Shoes Untied

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mimes

The other night Julia, the girls and I went to see the on-campus production of "Alice in Wonderland". Maria was in the high school production a few months back so we thought it would be fun to see a college level rendition of it. It's kind of a hard play to want to see twice. It’s a funny play but since the plot is, by design, total nonsense, there’s no big plot to pull you in and make you forget about the time. However, the posters around campus were colorful and, although they were not of the actual play, seemed to indicate that the creative sets would be a spectacle in their own right.

I have always found mimes annoying. Since they make no sound and use no props, their art requires you to give them 100% attention and the reward is always minimal. I mean, how many times do you need to see someone pretend they are in an invisilble shrinking box or pretend they are chasing invisible butterfly's with an invisible net before you feel like you've taken in all that the art form has to offer. In addition, if the detect your annoyance or see you roll your eyes, they start up with the invisible tear bit. So...you can imagine my disappointment when I walked in to the theater and saw a display indicating that the play was going to be a "mimeadrama" which is a drama that incorporates mime.

I tried to keep an open mind, knowing that the students had only three weeks to get the whole play and sets together and so they may have needed to cut some corners on the sets and use mime. It did turn out to be mostly enjoyable and two characters: Humpty Dumpty and the White Rabbit did a terrific job but they also incorporated no mime into their roles. In other parts of the play, for seeming no particular reason, mime replaced sets. In one instance instead of using a chest of drawers (something I have to believe could have come up with on a campus full of dorms) two men dressed in full body black tights, intertwined to make a chest of drawers using arms and legs as drawers sliding back and forth. Maybe creative to some, but to me it was just a distraction from what was happening in the rest of the play because it forced you to focus 100% on them in order to figure out what the heck they were doing. Since, Alice in Wonderland is the type of play that always has 2 or 3 things going on at once, forcing you to focus on this one little ball of grown men took away from the play.

Nothing personal mimes. It’s just not my thing.

3 Comments:

  • Well, you do not have pantophobia (a fear of mimes), just a dislike of them.

    By Blogger Alan, at 6:34 PM  

  • Alan you could be right. When I was growing up, the mimes were always the bullies at school, always wandering the hallway's taking kids peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, stomping on them and then making those annoying little crying mimics by running their fingers down the sides of their heads. Some kids wouldn't go out for football because the mimes had a reputation for cornering them, giving them atomic wedgies.

    By Blogger John, at 3:24 AM  

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