The Percussionist’s Wet Dream

Winter in El Lay is weird. Incredibly dry, it can be cold, windy, and sunny all at the same time. It messes with sinuses, activates allergies. . . and here I thought the Costa Rican rain forest was tough. Then I didn’t realize that, with my Serenity hoodie, shorts, and boots, I was completely in black! Not sure what kind of sign that is. . .
I know the cliché of women having to wait longer for the public restrooms, but at Union Station the line for the ladies was around the corner while the men’s was completely empty, all the urinals open. Oh well. . .
Waiting for the subway train to arrive, I calculate how far away I need to stand from the yellow markers to be in front of the opening doors. . . got it perfect. So proud. . .
The bank is full just before noon! Probably because they were going to close at 2, it being the day before Christmas. Still a surprise, though. From there I walked over to the FedEx to print my ticket for Book of Mormon, but first my bank card wouldn’t work–after working at the bank–and then when they gave me one of their cards, the browser crashed whenever I tried to print. . . then they couldn’t find where they left my bank card! Good thing I left so early and had so much time. . . time enough, in fact, to walk over to Carl’s Jr. for a bacon and egg biscuit. . . actually two for $3.50, served all day, whereas McD’s is $3.08 each, before eleven in the morning. Hmmm. . .
Managed to get two bites before getting on the bus–the door closed on me, painfully–but it quickly stops for a cop to take a woman off. Even with that I reached La Cienega from La Brea in less than 10 minutes, so I had time to eat them right there at the bus stop before going into that little place next to the Saban Theater, where the bartender, an Asian gal with tats, remembers me! Wow! Two people remembering me in a week is pretty much unprecedented.
Easy going into the theater, and with 15 minutes left I’m alone in my row, albeit the furthest one back in the balcony. Then just before the lights go down a huge contingent of kids sit down opposite me, then two families behind me, and then two more sets of families on my aisle, making me stand up and bang my knee on the seat in front. I had a perfect seat on the right aisle for my right knee to stretch in the aisle, but with bored teen girls next to me. . . eventually I sat across the aisle and put my leg up on the seat in front of me.
Okay, time for STOMP! Or as I labeled it in the blog title, The Percussionist’s Wet Dream. As usual I had checked out the show I was going to see on the internet, finding a video of what turned out to be the opening sequence, so I was familiar with it as one guy comes out and plays around with a big broom–long rectangular type–and then others join in, until all eight cast members were beating the poor floor. At one point there was even a giant two-handed broom, which I hope was custom-made, because I don’t want to see the mess it was designed to clean. . .
Then there’s just one guy left on stage, wearing a wifebeater because he has incredible arm muscles for a dancer, stamping and clapping; the crowd knows to echo. . . everyone except me, apparently, as I’m suddenly incredibly jetlagged. Never fell asleep, but came close a few times.
Next thing I know all eight are dancing, with no props. One of them brings out a bucket of sand and dumps it in front of the dancers. . . except for one guy at end who doesn’t get any and is hysterically bummed out about it as the others make rasping sounds with their feet. This show is much funnier than I ever expected: lots of audience participation, I can see why there are so many kids here.
{At that point the mean usherette comes over and tells me to put my little flashlight away, even though she thought it was a cell phone, so no more notes. To my chagrin, I didn’t remember everything.}
Next thing I remember was the cast playing with hollow tubes; one guy, maybe the same who didn’t get sand, gets the short stick literally, which of course makes for a different sound. And while I hate the backlights shining in my face, it’s making for some very cool shadows on the side walls next to the seats.
As I was wondering if there was anything they wouldn’t use for banging purposes, out comes the kitchen sink! Now that’s comedy!
After a brief fade to black, the lights turn on upstairs, which up to now looked like simple decoration. Instead it’s a plethora–veritable or otherwise–of “instruments” waiting to be banged, and in the next few minutes it seems like all of them were.
Next up were what I could only call accordion tubes; if you don’t get it from that description, there’s nothing else I can tell you. Better was the next objects, bo staffs: six-foot-or-longer sticks first used as weapons by the Japanese hundreds of years ago. Think of Darth Maul’s double length lightsaber. Even better, as they danced in circles and did some pretend fighting, the shadows on the sidewalls became one of the highlights of the show.
Following what felt like an intermission, though there wasn’t one, there was another fun kitchen-sink moment, only this time with grocery carts! And of course stuff to bang inside the carts. A few minutes later the guy who seems to be the show’s butt monkey is trying to read a newspaper, possibly sitting on a cajon, clicking his pen against his teeth until it hurts. Others join him, not letting him read, and one of them makes a rhythmic coughing rasping sound as the others join in. One lady goes crazy with her shredded paper, turning them into pompoms, suddenly the world’s most spastic cheerleader.
The next one was particularly fun for me, possibly the only one I can do: basketballs! Following that were giant inner tubes, probably off monster trucks. Right after that they brought out a garbage bag and took turns pulling out junk, mostly for comedy but a few interesting sounds came out of it too.
Everyone comes out for what seems like the closing number, with some guys actually walking on cans–strapped to their feet–across the stage! The shopping carts come out again, with giant water jugs and boxes. I especially like how at the end they twirled the carts in circles to the lady at the back, who then tossed the jugs to the side off the stage and spun the cart back into the cue. Then they line them up in a row and take out the boxes as another guy comes from the side and collects the carts like the guy in the supermarket parking lot. . .
Stayed to write out what I remembered, so I was last one out the balcony. As a consequence I just missed the express, but there’s another one coming after the red light, so no rush. . . except this one had numerous smells and is going really slow.
Dueling posters on subway–I almost sat on the wrong side. . .

IMG_0482 IMG_0483
Took a longer route with the anticipation of having an orange cream float at Hook Burger, but it closed early for Christmas. Figures. . .

;o)

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3 thoughts on “The Percussionist’s Wet Dream

  1. Pingback: Top 15 outings of 2013 | LoganBruin--An Unauthorized Autobiography

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