Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lonestar, A Popcorn Throwing Rock Country Musical, Vestige Group at United States Art Authority, November 4 - 21

Wow, guys, this was a mess.

Melodrama meets country rock band and invites beer drinkers to interrupt the whole thing at will with popcorn, catcalls, and even, on one particularly wild night, someone's shoe thrown from the audience.

Dr. Dave my retired college professor friend and I paid for the Wednesday night VIP seats, only there weren't any. We were kindly removed from the high table next to the stage, which turned out to be the location for those long-legged cowgirls, but there was still time to nab our front row seats. We did get our complimentary beer glasses with logo and the two beer tickets each, so we had little cause to complain on that account.

Let's look at a couple of the key elements.

Melodrama: a theatrical art form performed in small towns, church halls, saloons and theatres across the country, particularly but not exclusively in the 19th century. Typically, a simple story with a beleaguered, right-thinking young hero, a virginal heroine with heart of gold regularly threatened by a black-hearted villain with loss of her maidenhead, loss of the family farm, and loss of everything else of value. The playing style is broad. The characters are stereotypes. Frequently, the actors turn to address the audience in character, exaggerating emotions with a complicit wink. Everyone knows that Virtue Will Triumph.

Country Rock: Amplified, very loud guitar-based up-tempo music, featuring a full and active drum set and perhaps an amplified fiddle. Thrumming base guitar is a must. Words and lyrics appear to be optional, because you cannot hear them over the roar of the music, anyway.

Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .

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