Monday, February 08, 2010

Whisper House Revisited

On Wednesday night, I was out at Bar Pink catching Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen, and I bumped into some friends who had gone to see Whisper House based on the review I wrote about the show. This pleased me to no end, because it's nice to know people actually read and take to heart some of my suggestions, but even more than that, they loved the show as much as I did. I had already made plans to see the show again the next night, but based on their thoughts, I was excited to see how the show had changed from when I saw it. I knew there were some re-writes and changes in the story, and that the original Christopher was no longer in the show, so I was interested to see if it would hold up.

I don't really ever read The Reader outside of Blurt, but while flipping through, I read their scathing review of the show and I questioned my own opinion, as if maybe I'm just not theatre-savvy enough to be appropriately critical. After seeing the show a second time, call me easy, but I loved the show even more, and frankly will just continue to ignore The Reader's reviews on just about everything, because how they see the world is clearly different than the way I see it.

This time around I took my mom. She's the kind of person who loves specific shows...Hair, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and we even dropped $95 a ticket to see Sebastian Bach as the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar a few years back. As a kid she used to take us to pretty much anything Bill Virchis was involved with around San Diego and sometimes to local high school productions, too, but bigger shows were out of our budget. I'll also say about my mom that after I kept programming it into their car stereo, KPRi is her favorite radio station, though she still has no idea who Duncan Sheik is, but she's pretty open minded when it comes to music.

I didn't want to influence my mom with the show, so I didn't tell her anything about it except that I saw the show and thought she'd like it. And she did. She loved it, actually. She thought the music was great, the story fit. She read the program before the show and she really connected the parallels with wartime fear-mongering done during WWII and the U.S. response post-9/11.

It isn't a complicated story, and any holes that might've existed have been filled. I suspect that if you're a right-wing conservative, you'll have a visceral reaction to this show and it's probably not for you. Ditto if you're not into contemporary rock music. I consider the music quite mellow, but at times the seniors around me looked like they were watching Black Sabbath or something. After the show, an elderly woman turned to her husband and said, "You couldn't pay me enough money in the world to see this play again." And that's fine. I can see how this show wasn't for her. On the other hand, as my 59 year old mom said, "sometimes old farts just can't be pleased." As I said last time, if you're looking for a traditional musical, this is not it. I've heard that one of the biggest complaints is that there's no dancing and that the actors don't sing. For that I am grateful. I prefer the singing be left to the ghosts.

The show has two more weeks before it ends on February 21 and I would encourage you to check it out. I know it's not cheap, but there are several outlets for discounted tickets that you can try:

20under30: The Old Globe has a program for people under 30 to buy tickets for $20. Only the purchaser has to be under 30, and your ID will be checked at the show, but this is a bargain worth investigating.

Goldstar: Goldstar events still has some of the best ticket discounts in San Diego and have offered tickets at half off through the entire run of Whisper House. Sign up now and take advantage before the show leaves San Diego. (There are also pre-sale tickets for the new Cirque Du Soleil Kooza at steep discounts.)

Win Here: Since you've read this far, I have TWO pairs of tickets to give away for the show. You can see any performance (subject to availability). Send your name and phone number in an email with subject Whisper House to sddialedin AT gmail. I will pick one winner on Wednesday and one more on Friday.

For ticketing and more show information, click here.

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