Hi. I haven’t posted here in a while. Instead I’ve been mostly just reblogging links to my hilarious podcast. Seriously, check it out. It’s not your standard “nasally voiced white person acts opinionated about things” podcast. It’s a serialized radio-drama/absurdist comedy. Anyway, back to the post:
For the past 8 years, a small theater troupe in Brooklyn has been putting on an absolutely delightful word-for-word, gesture-for-gesture rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas. There’s a live jazz-trio doing a commendable take on the Guaraldi score. The actors move in hilariously jerky, artificial ways to replicate that of the 1965 animation. The first few years, they held this at an old, defunct firehouse space in Park Slope that has been torn down. Since, they’ve been doing various studio/warehouse spaces around Gowanus, pop-up style. My ex girlfriend introduced it to me but we broke up after she told me she thought she might eventually want kids and I told her no because children are filthy and the planet is dying. They sell beer and hot chocolate. The sets are simple and familiar(Snoopy’s house, the Psychiatrist Booth, etc). It’s a charming little blend of whimsy and nostalgia that has pretty dependably gotten me into the holiday spirit, even if I sort of zone out a little bit when Linus goes on his zealot monologue in the third act.
But the hip and pasty parents that drag their broods to this thing need to be vetted more carefully. This isn’t some free-to-attend 50’s doo-wop night down at the town bandshell. This costs twelve American dollars and the pedigree of the audience needs to reflect this.
Now, most of the children are respectful. They lean forward reverently when Charlie Brown explains his seasonal depression. They bop their heads(slightly off-rhythm) to the rolling bass and hi-hats of “Christmas Is Coming”. The lower brow ones will laugh when Snoopy does something funny or when Pig Pen smacks his coat and dust poofs out of it. This is fine. I’m talking about the almost-newborns, clueless, doped up on flax-heavy breast milk, and not interested in anything aside from gurgling loudly or screaming. I don’t blame them. Babies cry. It’s not their fault that mom and dad are patently awful. Just like it’s not their fault that they were conceived to side-two of “Frampton Comes Alive”, which was put on ironically, probably. But this is not for them. If you can’t get down solid food or if you can’t, like, exist without some guttural sound coming out of you involuntarily, you probably won’t appreciate anything going on in A Charlie Brown’s Christmas, in any of its incarnations. The parents know this. They don’t care. Dad’s head is still back with the old bedroom-pop band. Mom is still thinking about the transcendent still life she did in college. They tortured a restaurant staff at brunch and they’re going to see how long they could ride this out. And they’re going to keep doing it until someone stops them.