Surprise Stages

While I'm a traditional theater fan, I do like a play or a concert or a performance that happens in a non-traditional setting that may or may not have an actual stage.

A drama played out in a restaurant? A short concert on a roof? Yes and yes. Call it conflicting concepts occupying the same space (one of the themes of the Wilfair books, indeedy).

Surprising stages are the theme twice over in Los Angeles this weekend. Short plays are being performed by the dinosaur bones at our Natural History Museum and a "multi-sensory" dance piece is leaping about our huge airport.

Both of these surprise stages tickle my brain. Like.

I suppose the hotel and motel in the Wilfair series are stages of sorts, like every fictional setting is a stage. Nope, they're not traditional hotel stories, though there is a bit of that. Rather, pairing up a hotel setting with characters asking questions about love and friendship and personal power and missed opportunities and esoteric ideas seemed perfectly mismatchy to me, in a satisfying way.

A surprise stage, one that looks as if it is going to be about room service and bell carts, is the setting for another drama entirely. I hope the setting and themes feel perfectly mismatchy to you, too.

Do you have a favorite surprise stage, either in life or the life on the page or screen?

And now, dance! The Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre took to a local laundromat a few years ago to shimmy and writhe about the dryers. This hits my personal offbeat sweet spot square in its center, hits it with the force of Cupid's arrow.


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