Friday, March 13, 2009

Inaction Alameda Comments on Alameda's Un-communitarian Community Theater

Following is a reprint of the latest article published in yesterday's edition of the Inaction Alameda News, included here only for completeness, and not, repeat, not because the Alameda Daily Noose's and my circulation vastly exceeds that of the Inaction Alameda News.We want to be sure we give the Alameda Community Theater's hired gun Jean Noix Huit his due as he has taken issue with some of our theater reviews over the past few months. Monsieur Noix Huit is known throughout Alameda for paying lip service to the tenets of artistic self expression and nurturing new talent while doing everything he can to suppress those whose creative aesthetic he disagrees with. That is why, as we approached the Alameda Community Theater Thursday night, we kept muttering to ourselves: "Just how communitarian is the Alameda Community Theater"?

Sadly, we soon had our answer. Despite its ostensible mission to promote art for all and despite the large sign in the lobby reading "Welcome, theater lovers!" the hired goons guarding the doors to the auditorium refused to allow us inside without a quote-unquote ticket. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Fortunately for you, dear readers, we found a high-school student willing to buy us a ticket with his student discount and proceeded inside. We took our seat as the lights went down, but it soon became evident that this so-called community theater was not going to present an alternate dramatic viewpoint to balance out the saccharine musical comedy of its production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

The more we watched, the more disgusted we became. Were the players aware that their characters seemed shallow, nay, almost cartoonish? Nothing on that stage reflected the harsh, tragic reality of life in Alameda today. Why didn't Lucy get into an altercation with Snoopy when he parked his flying doghouse in front of her psychiatry stand? Why didn't our good-for-nothing mayor pave over the Very Little League's baseball field to build one of those big-box stores she loves so much? Why wasn't poor, sensitive Linus mauled by a Squirrel, or by a Scotsman, or both?

Where, oh where, was the musical tragedy? We could stand it no longer; we rushed backstage, through a door marked with a sign we had no time to read, and found ourselves stumbling into the spotlight. Without missing a beat, we burst into a heartfelt rendition of "A Little Priest" from our favorite musical tragedy, Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Park Street. We had barely gotten through the first verse when Alameda Community Theater's hired thespian guru Jean Noix Huit made a rather firm jerk on the large hook he was holding, in response to our bravura performance.

Monsieur Noix Huit addressed your correspondent directly, and forcefully, asserting, 1) the stage door is for performers only because it says "performers only" on it. He provided no further information in the moment, but he offered to forward us details which we encouraged him to do. And 2) community theater is performed by members of the community who have rehearsed their lines and perform their parts under the guidance of a chosen director. We made clear to Monsieur Noix Huit that in the context—an artistic presentation to the community, wherein some community members questioned the choice of play—it looked to us that he was trying to distance himself from his production. And we explained that we are free to stand up, clear our throats and start singing as we saw fit, it being a free and democratic country, after all. Monsieur Noix Huit, in return, characterized this as "merde de cheval" and proceeded to yank us off the stage with his hook.

He could have just written a grumpy letter to the editor.

As of bedtime, uh, I mean press time, we were still waiting for an apology from the management of the Alameda Community Theater, preferably with a big stack of free tickets attached. We hope that in the future, both Monsieur Noix Huit and the local community theater will serve as better role models than we witnessed tonight.

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