Monday, June 19, 2006

"Godzilla: The Play" was sublime

Yesterday Mrs Blogfoot and I had the privilege of viewing a matinee performance of “Godzilla”, an outdoor play put on by a bunch of 5-12 year old kids that live in the Seward neighborhood here in Minneapolis. Needless to say, it was awesome, with everything gloriously rendered in cardboard and tempera paint. It not only featured Godzilla, but a Mecha-Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, a really angry Curious George and even Darth Vader. Whew. I could go and on, but instead I will post a snippet of a review from a snooty theatre critic who was rapturous in his praise, followed by some pics from the performance.

The Spotlight’s Glare
By Hieronymus P. Sinclair

“Whither the Giant Lizard?”

As mankind continues to grapple with the historical, literal and metaphorical fallout from its dalliance with the unknowable secrets of the atom, it is inevitable that artists would do the same. A keen eye would no doubt grasp that irradiated soil makes for fertile creative ground, and would subsequently seek to till this same earth for the sake of drama.

Some plucky young sprites in the Minneapolis neighborhood of Seward have done just that, and in doing so have demonstrated (at least to these old eyes) that the stage still contains the power to shock, delight and provoke. The play is “Godzilla”, and it riveted this critic to his seat, or should I say, his square of blanket on a lawn.

Performed in the round on 3 stages, it was a joyous assault on the senses. The sets literally catapulted the viewer right into the action. And the actors! Did these joyful urchins, when distracted by the occasional forgotten line of dialogue or tardy audio cue, throw a backstage tantrum or thoughtlessly destroy an expensive congratulatory bouquet (I’m talking to you, Mr. Nathan Lane)? No. Instead, fueled in equal parts by candy and chutzpah, these scamps persevered, and in doing so no doubt made the bard himself look down in pride from his stage on high.

The finale, which depicted an all-out melee between Godzilla and a gang of no-goodnik monsters, seemed to make the very earth tremble. Who would have thought such pathos could be wrung from mere cardboard and paint? I, for one, certainly did not. But I stand corrected. Bravo, children. Bravo.

Godzilla administers a most vigorous beat-down to Barney

Get thee back, Gigan!

Furious George brandishes the arm of the Man
with the Yellow Hat, who he hath no doubt rent asunder

Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster attacks!

The all-out monster melee


Blaine Cross said...

Thanks for your kind and funny words about the Godzilla play. The kids worked very hard on it, and we are all glad you enjoyed it. Their creativity and fearless performances still amaze me. Cheers!

tim amstutz said...

The legend of Godzilla: The Play now spans the continents, returning inexorably to its roots in the Orient -- well, southeast Asia at least. Greetings from Cambodia (huh?!) where the proud uncle of one of the young thespians (Gigan himself, Sir Luke "Skywalker" Riveness) resides. Thanks for the hilarious review and for making my night as I try to save this nation from Godzillas of another sort.

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