Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Room: The Play

Sunday was my 30th birthday. I'm not a big birthday person, and haven't been since the age of twelve (nothing is more tedious than adults who make a big fuckin' deal out of their birthday, just saying), and prefer not to do anything special for the day aside from going out (or calling in) for a nice meal. I am certainly not the kind of person who goes to the theatre for my birthday. But, as luck would have it, His Roomliness Sir Tommy Wiseau was appearing the day before at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD for a special live version of "The Room." No amount of emphatic typography can accurately capture the joy I felt at learning of this event.

For those not in the know, The Room is an epic saga of infidelity, betrayal, football, lies, and covert recording techniques, brought to you by the ambiguously European auteur Tommy Wiseau, who really did wear these pants:

Only $29.99 at Hot Topic!

I've seen The Room: The Movie about four times now, I think, which is four more times than any sane person, but I'm not a sane person. I'm a bad movie aficionado. And while I was basically expecting -- and would have been happy with -- a staged version of The Room, the play was way different, being more of a broad comedy (instead of a "quirky black comedy"... what T.W. called his masterpiece when people didn't appreciate its dramatic aspirations) with a fair amount of improv, caused by Tommy purposely throwing off the rest of the cast. He may not have been in on the joke before, but he is now.

There were also a number of changes to the cast and plot, although all the best scenes and lines are still there. Relatively minor character Scott was a main player, and was the main foil for the actor playing Denny (who did the best job in this aside from the Wiseauminator). A new character, Travis, added a musical flourish:

Yeah baby, open your hard to me.

In closing, go see this if you're a fan of The Room. Or even if you're not, what the hell. I gather that the Silver Spring theater puts on live showings every few months, although this was the first with The Tommy Himself. I'll miss his leather pants and surprisingly sculpted upper body when I see it next time, but he's so busy with publishing The Room: The Bookconverting his film to 3-D, and in general milking this puppy* for all it's worth. A full touring schedule would tear him apart.

(These pictures were taken by Rob, who has a way better cell phone camera than me.)

* Hi, doggie!

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