Monday, January 15, 2007


So, as mentioned, I drove in to OC on Friday evening to go see a man about a horse, otherwise known as the Tony-award winning play Equus.

It was at the tiny Stages theater, not that tiny is such a bad thing when it comes to puttin' on a show, but...well. I'm not sure what to say about the play. I was all geared up for some real drama, darkness, and violence. And I suppose all of that was present, too, but what was most obvious to me was the play felt dated, referencing back to an era a few decades ago when therapy and psychiatry were the hot topics of conversation at New York cocktail parties. (Unlike now, when the hot topics are real estate and equity). (Or so I hear tell.)

Anyway, the play is about a psychiatrist treating a disturbed young man who has taken a spike and blinded six of the horses at the stable where he's employed. But really, it's supposed to be about passion, and religion and how the shrink feels like maybe he shouldn't try to "cure" the kid, since he feels passion (albeit for the Horse God) on a daily basis, whereas the shrink hasn't kissed his wife in six years. Yadda yadda yadda...

Okay, so maybe I should insert here that the six wounded horses were ever-present at the side of the set, as portrayed by six shirtless men wearing close-fitting Juicy-type brown sweats, their heads adorned with heavy, open-air metal replicas of horse heads -- with the wire mesh on the eyes ripped for effect. They were also up on half-foot metal stilts that ended in what looked like real horseshoes. Every once in a while, when the drama onstage called for it, the horses would paw the ground, making a harsh, metal scraping sound on the concrete floor. And occasionally, they would also prance around the perimeter of the boxing-ring like set where the drama unfolded.

But this isn't what made me giggle. No, what made me want to start giggling in that bad laughing-at-a-funeral sort of way, was the impassioned cries of the actor playing the young man, as he lived out his Horse-as-Jesus reveries and called out the names of the horses, something like: "and the Fleck! and the Flick!" (And the My Friend Flicka?) And, referencing, the metal bridle or mouthpiece thingys that horses wear: "And the Chankity-Chank!" Lord. Maybe I would've been okay if I'd only heard that phrase once, but I heard "chankity-chank!" a good handful of times...and that's even with us leaving the show at intermission.

No, we didn't stay until the end. I sat there, worried, feeling like maybe moving seventy-plus miles from any kind of cultural center really has started to turn me into some kind of puffy hick. So I was quite relieved when the lights rose for intermission to see Christina roll her eyes and say that she was quite ready to bail, too.

But the evening was hardly a wash. There was my time browsing alone at the cool Out of Vogue thrift store, where I bought a vintage tweed coat and two atomic-esque dinner plates. Not to mention lots and lots of catching up and man-dishing with a good friend that I don't see hardly enough of these days.

A man about a horse, indeed.


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