Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Theater Needs to Keep Happening

Blog, I've neglected you. For that I'm sorry. I've been busy, see. I've been out and about. I've been working in box offices. I've been drinking with interns. I've been eating questionable deviled eggs.

I know. It's obvious. I went to a Jungle party.

Sigh. Jungle party. It's really the only thing to call it and yet it sounds incredibly offensive. Legend has it that Bain was on some sort of acid trip in the 70s (maybe 60s) and had a hallucination of a majestic jungle where theater apparently took place. He then made it into a reality by opening a theater, decorating it with trees and tassels, and naming it The Jungle.

Oh, you don't know who Bain is Blog? Well this should clear that up (he's the one on the right)...

What? You're not familiar with Bain's cameo as Mr. Mohra in the movie Fargo? Tragedy! Well, you'll also be glad to know he won this award back in '09. Sure, it sounds like a whatever kind of deal, but he got fifty grand out of it. Naturally he put it back into the Jungle by painting the walls of the theater red and green. And no, it doesn't look like Christmas in there at all. This sounds like sarcasm. It's not.

Bain is the epitome of the incompetent, strange, and overbearing artist who somehow turns out amazing work... like fitting a giant plant in his tiny apartment and having it be ok.
Bain's vision went into effect on Sunday when the Jungle's most current show Dial M for Murder closed. Of course he had to put on a closing night party to celebrate a successful run. Of course I had to attend.

I actually had a chance to stop by the theater Sunday afternoon to pick up a bottle of wine, because, well, you know... I like wine and the Jungle sells bottles of it to their employees on days when liquor stores don't. I may have timed my visit to fall during the second act so I could say hello to my concession and box office friends. Bain was there too; "exhausted" from all the planning he had done for the party that was to take place in his home later that evening. Sitting in an office chair, he went on and on about how "brutal" it all was. But the deviled eggs were going to be delicious. There was going to be plenty of wine. There was going to be a patio. For some reason everyone else was hungover, and he melodramatically showed us his concern by telling of his hopes for us "sparkling" for the party. I promised sequins and was a little sad when I showed up later that night with just a jeweled headband in my hair. He accepted it and offered me a chocolate.

It's funny that there is such a similarity found between the theater parties I attended in college and the one I attended as an adult on Sunday night. Half the guests were twice my age, and still there was the same vying for attention, witty banter, and of course odd sexual tension amongst, well, everyone. And what I mean by sexual tension is random group hugs and sitting on laps and intense conversations about how you were inspired to pursue the performing arts during your formative years. Also people like this guy might hit on you and do their best to be charming while you sit back and allow yourself to schmooze away just for the hell of it. It's what I thought I was going to get when I started doing improv back in 2007, but it never ended up that way. Attending a party like the one I did on Sunday night reaffirms that theater is what I need to keep in my life one way or another.

I swooned over the Jungle a couple months back when I started working there again. Four months later it makes me a little sad that I had put it out of my life for two whole years. What fun I've missed! I also feel incredibly lucky to have gotten back into such a lovely and strange group of people since they don't just have concession openings available for anyone. As a result, I got to attend a good old fashioned theater party complete with actorly schmoozing, physical domination (in the form of an impromptu yoga competition), and group hugs. It was fucking glorious.

Yes, the description of this party deserves an F-bomb.

Some of my Jungle brethren complete with intern, designer, actor, and of course concessionaires.

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