealistic Coyote take up his father’s whip to exploit the leadership-hungry clowns?"

The Broadway show that asks that question gets the terrible review you knew it would get when you watched the clip yesterday. Ben Brantley on "The Times They Are A-Changing," (Twyla Tharp's thuddingly literal depiction of Bob Dylan songs):
Ms. Tharp turns lyrics’ metaphors not only into flesh but also into flashlights, jump-ropes, stuffed animals and new brooms that sweep clean. (If there was a kitchen sink onstage, I missed it, which isn’t to say it wasn’t there.) Props rule in this magic kingdom, along with charadelike annotations of images.

Just mention, say, Cinderella in “Desolation Row,” and there she is, center stage. When the same song refers to Dr. Filth, there he is performing surgery....


An Upstep or a Downstep said...

On the horizon, I see a new Broadway hit, "Holiday in Cambodia", which explores the happy, delirious dance infused brooding that so many of us experienced when we first heard the Dead Kennedy's album "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables". It will be just like it was. Good lord...

Anonymous said...

I think the idealistic coyote instead seeks to banish his inner demons by focusing his rage on a particular object which represents the freedom and joy that elude him -- the fast, flightless bird of the Southwest.

Set in the American southwest, the sere landscape presents a mirror to the dry and dead soul of the doomed protagonist.

"Wile E. or Won't E?" examines the co-dependent relationship between the desert-dwelling canine and the "suppliers" of his drug of choice -- Acme products. This rich material gives the playwright room for trenchant critique of the military-industrial complex and the nature of religious faith.

Why does the coyote continue to trust in a god which can't save him and doesn't care? In existential angst, the coyote's final haunting words ring out:

"Acme is dead, and we are alone in the universe."