I was so excited. We have some friends who were coming to Provence. The woman was assisting with a play, a musical, to be presented on the grounds of the chateau at Lacoste, now owned and renovated by the designer, Pierre Cardin.
Our friends got us free tickets. There was a fun poster advertising the play, a gayly smiling woman with a hat like the dome on top of the Garnier Opera House in Paris was on it. I was expecting something light and funny.
Of course, it is hard to beat any performance put on on the grounds of a chateau. The chateau itself, once the home of the infamous Marquis de Sade (where the word sadism comes from), is now lived in by Mr. Cardin. I don’t know if there are parts of it open for tours or not. The seats were set up on tires in what was once the stone quarry where they chistled out the huge stones used to build the chateau. It was a fabulous setting.
But then the play started.
A blind man came out and said he needed help crossing the street. A little page boy with wings came to walk him around. There was a man dressed as a black and yellow wasp complete with a set of wings, a woman who rode on the back of a bicycle for two with him, wearing some sort of turban with ostrich feathers sticking out, another woman in a huge hat always pushing a baby carriage in every scene she was in, school girls dressed in plaid uniforms, a WWII soldier who dived bullets now and then, a nun in roller skates, a black minister with a jacket painted with crosses, some sort of angel type character with wings sticking out looking like broom handles. It was all very strange and even Maurice, a born French speaker, leaned over and said, “I have no idea what’s going on”. I think it was one of those existential plays, along the lines of Waiting For Godot. I sat through that play waiting myself for something to happen but it all turned out to be just talking. I think it’s on Broadway right now with John Goodman in one role and I know there will be so many people going to see it expecting a huge comedy and leaving thinking, “What in the heck was that about?”
Having said all of those negative things, I must say the acting was good, the singing and dancing were absolutely fabulous, and the costume designer outdid him/herself. Apparantly, Pierre Cardin was there too but I never saw him. The best thing of the whole evening? The drive home on winding dark roads under the full moon.