Brian wrote this column naked (underneath his clothes)BRIAN MATUSZAK: So the apocalypse appears to be right on schedule this summer.
By: Brian Matuszak, for the Budgeteer
So the apocalypse appears to be right on schedule this summer.
We experienced a 500 Year Flood in June, and for these first few weeks of July, we’ve all been sizzling like human bacon on the Planet Griddle. It’s too soon to say with certainty that the Mayans were right and the world will end this December (that depends on how the elections go in November), but something sure seems off.
What does August hold for us? Well, according to the well-reasoned and educated radio hosts on WDSM, Barack Obama may have some evil weather device hiding in a silo in Wisconsin. Or something like that. Truthfully, I get nappy when Rush goes on vacation.
Speaking of the heat, it sure seems to have affected everyone here in the Northland. Rummage sales are down because nobody wants to venture into a dusty garage and be smothered in a sticky blanket of humidity just to examine old VHS copies of “Blossom” and incomplete kitty jigsaw puzzles.
The oppressive temperatures have gotten so bad, the actors at the Duluth Playhouse have been shedding their costumes and performing naked in plays, which the Duluth News Tribune (official motto: “If it ain’t a bear, or nudity, we ain’t interested.”) breathlessly covered in a story, then covered up in a photo.
I didn’t think being naked onstage was that big of a deal. I mean, an actor has to emotionally get naked every time they perform in a role, unless they’re doing Neil Simon. Then they’re doing what’s called “schtick”, and naked schtick and regular schtick are two completely different things, unless you’re Sharon Stone.
These local actors have guts, which coincidentally are the only parts of them you CAN'T see. I’ve been involved in live theater for nearly thirty years, and I can’t imagine appearing onstage in my birthday suit, which currently needs pressing.
I mean, I have trouble looking people in the face when I take off my socks. The most flesh I’ve presented to a ticket-buying public was when I played a shirtless Jesse Ventura a few years back in a sketch comedy revue. I put a self-deprecating note in the program about how no one really wanted to see me naked and the DNT reviewer, of course, agreed with me 100 percent … but I digress in a humiliated fashion.
Why is being naked so weird? It’s the way we come into the world, after all. It’s the way we spend the majority of our day, underneath our clothes, so why is it worthy of a front-page story in the Duluth News Tribune? My theory is that the editors were confused. They heard there was a bare butt at the Playhouse, thought it was Berlin’s rear end, and went nuts.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and offers this piece of advice to other theater companies who want to jump on the Au Naturel Actor Bandwagon: Don’t stage “A Few Nude Men,” “Little Buff Women,” or “The Stark Naked Odd Couple.” No one wants to see that.