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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-08-27 05:22
Subject: [personal] Doing stuff with Star Trek and Labyrinth
Security: Public
Tags:friends, funny, movies, personal, television, weird
Yesterday, among other things, I went with Team E— to a free showing of Labyrinth (1986) [ imdb ] at McMenamin's Bagdad Theater and Pub. It was fun to watch, both because I can remember how much I liked the movie when it first came out, and I can now see how dreadful that movie is at many layers. As I said afterwards, it is very much a product of its times. I also realized somewhere in the middle of the movie that I'd gotten my recollection of the film mixed up with Legend (1985) [ imdb ].

I then hied myself over to Cathedral Park out in St. John's. Ellen Eades had organized a trip to see the last production of this year's version of Trek In the Park. I met her there along with good friends [info]davidlevine and [info]kateyule. This year's episode was "Journey to Babel" [ imdb ]. It was fascinating to see Star Trek acted on a bare stage set with minimalist props. Everything came down to costuming, dialog and action. It was clever as hell, and quite funny.

I was also fascinated by the whole idea that a couple of thousand people could watch and understand something done on such a bare set with so few external cues. If you weren't familiar with the television series, this would have made very little sense at all. David made a comment about it being Shakespeare for our time. I don't know about that, but it was an amazing communal experience and most entertaining.

Next year they're doing "The Trouble With Tribbles" [ imdb ]. Based on the brief preview, I am thinking this will be something not to be missed.

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scarlettina: To Boldly Go
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-08-27 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:To Boldly Go
Re: David's comment about Shakespeare. Don't think for a minute that he was talking about the writing. What he was talking about was the fact that many of Shakespeare's plays were based on stories that most people knew. Many--not all, but many--people came to those plays with a basic idea of what they were going to see; the pleasure was in seeing how the playwright and the actors realized the story for the stage. In this, a theatrical production of Star Trek (or The Twilight Zone, which a theater company in Seattle does every year) is very much like Shakespeare. It's a communal experience of a story of which an audience already has some prior knowledge. We expect to see drama (or comedy); we expect a morality tale of sorts; we expect to see a story with which we are familiar. That was my first thought when you marveled at "the whole idea that a couple of thousand people could watch and understand something done on such a bare set with so few external cues." That's Shakespeare, honey, (that's theater in a nutshell, frankly) the way it's been done for hundreds of years.
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