Saturday, January 28, 2006

City of Angeles

The SO and I took the nieces to see the musical City of Angels at UCLA last night. We first saw it years ago and loved the clever dialog and lyrics. The story about a writer being screwed over by Hollywood doesn't play so well here, since most of the audience was probably in the movie business, but no one seemed to mind. It's not exactly a fresh or original concept, and even as a writer I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for writers who whine about book adaptations, but the music makes up for that.

Niece #1 is a theater arts major, so we knew she'd appreciate the incredible staging that switches between "color" and "black and white" as the scenes switch between the story of the writer and the movie of his book. It was all about lighting, which is her big area of interest. Afterwards, I was intrigued by her take on the production, which focused on the technical details. It shows how people can see the same thing and yet have a completely different experience.

Niece #2 was the wild card.

While driving in to work Friday morning, I remembered something about the production - it had a nude scene. The nieces have a sophisticated acceptance of nudity. While in the Ufizzi, they decided to have a scavenger hunt for the biggest penis on a statute. I stood in awe of The Birth of Venus; they debated whether bigger meant overall size, or in proportion to the rest of the body. Mom was shocked when one of them, after staring at a very famous piece of art, commented that "it must have been really cold in the artist's studio."

I debated warning the niece that there would be nudity, but cringed at the vision of her poking me in the ribs through the whole thing going, "Is she the one who gets naked?" "When will she take her clothes off?" Etc.

The other choice was to let her find out when it happened, risking her standing up in her seat and saying, "Holy smokes, that lady is naked!" and bringing the entire production to a screeching halt.

Both scenarios were possible. To make it clear, I wasn't worried about her seeing a naked woman. I was worried about her mouth.

We had a chat with her about proper theater behavior beforehand. And we warned her that nudity happened. As it turned out, in the production last night, the actress wore a white sheet and only flashed the actor while her back was turned to us. As far as the niece was concerned, it was a non-event. I did hear her mutter, "ugh, pasty white man flesh," when another character was getting a massage. She kept it to herself, pretty much, and I honestly had to agree.

It was a great night. Except for having to trek to the Westside (shudder) it was one of those nights when I was glad I live in LA.

No comments: