Saturday, March 28, 2009

The first night of the last weekend ...

... was nuts on the Ubu side. Absolutely nuts. From looking at these shadowy onlookers near the beginning of the evening--

--you probably would not guess that they would be our wildest audience yet. They took the notion of "play" to unprecedented extremes; several of us seriously worried we might have a riot on our hands. NOT the kind of riot Ubu provoked in its first incarnation, when people thought it went too far, but the kind of riot where they were eager to go even farther than we were willing to. Trust me, the place looked like a frat house after a beer blast by the time we (er, they) were done.

As the Carnival Barker, I am partly responsible for the mayhem, because I gave these otherwise innocent-looking folks the very weapons they would soon use against us. (Ever been shot in the face with a Nerf dart?) But I don't think I added that much more to the mix last night than usual. These people just felt like getting rowdy. Spring fever, perhaps? And don't assume it was younguns--the oldest two people in the crowd were the ringleaders.

Ironically, we had originally thought this level of madness might transpire every night, and then when it didn't, we started to take for granted that all future Ubu viewers would be polite and respectful and suss out the unspoken etiquette of our unusual setup. But no!

Me, I thought the whole affair was fascinating as a study in mob psychology. (As Ma Ubu put it after the show, "I've never been on the receiving end of a 'Power to the people!' chant before this.") Then again, I wasn't the one getting pelted with plastic paratroopers and dodging 70 exploding confetti bomblets.

What will tonight's final (and already long sold-out) performance bring? Stay tuned!

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