Weirdos Weirdos Everywhere

By Emmaly Wiederholt

I’m a bit of a mess. Sometimes I’m goofy and clown around. Other times I want to dive into a philosophical treatise on art. Then someone says something that makes me want to cry, and soon I’m laughing at myself, crying. I’m simultaneously needy, the life of the party, and introverted. I like to come up with ludicrous alter egos. Other times I barricade myself in my room, listening to classical music and writing poetry. Sometimes I can’t stand my life and I plan my escape into the wilderness. Next I fear my snow globe will collapse and I covet my little lifestyle dearly. I have no big life plan; I have about twelve big life plans, all of which are impractical and forget to take money into the equation. In other words, though I’m a tidy, fastidious, and generally meticulous person, I’m undoubtedly a mess when it comes to the rationale behind my feelings.

Do I have some bizarre personality disorder? Probably, though I like to think it’s just the effects of being another weird human. When out and about, I imagine all the messes that lie behind each face I see during the day. Of course, the easiest to see through (or perhaps the hardest, I’m not sure) are the bonafide crazies, ranting to the air and oversharing their stench. It’s like something has clicked in them and they are no longer able to put together the carefully constructed façade necessary for appearing “normal.” Much more enticing are the business men in their monkey suits and the women who attempt to look straight from a magazine. I imagine them a little like a closet neatly painted and closed, but bursting to the brim behind what is evident to the eye.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

We’re messes. And thank God. There’s some beautiful juxtaposition about how normal we appear in anonymity, and how messy we are upon closer examination. I have my shy and embarrassed moments when I find it difficult to own up to my messy feelings, but overall I relish in finding yet another mess in myself, or better yet, discovering a mess in someone else. My favorite types of people are the people who, upon getting to know better, are like an archeological dig. Some unexpected and unique quirk always seems to surface with enough time.

I’ve been thinking about all this because I got to see some truly beautiful messes this past weekend. One of them, Anthony Rizzi’s “An Attempt to Fail at Groundbreaking Theater,” was performed at Kunst-Stoff, while the other, cult musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” was performed at Boxcar Theater, and will continue playing to March. While both had different thematic content, both were unabashedly unapologetic, nonlinear, and downright bizarre.

Former Forsythe dancer Anthony Rizzi was hilarious. His brain ran a mile a minute and I could hardly follow the associations (or lack thereof). Rizzi played choreographer Pina Bausch, performance artist Penny Arcade, and filmmaker Jack Smith, sometimes all at once. If you don’t know who any of those people are, well, follow the hyperlink. The show itself barely explained anything. It jumped in, and the small audience in the Kunst-Stoff studio was rocketed into Rizzi’s maniac brain. Is he crazy? Definitely. Is his craziness beautiful and bold and riveting? Definitely. Favorite moments included the “drama-turd” (a poke at dramaturges), Pina’s one hundred arabesques, and the many one-liners, many of them stolen, that seemed to permeate a certain wisdom, a sort of method behind the madness. At the end Rizzi danced alone in the space, one of few moments of seamless uninterrupted dancing. And it was truly lovely. It was like he had bared all his weirdness and was now the put-together dancer usually associated with the words “former Forsythe dancer.” Excavation in reverse.

Thomas Brucher3

An Attempt to Fail at Groundbreaking Theater

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” was, of course, a riot. Eight blond Hedwigs bombarded the stage with their larger than life personalities. While the story chronicled the life of Hedwig from pre-wall Germany to post-Tommy love, what was startling and absolutely brilliant was how the audience never quite knew what Hedwig they were going to get next. Buxom and sensuous? Spirited pixy? Gangly youth? Heavyset masculinity? Hedwig was not confined to a single persona; a nut job, there were too many sides of her to keep count. Kind of like someone else I know.

Yes, that person is me. Even writing this, I hesitate to admit to feeling like a glorified functional schizophrenic, something I probably shouldn’t joke about. But you get my drift. Rizzi bared it all and then reined it in. Hedwig needed eight different actors to portray her. What a relief to see loud and proud weirdos. Hi, I’m an absolute weirdo and I can hardly be held accountable for what I may feel next (you can, of course, hold me accountable for my actions; just not my feelings). What? You’re a weirdo too? That’s seven billion of us then. Perhaps Emily Dickenson might say here, “How dreary to be normal.”

First photo by Peter Liu; Second photo by Thomas Brucher

One Response to “Weirdos Weirdos Everywhere”

  1. Anonymous

    I liked this piece very much. I especially liked reading about a few new weirdos! And one weirdo I know personally!

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