Friday, September 3, 2010
"Frontier Psychiatrist" The Avalanches
The Donaldson's are sorta hard-up for cash. That's probbably the reason they made their family reunion into a stage show. Curtain:
Open on cousins Anita and Rufus, performing their conceptual play "The Re-Birth of Dexter Fishbourne." It features meticulous reconstructions of mid-century furniture and clothing, a moody color scheme, and impeccable make-up to make the two young, earnest art students appear middle aged. It is mind-numbingly boring. Nobody invited them onstage in the first place. Anita and Rufus were supposed to be watching Granny. They weren't. She is now getting her Dave Grohl on.
The family rallies itself, and the lights go up, cleverly shifting the focus from the pretentious drivel to the REAL show. Cousin Mikey and his Teutonic Trumpeters provide a rousing accompaniment for Crazy Aunt Loretta's Necromantic Chorus. She's been working to gather the ancestors for weeks. They have Donaldsons going back to the civil war. MCing are perennial favorites Uncle Walter and Grandpa Albert.
Little Tommy (Who ain't so little any more) has graciously volunteered to be psychoanalyzed onstage. Mostly so he doesn't have to be the ventriloquist dummy again. His brother Frank makes due with a coconut. Adopted twims Andre and Rahshaad (who are actually six years old, though the gladular disorder would have you think different.) amuse themselves with cowboy costumes and kazoos.
Anita's mother Lucy has attempted to teach Ned the family donkey a rhythmic gymnastics routine. Ned never really took to it. He's really more of an unever-bars kind of guy. He turns his back as Lucy attempts to carry the act. She is seriously reconsidering their artistic relationship.
It turns out Loretta went a little crazy. Uninvited ancestors begin to manifest themselves. Some of them not completely. They debate politics, and have conversations about parotts that have been out of context for generations. Aspiring actresses Leda and Linda mercilessly self-promote. Cousin Andy does the finances. He is not pleased about doing them onstage. The tickets havent sold well and it's hard to contain his displeasure. Also the chair makes his butt look big. Marcus attemps to help, hynotizing the crowd into buying over-priced concessions.
Abducted years ago, Ronald makes his big return. He is the most popular DJ on Orion 7 and thinks maybe Now his father will be proud of him. The pets are out of control. Backstage, there's a pool going: Will the monkey eat the bird or vice versa? Nope. Dance off. The curtain is hasitly closed when Ulf and his band of seven Mariachi-playing husbands return from Oxaca. Nobody really talks about Ulf anymore. But ever loyal, Ulf encourages the audience to buy his family's record.
All the while wry commentary is provided by Ignatius, who really developed quite the sense of humor after that incident in the Galapagos with the turtle.