Had a relaxing evening with longtime friends on Sunday. Betty invited Ken, myself and Jeannette to an evening of theater. We met in Culver City's restored downtown for a bite of dinner and a play called "This Beautiful City" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
The theatre itself is a terrific little space. It's the old Culver Theatre, complete with original neon pylon and marquee, renovated into a state of the art 317 seat theatre. Our visit was complete with Kirk Douglas and his wife Anne, who are acquaintances of Betty and Jeanette. Although time has left his mark, the face is unmistakably Kirk Douglas. So the evening started on a high note.
The play, however, did not keep us there. "This Beautiful City" is a mockumentary about the 2006 Elections and the struggle between the Evangelicals and the Gay and Lesbian movement in Colorado Springs, on the eve of Ted Haggards's exposure as a methed up gay whoremonnger.
As much potential as that situation would have, however, was disappointingly executed. It was supposed to be about the filming of a documentary, so each scene represented raw footage. However, unlike a real documentary, there was no editing or distilling of the footage to create a compelling message. Instead, it was just a series of unfocused scenes which showed each group at their worst. As presented, it could have been titled "This Hateful City full of Unhinged People who lack Articulate Thought", but that hardly rolls off the tongue.
Great subject matter, but unable to recommend. Perhaps, as with a real documentary, a skillful editor could yet salvage the piece. I'd love to see this theme handled skillfully.
But hey, I got to meet Kirk Douglas.