Monday, June 4, 2007


The first weekend of the Pretentious Festival has passed with supercilious fanfare, and there is much to share with our slavish admirers.

The Pretentious Opening Cabaret was stunning in its success. I myself hosted, accompanied only by an anthology of 20th-century French poetry and my own enviably plummy baritone. The featured acts (including a surprise appearance by Trav S.D. as Nihils, who I will never forgive for out pretentiousing me in front of everybody) all garnered new legions of followers, and much fermented beverage was imbibed.

The opening readings and performances of The Sophisticates, Dinner at Precisely Eight-Thirteen, This Is the New American Theatre, Between the Legs of God, and Intervew With the Author all played before teeming audiences of fawning minions, all of whom would not surrender their indelible impressions for all the opium in Afghanistan.

Dinner at Precisely Eight-Thirteen is the first show to receive a review from - read Martin Denton's esteeming appraisal HERE.

Brick-a-Brac played before a sold-out house. Video augmentalist Jonathan Latiano shamed the audience with his opus Un film présomptueux et bon d'art de pensée dehors and its accompanying audience talkback, after which one will never view William Howard Taft or steamed fish the same way again. A late addition to the bill, Nate Lemoine presented Bestward Ho, a riff on a Samuel Beckett story that left the original looking tepid and compromised. Finally, we experience the premiere of Grand Opera at The Brick with Cardium Mechanicum's Mother Is Looking So Well Today, featuring four (professional) musicians, a cast of nearly thirty (!) , and honest-to-god cupcakes that the audience was allowed to eat afterwards. The spectacle bordered on being populist, but was saved at the last moment by the singing of the final lines in German. Nice save, guys.

Finally, late Sunday night brought The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event, which was one of the more metatheatrical events ever processed by the human brain. Bloggers both onsite and off blogged and had their postings and comments projected on a screen and read aloud by the redoubtable Berit Johnson. Part happening, part installation, part probing analysis of a rising theatrical subculture, part intellectual circle-jerk, and part happening, it will be written up in academic journals for years to come. You can read the full transcript (replete with inadvertent time-zone discrepancies, inside buffoonery, and cryptic missives from "THE AUDIENCE") at the official Blogging Event Blog.

Also of note is our inclusion (along with band Animal Collective and "film" Knocked Up) in Friday's edition of New York Magazine's Vulture. Though we find the Indieist's evaluation somewhat glib and hackneyed, we cannot deny its essential truth.

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