Monday, October 12, 2009

"Vaya Con Dios, Brah"... Live

Back in college, one night the Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze masterpiece "Point Break" screened on HBO. One of my roommates and I spent the next two hours, nestled in our seats, skewering the movie "Mystery Science Theatre 3000"-style. I

I'm not the only one, obviously, who's been intrigued by "Point Break" through the years. It's truly the perfect, hallmark example of a movie that's "so bad, it's good." Merge Keanu's stiff acting with a ridiculous FBI-meets-surfing plot, and it's not hard to see why "Point Break" resonates, 18 years later.

Enter the folks behind "Point Break Live," who have upped the movie's profile via this spoofy theater-based adaptation, which has been performed throughout the country. Here in Los Angeles, "Point Break Live" just celebrated its second anniversary.

We were there on Saturday night to catch the second anniversary show -- and so was ABC News' "Nightline," taping it for an upcoming segment. (Proof that what started as a silly spoof has now become quite a mainstream performance.) Also in the crowd: The original writer of "Point Break," Peter Iliff -- who apparently is a fan.

For the uninitiated, "Point Break Live" revolves around a big conceit: That Keanu's performance as undercover agent Johnny Utah was so bad that ANYONE could do it. So at the start of each show, a random audience member is tapped to play the lead role in the play. After being outfitted in a wet suit, he (or she) is followed around by a "production assistant"/cue card girl, and fed his lines. (Laughs come thanks to the amateur's wooden, Keanu-like delivery and frequent line stumbles).

The play is pretty faithful to the movie -- after all, how do you out-spoof something that's so ridiculous to begin with? That includes "Point Break's" cartoony violence and silly surf scenes. Audience members are strongly advised to buy a $1 poncho before the show, as they're sure to be doused with Super Soakers during surf scenes, or with fake blood during the movie/play's gory shootout scenes.

Be warned: Things get a bit physical, depending where you're sitting in the audience. When the "Ex-Presidents" terrorize a bank, they race through the crowd, forcing your heads down. And when "Bodhi's" fellow surf goons show up, they're not shy in invading some audience members' personal spaces.

Tix are $20. If you like your live theatre with a little spoof and a lot of liquids, this is your show.

Point Break Live! at The Dragonfly
6510 Santa Monica Blvd.
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM

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