Luv Doc Recommends: The Rude Mechanicals' Pink Eye Ball

The Off Center, Saturday, August 7, 2004

Luv Doc Recommends: The Rude Mechanicals' Pink Eye Ball

Local live theatre? Better than a sharp stick in the eye? Not necessarily so. Who hasn’t spent an hour or two bathed in hot sweat, biting through their lips in vicarious embarrassment as their landlord/yoga instructor/dentist/parole officer/sister-in-law pranced around onstage (if there was one) in a silly costume and bad make-up booming lines in an overly theatrical, vaguely British stage voice – a voice with all the subtlety of a drunk shouting into the speaker at a Jack in the Box drive-through at 3am? Who hasn’t wanted to melt into that pool of sweat on the bottom of that rickety metal folding chair and flow silently, mercurially out the door long before the curtain (if there is one) falls and the artificially huge, cathartic sigh of applause from the greatly relieved audience reaffirms that the abomination will continue its run, unfettered by the negativity of cruel reality? Who hasn’t longed to be the unsupportive heartbreaker, the lone voice of truth crying out amidst the din of mendacity that the emperor has no clothes … or at least, if he does, they’re out of period? Hey, no one’s saying local live theatre is all bad. In fact, in Austin at least, most of it is pretty good. But live theatre isn’t like pizza and sex, it’s more like fish: When it’s bad, it’s really, really bad. This makes it all the more imperative to support the good stuff; the sort of theatre that makes you pissed at yourself for staying home and watching TV, which, when you think about it, is even more of an abomination that making bad theatre. With TV, you’re not even making an effort. This weekend you can make an effort and help make some great local live theatre by attending the Rude Mechanicals’ annual Eye Ball, a fun-filled fund-raiser for one of Austin’s most entertaining and innovative theatre companies. Since their beginnings in 1995, the Rude Mechanicals have been at the forefront of original theatre in Austin, producing award-winning shows that have helped place Austin on the map as the cultural nexus of Texas. For the last four years, the Rude Mechanicals have been voted by Chronicle readers as the Best Theatre Company in Austin. A recent string of hits includes crowd pleasers like Requiem for Tesla, Throws Like a Girl, El Paraiso, and Lipstick Traces, which received a critically acclaimed off-Broadway premiere and has already completed two successful national tours. Still, just in case you’re not completely convinced your money and your heart aren’t in the right place, the Rude Mechs have lined up an exciting night of entertainment that features the formidable musical talent of Glover Gill and Robert Kraft, free beer from Real Ale, food by 34th Street Cafe, and a huge silent Auction with items from some of Austin’s best businesses and artisans. Tickets are $60 for couples (hey, even if you’re single, why not take a friend as a couple), $35 for singles, and, in a highly compassionate gesture by those who are and have been there, $15 for starving artists. Just try to look gaunt. You will definitely want to wear pink, too, because the Pink Eye Ball is about color, not conjunctivitis. Hey, if you’re too butch to own any, just throw something red in with the whites and spin the dial to “hot.”

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