June 16, 2008

New One-Word Broadway Money Machines

Saw STOMP! the other day.


I thought: They are loud.

Do they really need that much attention?

It's not bad enough I've got kids clamoring for my attention at home, but then I go out to have grown men and women clamor for my attention on stage?

I thought: Do they know about whispering?

People actually listen to you more intently and intensely if you whisper. In a way, you get more attention by doing less. Maybe someone needs to take the STOMP! kids aside and teach them that valuable life skill.

I can't be bothered with that right now; because, as much as I was annoyed by their toddler pot banging, I realized that American theater patrons might just suck up some other one-word, repetitive detritus since STOMP! has to die eventually, seeing as it's approaching its twentieth birthday.

For what other simplistic stimuli will audiences drool their Pavlovian cash?

There's money to be made. I'll take a few stabs at this.

1. STAB! - Ninety minutes of intricate and choreographed stabbing with almost any implement you can imagine, including a razor-sharp kitchen sink!

2. SPEECH! - Ninety minutes of "actors" reciting "sentences" or "phrases" in a coordinated and intricately-timed sequence to tell a "story" on the stage. They would use a creative array of words to express their ideas. Words like "beneath", "expedite", "louver" and "kitchen sink"!

3. SPIT! - Sponsored by Big League Chew and big league chew, ninety minutes of syncopated and synchronized expectoration into containers mundane and ingenious, even a kitchen sink!

4. SMASH! - Performed in junkyards, offering endless touring possibilities, audiences will thrill to ninety minutes of sanitation workers using heavy equipment to crush, destroy and break just about anything you can think of, possibly even more than one kitchen sink!

5. SHHHH! - Ninety minutes of suspenseful drama plays before you as a cast of librarians, study hall teachers, nuns and funeral directors deliver precisely timed and choreographed hushing noises directed at anything on stage that could make noise. And we've packed the stage with some mischievous decibel deliverers, including a very rambunctious kitchen sink!

6. SUCK! - Ninety minutes of the cast trying to deal rhythmically with just about anything or anyone who sucks, including dull razorblades, Bill O'Reilly, diarrhea, hookers and an inept plumber who can't ever seem to fix that darn ol' kitchen sink!

7. SPEW! - Ninety minutes of horribly nauseous or bulimic cast members vomiting, barfing, blowing chunks or otherwise hurling color-coordinated stomach contents into or onto more devices and implements that you can possibly imagine. Watch as they gorge themselves for the finale and attempt to fill an enormous kitchen sink!

Let me know if you want to go in on funding any of these shows.


Unknown said...

8. SNORT! Ninety minutes of uptight pundits delivering precisely timed and choreographed snorting while liberal and conservative dogma is read by a small child hiding in a kitchen sink.

9. SHIT! Ninety minutes of Shari yelling her favorite expletative as she has to frantically choreograph obnoxious teenagers who won't listen.

Brendon Etter said...

Love #8, Henry! I never would have thought of using a kitchen sink in such an overtly political context.

10. STAMP! - A thrilling ninety minutes of highly-trained performers crushing as many insects underfoot as possible in great rhythm sequences and progressions as more and more creepy-crawly critters emanate from under the comically outsized kitchen sink in the middle of the stage!

11. STAMP! - Dancing, buff young philologists rip, lick and stick stamps of all shapes and sizes and diverse ethnicities. Can they cover the whole stage in ninety minute? You'll be amazed as they blanket their space with enough postage to send the whole theater on an express, next morning, certified and insured shipment to Venus, even the kitchen sink!

Brendon Etter said...

Ha! I meant "philatelists". So funny that I would forget the word for stamp collector since it sounds so close to another, much raunchier term.... I'm speaking, of course, of "filletists"- those who fillet fish and game for a hobby.

The philatelists are probably, against all likelihood, dancing and buff. Good luck filling out that cast.

Unknown said...

12. SCAT! Ninety minutes of woodland creatures delivering precisely timed and choreographed defication on stage. A small, wireless microphone is attached to their backsides to get all of the *whiffs* and *fbbbbbs* that ensure. A hiker with a huge pack, complete with everything including the kitchen sink, gets mauled at the end.

Unknown said...

SCRAWL! Bleeet's readers wait ninety plus minutes with baited breath for the next installment of Lysteria. Those unable to wait spew into a kitchen sink.

Brendon Etter said...

Good point, Henry, and that would be a great show. I've been busy, but, trust me, no one hates it more when I'm not writing than I do. In fact, I'm sure many people really rather enjoy it when I'm not writing. Bastards!

Jim H. said...

#4 (SMASH!)need not be so elaborate. All you really need is a car crusher from the junkyard. The audience could even get their own cars squished and take a tex deduction.

Indeed, when were bored in college, some of us would go watch the car crusher at the local auto recycling facility (AKA junkyard). It was fun!

Jim H. said...

KNIT! Former NFL compete against ex-figure skaters in a frantic and colorful knit-off, set to avant garde music. Who can make the biggest Afghan or the most stocking caps?

Free sweaters for the front row.

Brendon Etter said...

Not bad, Jim, but maybe they could be so wacky and all-inclusive and unpredictable as to attempt to knit even a kitchen sink!

A kitchen sink, damnit! Think about it!

That's just pure wackiness!

They are embracing the cliche!!