Monday, July 23, 2012

Children in the Mist: Finally an Opera for the Stephen King fan

             So, this past weekend I went to go see Children in the Mist-A Horror Opera, presented by the Fringe Festival and written by Sean Pfleuger. It was based on one of the works of a great writer, Stephen King. (The horror writer. Not the guy who works for the government.) I went to go see it because 1) I really like Stephen King, and 2) The opera itself written by a friend of mine that I went to high school with. Granted we haven’t spoken in years, but it was more of a falling off the radar type of thing and not a drag-out knock down fight that ended in tears. I can make up a story about how one of us wronged the other, and then allowed the story escalate into a zanier and zanier series of antics, but Seans’ a good guy, and that story is better suited for a hilarious summer comedy starring let’s say Jack Black and Channing Tatum since everyone loves Channing Tatum now, and he could do well to star in another comedy. (Note: Get Jack Black’s people on the phone after this blog is written.)

                I am not going to do a review of the Opera itself, because as mentioned Sean is a friend of mine, and I couldn’t be objective. I'm mainly mentioning it because it was a good experience for me, and it is interesting to see a modern piece of literature turned into a modern opera. It's a nice reminder that not all opera has to be fat guys in viking helmets singing in Italian. (Note: I don't see a lot of opera.) But a modern interpretation of a modern story is just an excellent thing. Too often we're hung up on the idea that "literature" is sacred and only from old things and interpreting something modern into a classic form like this is somehow "cheap" or "doesn't count." This opera is a great example of twisting expectations. And as you may have guessed, I'm a HUGE fan of twisting expectations. 

               Like horror? It’s a great horror story. Like opera? It’s an awesome opera. Like mimes? No? Good there are zero mimes in it. Also I went to the last showing, which a reviewer probably shouldn’t do. But I enjoyed it as a fan of the theater, and it is interesting to see any story presented in a different manner. In this case the opera tended to drift more towards the movie adaptation that came out a few years ago starring the Punisher in a very non-Punisher type role. While they contain a lot of the same themes, one depressing ending is traded for another much more horrific depressing ending. The movie version lends itself better to a tragic opera, I felt, so I’m glad that’s the ending that Sean went with when writing this opera.

                Children in the Mist was a great experience. It was certainly fun to see a work presented by someone I knew back in “the day”.  It was fun seeing a story that I liked reinterpreted in a new way as well. I’m always looking for new interpretations of good stories.  If it’s presented again and you didn’t go see it you, probably should. And that’s not just because he’s a friend of mine, I don’t give away advertising on this blog. I do however, allow people to pay for advertising, which is why this weeks’ posts are all brought to you by Franklin Family Construction: When the moat around your evil lair absolutely has to be built overnight.

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