Last night's performance of Mysterious Skin in Los Angeles was surprisingly packed for a Wednesday night, which is a good sign that my play will not lead East West Players to financial ruin. I seriously thought that was a possibility—SERIOUSLY.
Artistic Director Tim Dang himself has admitted the play is "the most challenging, edgy work EWP has ever produced in our 45 year history." You know, it's the kind of theatre that can make longtime subscribers vomit into their hands and ask for their money back. But strong word of mouth from people who do not vomit—and who, in fact, are deeply moved by the production—is apparently helping the show along.
In anticipation of those patrons prone to vomiting into their hands, though, there are so many subject-matter warnings on all the Mysterious Skin ads and promotional materials and there are signs taped up all over the theater—on doors, in stairwells, etc. (Click the photo to enlarge.)
Still, we get angry e-mails ("We found the nudity, foul language, and sexual situations offensive.... While we have seen such general warnings before, we have seen nothing like the intense, graphic violence that we saw today."); comment cards ("This is the most sadistic play I have ever seen."); and elderly Asian ladies fleeing the theater during intermission ("This is not my cup of tea! I'm not ready for these types of these things yet!") What I find most amusing by that last quote is the woman's use of the word "yet." Some day, ma'am, some day....
Anyway, aren't the warning sign's mention of loud sounds and fog effects and such the same kind of language that's used to keep people with heart conditions and pregnant women off roller coasters? Stay away, folks! I don't want anyone to pass out from watching this show. (Well, actually I do, but don't tell anyone.)
Get your Mysterious Skin tickets here.