Did you hear the one about the girls who went to see Shakespeare performed as a soft porn disco show, and then the smoke alarms went off in the theater, so they ended up standing outside in the rain while the firemen saved the day?
That was funny.
Not funny ha-ha…funny strange. The kind of funny where you find yourself looking around and thinking, “What the fu….?”
I had traveled all afternoon…in the rain…from New York City to Boston. I dumped my luggage and immediately headed to Harvard Square — in the unseasonably cold wind and semi-snow — to see “The Donkey Show,” a disco version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”
It looked a bit like you might expect. Big disco ball. Polyester-clad disc jockey. Male dancers in glitter and maniacal grins and little else, swishing about. A few unidentified costumed fancies who must be disco Shakespeareans. And lots and lots of forced gaiety.
Then, the smoke alarms sounded. The house lights came up, exposing the inherent shabbiness of the stage. The disc jockey was suddenly serious as he directed us out of the nearest exit. People stopped at coat check — coat check! — when a fire was supposedly raging inside. (It wasn’t…but still.)
And as we stood in the cold rain, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone had returned to normal in the street. No strobe lights to inspire sudden hip gyrations. No Donna Summers anthem to prompt leaping upon tables or railings. No wood nymph on roller skates to — well, to make you proud not to be starring in disco soft porn.
I almost hitched a ride with the fire department.