Monday, July 5, 2010

Need Something to Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM

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As a fierce devotee of at least attempting not to be a walking cliche, one of the most irritating things I discovered in my latter 20s was exactly how many stock phrases and sayings turned out to be 100% true. You know, those things that "they" say. I think Lenny Bruce said it best: "I don't know who 'they' are, but I suspect they probably wear black socks and sandals to the beach." Still, those phrases are there like stock thoughts. Irritating little tidbits fit to be crocheted on a doily, like "home is where the heart is," or "a friend will help you move; but a real friend will help you move a body."

Let's move swiftly on from that last one though shall we? It's still within the statute of limitations a bit touchy.

The point is that I didn't want to believe, and still don't, that the spectrum and complexity of human emotion and experience not only can be encapsulated on a bumper sticker, but probably already has, which then begs the question of which came first; the feeling or the tagline. Does the dirge of pithy phrases rattling around our heads set a frame from which our emotions never will escape, or are these simply universal experiences? And if they are universal, then does that somehow make them less profound whilst in their throes?

Dunno about y'all, but this was generally the part where it all became too much to ponder and I would sit down for a nice bowl of comforting ice cream, which we all do scream for, because life is short and perhaps we should eat dessert first.

Anyhow, getting eventually to the point. One of those phrases, is "everyone's a critic." People even like to criticize critics. Why? Who knows. Perhaps it's jealousy. Or perhaps it's just an inherent trait of the human mind to critically break things down for analysis, an act which despite being innate to our psyche, is generally frowned upon in polite society, because, "if you don't have something nice to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all."

Luckily, tonight, there's a chance for you to unleash your inner critic with Alley Rep's new play series at The Visual Arts Collective. Because not only are the plays new, they're still "in progress," and both the playwrights and the theatre company want to know what you think of them to see how they can be improved. What glee! It's not a license for you to pull a Groucho and get all buttholey on things, simply saying it was good or bad without qualifying what was good or bad about it, but that's the hallmark of a crap critic anyhow. And I think you can do better Boise.

Tonight's play is The Primordial State of Every Single Thing by Boise State theatre arts professor, Phil Atlakson. It follows follows a happily married couple distressed to learn that their only son has taken a 2D lover—a video-game Anime character, embodied in the form of a body pillow. Bringing their son back to reality proves trickier than they first imagine when every attempt to save him only brings them face to face with the fantasies at the heart of their own marriage.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $10.

The series continues Mondays through July.

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