Sunday, August 03, 2008

All things considered I couldn't be better, I must say

[This post is rated PG-13, for language. Just so you know.]

Back on Thursday the 17th of July, my fiancée requested that I be at her place by 7:00. She would not specify why, other than to suggest we were doing something which was a surprise.

I was there by 6:57.

She noted that jeans and a t-shirt would be appropriate wardrobe for the evening's activities, so it would be an informal event, whatever it was. But she brought a bottle of wine.

We got in the car, drove down the block, stopping at chicken restaurant for some take-out. We headed down Hollywood Boulevard, through slow traffic, and eventually turned up Cahuenga. It seemed we were heading for the Hollywood Bowl. Except we'd never drive there; parking was too crazy there, so we would have walked and taken the shuttle bus were that the destination.

We arrived at the John Anson Ford Theater, across the 101 freeway from the Hollywood Bowl. We parked, brought our food, and stopped at the box office. I was told to wait away from the window while she procured the tickets.

As I waited, holding the bag of chicken, I noticed a sign by the entrance for "OutFest" and discerned the same logo on the shirts of those working the door. OutFest is, for those who don't know, a gay and lesbian film festival.

I wasn't sure if that was what we were attending or merely was an upcoming event, but I wasn't concerned if it was. It would be something special for me, and if nothing else I was happy to be out for the evening (no pun intended).

We ascended the multiple stairways leading up to the doors to the amphitheater, not finding any open picnic areas along the way; we would have to eat at the seats. However, when we got up there they were not yet allowing entry, so we had to stand around, not eating the food we held.

I still had no specific idea what we were doing, but I did notice through the open doors that a screen was up, so it seemed likely a film would be shown. What it was I did not know. My fiancée kept asking if I really didn't know, and I kept answering I did not. She then pulled out the ticket stub and showed it to me.
Printed on it: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, The Sing-along.

That's right. They were showing the 1999 South Park movie for the purpose of having a sing-along.

For those who have not perused my profile (or seen my Facebook page), the SP movie was my favorite of that year. I saw it multiple times in the theater. I own the soundtrack on CD.

So I understood how it was something she figured I'd like.

And yes, it was being shown as part of a gay film festival. As the person who came out to introduce it said: "Some people may wonder what's gay about South Park. And I say: Have you seen it?"



By the way, we were let in to the amphitheater with enough time to eat before they started the show. I know you were wondering about that.

Being an outdoor facility, obviously they couldn't "bring down" the lights on cue. Starting the movie had to wait until the sun had set and it got dark.

In addition to running the movie on the screen, there was also a projector with the words to the songs that ran like subtitles along the bottom. (Occasionally the person running that part would start the slides (I presume they were) too soon and then would have to advance through them rapidly to get back to the start of the upcoming song. Perhaps this was intended as a quick primer.) So, no, we were not expected to remember all the words to "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" off the tops of our heads.

The songs may be filled with profanity at times (which is the point of the plot, for those who haven't seen it), but they also mimic and lampoon typical musical numbers remarkably well. Do bear in mind that the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Song category.

Who goes to sing words like "Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker" at the top of their lungs, in a group, under the stars? (Besides us.) Everyone.

Well, not literally everyone; the theater holds only around 1200. However, it was nearly filled to capacity.

Were there obviously gay people there? Yes. Were there "breeders"* (besides us)? It certainly appeared to be so. Were there people that one would not necessarily peg as diehard South Park fans? I'd say that was most of the crowd. The audience looked to be mixed evenly along gender lines.

In short, the songs of Trey Parker bring out everyone--whether one is out or not.

(Well, everyone with a open-minded sense of humor, or at least a general appreciation of satire, and who is not easily offended.)


My fiancée is super, thanks for asking.

(Yes, I await the first person to leave a comment making the obvious joke.)


* I feel compelled to explain I use this term sardonically (although I concede there are those who use it without their tongue being in their cheek). I'm not crazy about calling heterosexuals "straight" as it implies homosexuals are somehow "bent." Which they may or may not object to, but that's not why I eschew its use; it doesn't convey my meaning.

And gaging the sexual orientation of strangers from observation alone is, admittedly, a less-than-ideal method, but... well, let's face it: there are certain signs that are hard to miss.

1 comment:

So, what do you think?