Prince Gomolvilas and Jukebox Stories
2008-06-06 @ 11:06 a.m.
About a year ago I was reading Diablo Cody’s blog Pussy Ranch- and she told some LA anecdote about stalking some myspace video store hotties and linked to the blog of her partner in crime in that expedition-Prince Gomolvilas. The blog was Bamboo Nation, and I was immediately delighted to discover that Prince was prolific, funny, topical, and has great taste in music (seriously- he likes NICK LOWE, which continually delights me). Not to mention that he’ll even talk about tweeny stuff that I pretend I only know about because of being a mom, like High School Musical and Drake and Josh. He hits all my entertainment points on a regular basis. He’s also a playwright, which makes me like him even if he wasn't so funny and bright, because right after high school I got a scholarship to a young playwright’s thing (conference? camp?) through the Playwright’s Center and it was amazing and I still secretly want to write a play more than all the other things I aspire to. (blah blah blah let’s get back to the subject of Prince, shall we?)
Jukebox Stories is a collaboration Prince does with songwriter Brandon Patton, and when they played in San Francisco and Los Angeles I was so jealous and sad I couldn’t go, thinking “of course, here’s a show I would actually pay a babysitter to go see, and it would also require a plane ticket..” and feeling sorry for my pathetic lack of really good entertainment. Then Prince got invited to the Asian American Theater Conference at the Guthrie here in Mpls. And he and Brandon started plotting to do Jukebox Stories here, and that more than any other thing, is evidence that dreams come true.
I saw Jukebox Stories last night, and it was everything I was hoping it would be, and more. I’m not really even kidding. It was fun, casual, interactive- and both Brandon and Prince are terrific performers, since they are themselves in the show, they come off as animated and sincere- as you’d hope someone performing as themselves would be. (I could go on and on about Brandon's terrific music too, and I'm sure I will another day when I am not gushing about Prince instead- I will just say that I don't think I will ever tire of listening to "Mo Song", which you can listen to at their MySpace page for free link below) I could only wish that it went on longer, but with my tiredness, as well as my 9 yr old theater companion it was just as well it did not (especially since I’ve learned from the Jukebox Stories CD I acquired that there’s a musical number called “Munching the Cooch” and that would have potentially been more awkward with the Mina that’s a regular in the show). My favorite piece of the night was “A Jukebox Story” which was very reverent and came close to moving me to tears. I can only hope I’m lucky enough to see more of Prince’s work performed here locally if that’s any indication of the dramatic power he can wield.
Next time Jukebox Stories plays here, all y’all who are local are coming along. Especially those of you who love my precocious 9 yr. old.
Jukebox Stories MySpace Page
Bamboo Nation (Prince's blog)
Brandon Patton's website
PS- I just saw that someone said that they were "shocked" a parent brought their 9 yr old to Jukebox Stories, especially if they were familiar with his material. I got all inwardly defensive and jokey in my head, and then just realized that I'm just one of those parents, who expose their children to innappropriate material without too much thought. I mean like language? I worry about what they are saying, not what they hear. They are both smart enough to look past language at content for the most part already. But my feelings are hurt since I know I am not the careful, protective parent I should probably be. I can only console myself knowing that I try much harder to limit their exposure to actual innappropriate behavior.