The feeling’s gone, BO

I don’t know where we went wrong but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.

–Gordon Lightfoot

Theatre at old Maui High. Picture copyright Eva van Loon.

Theatre at old Maui High. Picture copyright Eva van Loon.

The loss of a love always hurts. I have to tell you, BO, I’ve been hurting for months. You don’t seem to be the man I thought you’d be. I expected more…you know, results. Results in which I thought I’d play at least a small part. Stupid me.

Not to mention how embarrassing it is to see you get a shove onto the world stage and hear some odious stage manager hiss at you, “Break a leg!”

At first this production really infuriated me. What was this—“The 20 Stooges?” What an inane script! And your lines…why would you even take such a vapid role? That dumb stuff about how crossing the red line would bring out the warrior in you? Obviously the Iago character will promptly engineer a trespass over that line, and there’s our hero, hoist with his own petard!

So finally the G20 scene lumbers into motion. Like plenty of others in your audience, I’d already seen a few too many real facts: the video showing alleged Syrian rebels acting out an attack, complete with fake blood and wounds, and that report regarding the fearsome chemical weapons–mostly fluoride, the same stuff lacing America’s drinking water. That’s why, when you came onstage to utter those first lines about how your character is certain the Syrian government has gassed its own people, you heard those derisive hoots of “Get off your high horse!” and “False flag!”

That’s when I slumped in my seat, hands over face in shame. What happened to the valiant hero who had me screaming with joy and hope five years ago? Why were you playing a monster—or the puppet whose strings were being tweaked by monsters? Then and there, BO, I lost the feeling, and I just can’t get it back.

However, having had a night to sort out thoughts from feelings (while still fuming over the price of my ticket to this extravagant, pretentious production), I must admit, BO, you pulled this one out of the fire. Is the director apoplectic because you refuse to stick to the script?

That first trick you pulled, foregoing your soliloquy, “To strike or not to strike” in favor of giving Congress that honor, was our clue that maybe you actors were getting together in the green room—or maybe the kitchen, likely the only room in the world theater that isn’t bugged—to orchestrate a surprise scene. John played his bit part perfectly, remarking that if the bad guy would let his weapons be taken over by an international posse, the red line would magically disappear.

Presto! Such a posse magically forms. The Russian character magnanimously offers to take on the suicidal mission. BO rides off into the sunset, unloaded rifle carelessly laid across his knees.

The horse snorts. Terrible writing. Bad theater.

The moral of the story? For the audience, Don’t expect true love from an actor. The feeling’s still gone, BO. But I’ll buy a season’s ticket to your show.

What’s your next death-defying act?

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