Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's all over but the crying

Everyone who knows me well knows the following things about me (and more): I think Slurpees are man’s perfect food, I am a television addict, I love Spy Kids 2, my 7-CD player always has at least one Go-Go’s CD and one Garbage CD in it, I once worked for a moron (who hasn’t?), Anne Heche played my favorite childhood soap opera character, I say “random” a lot, I tend to answer all questions asked of me even when I shouldn’t and I can’t miss a campy live production. That’s right, the campier the better. So, following from that, it should be no surprise that my most highly-anticipated theatrical production of the year is Legends!. (More than Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical because this one is in North America.)

I have followed the first tour stop of Legends! closely. I was getting a little impatient because it took so long for the show to have its official Toronto opening and, now that it has, I feel a little sad. Not that I was expecting it to receive good reviews, because of course I was not. But these notices don’t even make it seem fun. These are not In My Life reviews. Alas.

Judge for yourself…

The Toronto Star’s Richard Ouzounian: “What winds up onstage is pretty soggy, thanks to the mildewed script and limp direction of John Bowab. Even the big cat fight between the ladies is a snoozy, offstage affair… Joan Collins plays, uh, Joan Collins. She does it very well. She's been doing it for a long time. Linda Evans, on the other hand, is a bit of a surprise. With a husky voice and a haughty air, she actually hints that something might be going on inside her character.”

The Globe and Mail’s Kamal Al-Solaylee: “Picking on Legends!, a comedy that was probably hopelessly out of date when it opened in 1986, is like flogging a horse that's been sent to the glue factory. If the production moved any faster, it might, with some serious caveats, qualify for the morbidly redeeming quality of a train wreck, but John Bowab's staging--to call it direction is an act of generosity to which I don't feel inclined--is anesthetically, mind-numbingly slow... I suppose two feisty stage performers or real-life Hollywood legends could resuscitate this DOA material or lend it a self-reflexive twist. That seems to be beyond Collins or Evans... Collins approaches each scene with a predetermined agenda to steal it or at the very least project a stage confidence that suggests she ultimately lacks it. The kindest thing one can say about Evans is that she doesn't quite embarrass herself in this, her theatrical debut. Enough said.”

(Variety also has a review from Ouzounian with just slightly different wording.)

You see? Doesn’t sound fun… Though it does sound much like what I witnessed the other day when I turned on My Network TV’s Fashion House. I leave you with an exchange from that show that took place betweek Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild right after Morgan broke up Bo’s wedding.

Scene: Bo is now at home and she opens the door to Morgan.

Morgan: If it isn’t the woman who put the “whore” back in horrible.
Bo: How dare you come here? What the hell do you think you are doing?
Morgan: Well, you left the church so quickly, I didn’t even get to offer my best wishes to the blushing bride.
Bo: Save your cheap wit for someone else.
Morgan: Well you would know from cheap, wouldn’t you.

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