Home > Uncategorized > Les Misérables–that’s about miserable people singing in French, right?

Les Misérables–that’s about miserable people singing in French, right?

This past weekend, I and the rest of the very talented cast at Fredericksburg Theater Company finished a three-week run of the comedy-horror musical Little Shop of Horrors. In it, I had two parts: as Customer #1 and in the Skid Row chorus.

This is the third play I’ve been in since revitalizing my hobby for acting a few years ago. When I lived in Michigan, I was Protean #2 in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and then Sam Hendrix in Wait Until Dark.

Even then, I have a lot to learn about theatrical plays. I remember googling Forum a week or two before auditions, since I had no earthly clue what it was about.

In fact, there are a lot of famous plays that I know little about. Here’s a sampling of how I’d describe them.

Death of a Salesman — I saw the TV version with Dustin Hoffman. I remember a salesman going insane, talking to himself a lot and then wrecking his car.

Les Misérables — A bunch of miserable French people. They can, however, sing pretty well.

Phantom of the Opera — A phantom wears a mask and haunts an opera. He’s bitter because his plastic surgery went horribly wrong.

Hello, Dolly! — A man who can sing very well wants very much to meet Dolly Parton.

Meet Me in St. Louis — Duh! Two people meet in St. Louis. I’m guessing, though, that catching a Cardinals game isn’t the reason why.

La Cage aux Folles — Gay men dress in drag and sing, marveling at how often final consonants are ignored in French. I remember watching something on TV where a man sings the number “I am who I am”. He proceeded to sing he didn’t “give a damn” about something, and then concluded the number by tossing his wig into the crowd and marching off the stage.

Kinky Boots — A man puts on a pair of boots that serve as a natural aphrodisiac. Other than that, all I know is Harvey Fierstein wrote it.

A Chorus Line — A bunch of people audition for a musical. They all want in very badly. They have lots of issues.

Honk! — Geese fly through the air and sing about how superior they are to ducks. (They aren’t, by the way).

The Dining Room — A family gathers for dinner and each proceeds to talk about their favorite and least-favorite dishes. The consensus is that everybody likes enchiladas but nobody likes liver and onions.

The Book of Mormon — This two-person play consists of two young men–dressed in slacks, short-sleeved dress shirts and ties–arriving on stage riding bicycles. They then proceed to read passages from the Book of Mormon and then order the doors locked: NOBODY leaves until at least half the crowd agrees to serve as a Mormon on the mission field.

Richard Zowie loves acting and being a smart aleck. He blames The Annoying Orange. Post comments here or e-mail them to fromatozowie@gmail.com. 

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