“The Revenge of the Space Pandas”

A lot of family life and energy around the house lately has involved Will’s participation in the Greenhills Middle School production of “The Revenge of the Space Pandas, or, Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock.”

Here’s a link to a Flickr set of a few pictures and videos.

Now, I’m not going to critique the actual performance/production, because my son was in it (basically as an extra, though he did have one scene as “cameraman”) and hey, it was a middle school play! It was both cute and a bit “rough,” with some very charming and entertaining moments.  But of course it was wonderful, at least from my point of view.  Still, the play itself– wow that was weird.

It’s a David Mamet play he wrote in the late 1970s.  Binky (along with his friend Vivian and his sheep Bob) invents/discovers a “two-speed clock” that somehow allows the trio to travel to a different planet or dimension called Crestview which is ruled by George Topax and which is populated with Crestviewians and Space Pandas.  Topax wants to take and keep (and kill?) Bob the sheep because he wants a sweater.  Hijinks ensue.

Now, on the plus-side, there are funny and absurd moments, and some moments of that staccato Mamet dialog.  No f-bombs or other vulgarities obviously, but there were moments where you do have some of the kind of rhythms of language you see in other Mamet work.  But what’s the deal with the Space Pandas?  What’s the relationship between them and the Crestviewians?  And couldn’t they just, you know, sheer Bob and give the Topax guy a sweater?  And so forth.

Like I said, weird weird weird.

But like I also said, the Greenhills folks did a fine job of it.  Originally, Will wanted a bigger part, but to be honest, I’m not sure he would have had the energy for it.  He’s been pretty pooped this week, and his was a small part.  And he’s not crazy about the make-up.  But there will be some production next year, and we’ll see what he decides to do then.

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