Was it just me, or was that the most enjoyable Oscars in years? Annually there’s at least one critic to point out how “boring” the Oscars were. But compared to what they were in the 1930s and for many decades hence, the modern Oscars are a barrel of laughs. Come on, would Norma Shearer have worn a Hunchback of Notre Dame costume for a cheap laugh, the way that Billy Crystal once dressed as Hannibal Lector? Did Spiro Agnew ever get up on stage to accept an Oscar, and make fun of himself at the same time? Not to mention that no previous Oscar ceremony had anything like the performance of Pilobolus and Ellen DeGeneres – enacting “Snakes on a Plane” behind a bright white sheet. Yes, there was Sascheen Littlefeather once, and a famous streaker, but most people want to enjoy the Oscars with friends and let it go down easy, with lots of jokes. DeGeneres was an inspired choice for host who never let anyone take the night too seriously. Bravo!
Sometimes things do get better with time. One continued bum note, as described in the WaPo – the popularity contest of the “death reel” – which could be tastefully be resolved by everyone holding their applause.
With a title like that, I thought they’d be channelling Bette in The Letter, but apparently it involves five characters trapped in an exotic Far East location, Casablanca style.
The book and lyrics are by Christopher Durang, playwright and Drama Desk nominated actor. Music is by Peter Melnick, who scored… L.A. Story. Intriguing, shall we say?