Sunday, December 27, 2009

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

The Italians have a word...fiasco!

This evening I saw the movie NINE, it was as close to a crucifixion as I ever hope to get.

  Daniel Day-Lewis' singing could only have been improved by a reprise of his Christy Brown role.  Judy Dench rasping through "Follies Bergeres" chilled me like someone walking over my grave, "My Husband Makes Movies" instead of being evocative was merely a cartoonish retrospective exercise.

Rather than being about love and passion and moviemaking and heartache and the beauty that is women, this was a hideous burlesque of automatons, croaking, and clanking from one over-produced scene to the next

In the sparse audience I only saw three people who were engrossed, one by his blackberry screen, and the two young men in the very end of my row, pleasantly chatting between less-than-furtive hand jobs.  At least someone was having a good time, God knows I wasn't.

My first exposure to Nine was the 1982 original cast album, 

which I discovered at about the same time a production of Nine was being mounted in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1986 (I think) I was newly single (like now) and was swept away with the beautiful music and equally beautiful women in that local cast.  The play in Grand Rapids, the album, and certainly Fellini's "8 1/2" had a great influence on me at that time.  

Tonight I went to the latest incarnation hoping to catch some of the magic and romance again.  But it was not to be, no sir, not by a longshot.

If you love earlier versions of this transporting show, then please,
"per favore" avoid this dreadful barn dance  at all costs.

I had to leave early before any more damage could be done.

Somewhere, up there, Raul Julia is laughing his ass off, as Guido, God bless him, and Anita Morris is wiggling hers, as the actually sexy version of Carla

Anita Morris as Carla in the 1982 production

At evening's end it was a squandered opportunity, a misfortune, and a complete waste of nine and a half bucks.  Don't say I didn't warn you.