I am a Yid. I like to rock. Veitur!

- [ Friday, June 11, 2004 ] -
"Like a lighthouse shining out over a sea of crap."

As previously mentioned, I saw Shaggs:Philosophy of the World last night. It was awesome. Truly a tragic story with many lessons to learn.

My wife likes musicals, and I was worried that I hated all musicals. I guess I just have trouble taking dancing street-gangs very seriously. Although I'm not as accepting of live musical theater as a form of entertainment, I can still appreciate the good ones. This one is really good.

If you are still wondering, "Who the heck are The Shaggs?"...
discography, lyrics, liner notes, bios...
Official Site of The Shaggs and Dot Wiggin
Some of the lyrics are especially revealing.

Before having gone to see the musical, I loved the story. It's just so tragic with plenty of opportunity for comedy.

I thought the subplot about the boyfriend, Kyle, was a little tacked on. I also thought that Austin Wiggin (the dad) seemed a little too stereotypical and could have seemed a little more "real." The three Wiggin girls were played perfectly. The mom was the saddest character.

After seeing the play I definitely saw truth in the statement from the liner notes of "Philosophy of the World," as written by Austin Wiggin: "They are sisters and members of a large family where mutual respect and love for each other is at an unbelievable high." Their love for each other and trust in their dad is their saving merit. If they didn't love each other so much, the play would merely be poking fun at them.

The play featured actual music from The Shaggs, re-enacted music of The Shaggs and a lot of original songs with a complementary feel. Most of the originals were pretty good and weren't too show-tuney. Especially since the orchestra consisted of only the rock pieces (guitar, drums, bass, keyboards).

The best musical scene took place in the recording studio where they recorded their album. The focus shifted from Shaggs' and Austin's perspective where the music was really rocking to the studio engineers' perspective with the actual music, where they had their hands on their faces.

The title of this post is a quote from the play. The girls performed in public for the first time at a talent show. The girls were really scared because they thought, correctly, that they performed horribly. Austin Wiggin ran backstage and completely raved about how beautiful their performance was. In his rave, he commented about how all the other acts were nothing and that their act was "like a lighthouse shining out over a sea of crap." Much like this musical is above all others.

NOTE: The real Shaggs' music, itself is good for only a few minutes at a time. And being on drugs helps. I was listening to the album while I was writing this and I had to shut it off. If you're not careful, it can make you pretty crazy.