Showing posts with label Colonel Mustard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colonel Mustard. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2011

In Praise of Backyard Theatre (Jillian)

It is still in my head. The scene opens on a perfect August evening on a plywood set. Tree-people are trembling in terror as a "terrible thing" rushes about on stage, and a man smoking a cigarette begins an ominous opening number. The trees continue "Oh no! There's something out there... look to the skies! That's where the truth lies!" A space ship brilliantly fashioned with eerie lights rises out of the ether behind the stage (with the help of a forklift), the audience goes wild and Mulder and Scully appear on the scene. This was X-Files: the Musical, a Colonel Mustard production - an awesome experience of ad-libs, off-color jokes, and hilarious singing, all in tribute to the cultural icon of the 90s.

Last year we witnessed the awkward shenanigans of Doctor Quinn: the Musical, and the year before that was Jurassic Park: the Musical. All backyard, amateur performances - hardly professional, but wonderful. I've found myself fortunate to have been a witness to these productions, these creative explosions of song, laughter, sometimes gak, sometimes kazoos, sometimes fake blood.

What I admire about Colonel Mustard, which began as a band of friends putting on plays in the attic, is that drive to create, to laugh, to tell familiar stories from new and hilarious angles. A musical is the perfect venue for that. Why not have the X-Files' Agent Mulder belt out "I want to believe!" Story telling isn't always a polished affair. It thrives on spontaneity and a collective creative drive. I witnessed so much energy in X-Files: the Musical, that I was about ready to jump on stage and sing along with them.

Colonel Mustard and its musicals are a wonderful reminder that inspiration knows no bounds, and that there is energy in this good, healthy madness.


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