Gordon and I went to the Pantages last Wednesday to see Bullets Over Broadway. I should start by saying I’ve never been a Woody Allen fan. I always thought his humor was the equivalent of the Three Stooges for the New York psychiatric set. That being said, I liked a lot of it. The book (Allen’s work) is an argument about artistic freedom. The playwright (Allen stand-in) doesn’t want a word of his play touched even though everyone agrees it’s boring and pedantic. He compromises to get the play produced. The comedy comes in when the bodyguard assigned to protect his gangster boss’s (three s’s in a possessive?) mistress (a bimbo who plays the psychiatrist) starts re-writing the play because “nobody talks like that!” I won’t say anymore because that would spoil what follows except to say that the original playwright calls himself a whore–and he’s right. But is the solution the bodyguard uses to protect his play valid? Good food for thought. I loved the actors (never heard of any of them) and Susan Stroman’s direction and choreography were great. Some of the dance routines were spectacular. The tunes were taken from the American Song Book, I think, and the lyrics added to make them work with the story were clever. It was probably a cheap way to get good songs for the musical. I suspect the 30s tunes are now public domain and the backers don’t have to pay royalties. One note: the lead actor’s mic kept cutting out and that was off-putting. But the show is fun if a little long. Neither one of us fell asleep once and that says a lot.
Re: parking. It had rained all day so we left early, knowing traffic would be completely screwed up. We surprised to find the lot we normally use was almost full. The lot across the street which is used by theater goers was blocked off. It looks like another new building is going up. I don’t where we’ll park if they keep closing all the lots. I decided we’d probably go really early and check out the new restaurants opening. The area is changing so rapidly. The Frolic Room (the bar next to the theater) used to be a biker hangout. Now they show Jeopardy to a mixed bag of customers. The bikers and the hipsters seem to coexist peacefully. Maybe we’ll stop for a drink and play Jeopardy before the show next time. Hollywood seems to be going back it’s ‘glamour’ roots. That’s fine by me.