Blogs > The Arts Whisperer

Offering a fresh way of helping you keep up with art and entertainment happenings around the Capital District.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the hoff as hook

It's 9 am in London, but 4 am in N.Y. The time is the least of the differences between the too. For one thing you could never imagine what a disruption was caused by 4 inches of snow. Everything, and I mean everything, shut down for a couple of days and now 5 days later things are still not completely back to normal.

I did get out to Wimbledon last night to see a Panto. It is a popular British theatrical custom that takes a familiar story and plays fast and loose with the plot line. Add a popular star and a lot of bawdy humor and you have a light-hearted, silly, enjoyable night in the theater.

Last night's Panto was Peter Pan starring David Hasselhoff as Captain Hook. The Hoff as he is known in Europe is an incredibly popular personality and leaving the show I sort of understood it. He seldom took himself seriously and was self-depreciating throughout. One scene where cabin boy Roger tells Hook to relax and watch out over the bay has the Hoff reply something about Bay Watch. Another moment has a voice that might be in a car talking to Hook but calling him Michael, as in Knight Rider. And yes, he sings driving the audience into a delightful frenzy.

By the way Roger the cabin boy played by the flamboyant Louie Spence is over-the-top gay and the humor was neither subtle nor crude - just funny in a way that in the US would be so politically incorrect. I'm beginning to think you cannot be politically incorrect in the UK.

An important note is Panto's are popular family entertainments. Parents bring kids without fear that they will be harmed by such humor. The parents - in turn - are free to act as kids booing the villains and yelling out at the Indian maidens or Lost Boys that danger awaits behind them.

It's all silly fun but the creators stay true to the story without disrespecting the source material. It was a great time seeing Hoff the Hook.


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