Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Peking Acrobats @ The Hollywood Bowl

HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 7 - The Peking Acrobats came to town. From the $14 seats, the whole thing felt like watching the Olympics on a very small 3D TV set. The event ran a little heavy on the orchestras - the L.A. Phil and a Chinese ensemble - and a little light on the acrobatics, but when things got going it was great spectacle. All fifteen thousand of us seemed to tense and shudder when a smiling middle aged woman built a 5 story tower out of Ikea Börje chairs and proceeded to balance herself on top of that by her left pinkie, endangering her own welfare and half the musicians. Through some opera glasses, I caught her blank, unwavering smile, and recognized it as the same expression sported by most Chinese athletes I have seen in the media - the carefully controlled public emotions designed to seal over childhoods lost to practice and unimaginable discipline. That part was a little creepy.

During intermission, Tara and I discovered David Liebe Hart selling CDs by the entrance to the Bowl complex. Hart is a regular on "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" a sometimes funny, sometimes disgusting and lazy sketch comedy show that features a variety of "outsider art" types (and which makes me uncomfortable about the disgusting and lazy nature of some of my own past artistic offerings).

DL Hart wore his trademark bluetooth and performed with his trademark puppets, and asked Tara if she could fix him up with any of her friends. He also said she looked like Betty White, which would have been a great compliment if this was 2032. Then he drew our caricature for $3.

This drawing took him 45 seconds and looks nothing like either of us. Afterwards, trudging out in the slow throng of Angelinos, we had to pass under the oversized scowl of Nick Cave, who will be playing the Bowl on the 17th and has almost completed his own transformation into Neil Diamond. No sale.