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The Snowman Review | PJ Newman

The Snowman
Act 1

Firstly, and please don’t think me a racist, but I believe the dancer playing the Snowman to be a zombie.
We crossed paths backstage and his lifeless pallor, dead, blank eyes and breath that reeked of rotting human flesh was a dead giveaway. Plus, he wore a t-shirt that read, “Kiss Me, I’m Dead!”

I’m hoping that the rumor I heard on the way in is true, that there will be a human sacrifice performed during intermission. And I, being a guest of honor and above reproach, get to either pick the sacrificial lamb and/or
actually remove the organ in question. At this point, I’m planning on picking the entire tech crew.

The ballet, The Snowman, was commissioned by the LDS Church and written by Herman Goerring whilst awaiting jury duty in Nuremburg. The music was liberally borrowed from the 3 B’s (Bjorn, Benny and Beck) and played within a variety of pitches and keys by a nimble, if not criminally underage orchestra made up of escapees from a local clean coal mine. The premise of the story is one of eternal struggle, i.e.: Boy Meets (Creates) Snowman, Everybody Dances, Something with Animals, Snowman Dies, Drinks Afterwards at Kevin’s.

Children dancing. I don’t know what it is about kids in tutus having a fake snowball fight that reminds me of throat surgery and the incredibly painful recovery thereafter. A single (we assume) boy, playing in the snow with only his domineering mother as company, builds a snowman in the image of the Master Race, which, in this case, is a cross between the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Ron Jeremy. The boy believes that having a frozen juggernaut as a playmate will elevate his status in god only knows what. The mother, seeing the “Snowman,” drags the boy offstage to wash his colon out with soap. It’s the 3rd performance in a row that I’ve had to watch this play and just witnessing the mother try to walk across stage like a normal biped still astounds me. I heard she failed to get the part of a stationary tree and had the choice of either taking the part of the mother or staying late and licking the dance floor clean.

At this point, the Snowman comes to “life” and does his version of the Snoopy dance. The boy races out to him and drags him offstage so he cannot have any solo time. Stage goes black, as does my mood.

We next open to a charming set of the interior of what is either the boy’s house or an IKEA showroom.
This is where shit gets hazy for me…
A) How did the Snowman lose more weight than Oprah in 45 seconds?
B) If this dancer is supposed to be a cat, why does she have a tail and why isn’t one of her ears dangling by bloody sinews from her skull?
C) Why doesn’t the Snowman blow a fuse when he sticks a finger in an empty tree light socket?
D) What is the boy doing with a life sized wind up ballerina and where can I get one?

The next dancer is what the light guy describes as a jester. Joker? Fool? He doesn’t have any naked photos for clarification. Stage goes thankfully dark.

The next scene has the Snowman pushing the boy on a sled. Every time he pushes the boy away, he dances and jumps as if he’s just taken a bathrobe-clad bowel movement. After a few of these, the “bunnies” and something with a tail and an ass like November join in. The meaning of this is not immediately clear, but my lack of painkillers and bloody marys has me questioning everything I think I see onstage.
A human female sings offstage left. Seven white clad ballerinas with 3 black buttons running down their chests (an obvious homage to Stalin) perform a deliciously slow striptease, so slow in fact that the clothes do not come off until they return to the dressing room.
End Act 1.
Begin uncontrollable spasms.

Act 2.
Dark stage as the overture swells. It sounds familiar…Duh duh dee duh, duh dee dee dee.
It’ll come to me.

Flashbacks. The forest scene. Five trees. Five dancers. As the Snowman and boy appear onstage, the dancers dive behind the trees and search for anything to use as a weapon.
Mini snowman clones slither about upstage, followed by Santa (?). The boy cringes behind the Snowman, as do I. Santa passes out pills to all of the dancers, who pull previously unnoticed flasks from their dance skins. Whatever was in those flasks that washed down whatever Santa gave the dancers now has them dancing for joy with idiotic grins plastered to their faces. The snoclones (now numbering 7, the number of the beast?) perform a Munchkin-like dirge with the high stepping jackboot antics that Mr. Goerring made famous back in the day.

Those damn PENGUIN CHILDREN again. It’s like Mengele is backstage with a scalpel and a sewing kit.
Snowman and white ballerina dancing while not dancing, touching while not touching. The Dance of the Unclean? Once again, the ballerina begs the Snowman for some action, but he only has eyes for the boy, who has been carried away by Santa. The ballerina, frustrated, eyes the mini snowmen with renewed interest.

OK, I finally figured out what these new creatures are…Jackalopes! You know, you see them in truck stop post card racks, but never up close.
I can die a happy man now.

The Ice Princess makes her stage debut. Except that the dancer who played her part yesterday hurt her back, so they stapled 3 of the smaller children together to create a new Princess. It’s almost plausible, until the staples tear and they come apart mid-leap. The original dancer hobbles out with the power cable of her electric blanket trailing her like a rat’s tail. She executes her moves well, only screaming with pain when she lands on the child with exposed staples. One of the dancers appears to have an Uzi, but I can’t tell if it’s loaded. It is and she’s using it to keep the jackalopes in line as they do a tango.
The boy is hiding upstage behind a tree while the Snowman makes a pathetic advance on the white-clad ballerina. Santa and the Ice Princess catcall from downstage right. The 7 snowclones have become 13 since 2 dances before. Santa giving what looks like Kool Aid to 3 dancers while the rest sigh with relief.
Quick…jackalopes disappear, white ballerina gill nets the penguin children and drags them offstage and the snowman grabs the boy.

The baby who has been crying throughout the last 3 performances hears its cue (silence) and leads the orchestra into the last piece, wherein the boy, having tired of dancing and frolicking with supernatural beings, cries out “FUCK THIS” in a high pitched exclamation. This should be noted as the only piece of dialogue in the ballet and was wholly improvised.

(The following is notes from the first of 3 performances that I kept slipping in and out of consciousness)

There’s something disturbing about the relationship between the boy and the snowman. Theoretically, the boy is the snowman’s creator and the snowman displays many lost boy/pee wee herman/uber child-like attributes, but the boy/creator/god seems perfectly happy to let the snowman thing call the shots.
The dancing trees kind of freaked me out for a minute, but then I remembered that I have my knife with me.
The snowman wears whiteface, a mime w/o the beret and striped shirt. He has his hands on the boy’s shoulders and nobody says anything. The boy now runs (on point) across the stage and is feeling up 2 ballerinas. Snowman sees this and crosses upstage, playing skull bongo on the boy as one ballerina leaves and the other is searching the audience for a tattoo.
You’d either like this next part or be revulsed…HUMAN PENGUIN HYBRIDS! Emperors by the looks of things. Yellow feathers either side of the head, pouches stuffed with mackerel and krill.
The snowman is now dancing with the primaballerina except she’s not wearing blue anymore.
That’s beside the point. Point being, that the ballerina offers her “stuff” to the snowman, who rebukes her advances….refuses to cop a feel, accidentally let a hand grope an offered breast and grab an ass strutting like my cat when I pet her that certain way.
After the dance, the ballerina kisses the snowman as the boygod runs across stage and jealously grabs the snowman’s hand.
They cross to stage right.
Santa (?) enters upstage right w/ 3 reindeer or bats or something.
Rough trade, robes, chafing
Snowman hiding boy behind tree as Santa discusses animal husbandry. Reindeer leave small piles onstage as the boy and Santa plan menu.
Snowman doing the Lambada (The Forbidden Dance) with the Ice Princess, the one in blue (forget about what I said earlier).
Anyway, they’re doing their thing as the dancer in white tries to exit stage left before a ménage a trois is written into the second act by the boy. The snowman, being just about the only one onstage wearing pants, seems to be the “male” character, even though he squanders every opportunity to assert his masculinity and take what is rightfully his, after tithing 15% to the boygod.
Not sure about this scene. Santa, reaching into his bag of tricks. Santa as PIMP! The Ice Princess is definitely into the idea of the 3 way, maybe the prima is as well…..SHIT, he’s got 6 dancers onstage humping his leg and whispering teasers from the new Keanu Reeves movie into his ear, but all he wants to do is hold onto the boy.
I am sickened and saddened at once, or was it the truffles I’ve been placing between my cheek and gums since 10:30 this morning.
The boy, tired of the embarrassment caused by his creation, strikes him down with a snowball (how ironic) and a pot of hot chocolate. In a dream sequence, the boy kneels at the corpse of his creation while the ghost of the snowman dances upstage.
The End
Company Bow
Find Booze

The woman who plays the boy’s motherkeepermistressbodyguard stays on
point no matter what she’s doing. Me, with no arch whatsoever, cringe
from 75 feet away.

New light console showed up yesterday as previous one would dump the
show program at will. Will wasn’t amused. So, after getting the new
board programmed, everybody takes turns programming weird shit and
effects into the memory, never quite sure if it will override the ballet’s light program when the light guy isn’t looking.

Ballet parent/little league parents……