Potted Terrific

I’ve always been a major fan of improv, and improv was exactly what elevated Potted Potter from kitschy to kick-ass.

Admittedly, I didn’t have high hopes for this show. I mean, two white guys riffing on a YA book about depressive boarding school teens beset by a nose-less psycho? How funny could that be? Plenty funny as it turned out, and mainly because the act  was relentless both in poking fun at the serious bits of the book and in playing up the exciting parts. QUIDDITCH!

In truth, the act was so improvisational that it could have been born in the common room of a frat house, with all the attendant whooping, vaulting over furniture, and make-shift props. Even better, it was peppered with enough pop-culture references that even the hipsters in the crowd were cheering. That’s a big thing, btw, since I can’t imagine anything more mainstream than a piece of work that has achieved commercial success in both its major incarnations.

Of course, because of the sheer volume of material that had to be crammed into the act’s run-time – “Seven Books in Seventy Minutes!” – a lot of artistic license had to be taken. An example would be the omission of many characters, despite those characters being both pivotal and immensely entertaining in the books and films. Loony Lovegood for instance, was nowhere in sight, as were … well, I don’t want to give too much away. The deviations from the books, however detracted not a bit from the over-all entertainment delivered by the energetic players.

Bottom line, Potted Potter was a hilarious experience, well worth the effort of going to see it.

Clint Eastwood and the Chair

At the Republican National Convention today, Clint Eastwood decided to be un-Conventional and brought Obama with him on-stage. Or at least an empty chair supposed to stand-in for Obama.

Almost immediately, the interwebz was abuzz with jeers for Eastwood; within moments, @InvisibleObama popped up on twitter and – as of this writing – gathered 34,909 followers. As savvy as Obama’s team is, this damn-near perfect twitpic response – captioned “This seat is taken” – was inevitable.

Now, I enjoy trolling as much as anyone on the interwebz; certainly, Eastwood’s stunt lends itself perfectly to both appreciative – the audience seemed to love it, despite disparaging tweets by non-believers about how Eastwood was creeping even Republicans out – and derisive hilarity.  However, as an avid student of communications, I have to admit to actually loving that speech.

First off, it seemed that a lot of the derisive reactions might have stemmed from the sheer unorthodoxy of the Oscar-winning director’s approach. Understandably, since this was a “serious” event, dealing with a “serious” matter, people would probably glance askance at Eastwood and his bit of drama. But that’s just it. At the very top of his speech, Eastwood signaled that this would not be an ordinary political diatribe, when he said

“I know what you’re thinking. What’s a movie tradesman doing out here?”

Yep. That’s exactly what he is: a movie tradesman. An actor. A professional who communicates with his audience with a fair amount of theatricality. There might be purists out there who would insist that certain forms of communication shouldn’t cross over into the political world where all the conversations should be high-browed and dripping with gravitas, so sure, they’re not gonna be happy. For the rest of us, however, it might be helpful to step back for a moment and realize that the point of communication is to connect with the audience and win them over to your side of the argument – or in this case, whip the choir up into a frenzy. Seen in that light, Eastwood’s act wasn’t stupid or out-of-place at all. He simply did what he did best, which was to entertain people while driving home his message of dissatisfaction at the Obama presidency.

Oh, Harry

I don’t get all the ruckus about Harry’s naked pictures. He’s a 27 year-old guy, for crying out loud! And it’s not like he was parading his crown jewels – yeah, we haven’t heard that joke before – around in public or anything. And he certainly wasn’t caught in flagrante delicto the way Kim Kardashian was.

Instead, what we have is a rich young man, at the prime of his life, partying with an apparently willing girl, in a manner that might make some of us cringe, but is certainly par for the course nowadays. The problem really was that he might not have chosen all his pals very well,just like the rest of us. So, in that vein, I’d like to offer some well-meaning advice for the young ginger prince:

1. Ban cellphone cameras in your royal entourage, boy! – It used to be that the paparazzi were all any celebrity had to be worried about. Now, they’ve got to be careful about even their closest companions. This isn’t to say that celebs shouldn’t trust anyone, but the fact is that even if no one leaked anything on purpose, their cell-cams – and the incriminating photos in them – would still be vulnerable to theft or loss. When that happens, what happened in Vegas sure as hell won’t stay there.

2. Learn to play better pool! – If this was strip pool, then the young Prince can’t play for shit. The idea behind strip anything, m’lord, is to get the wench nekkid, not to end up bare-assed yourself. In any case, playing pool with an inexperienced and possibly inebriated girl while you’ve got your equipment hanging out is a damned dangerous business! – Apparently, that time at Sandhurst has given this royal nerves – err, balls? – of steel, considering that pool balls have been known to bounce out of the table and onto the crotches of unsuspecting bystanders. Why not stick to strip poker? Of course, this knowledge might be why he was standing behind the chick.

And finally,

3. Get some sun! – If you’re gonna rock out with your cock out, you might as well make sure that you look all sorts of hot doing it. You might be a royal, and you might have a bum that’s probably set a good number of people drooling, but it wouldn’t hurt anything if you weren’t such a pasty prince.

In the meantime, if that chick doesn’t work out, you can, call me maybe. :D



*in case you missed it, TMZ owns these photos.