POST: 'Serials @ The Flea' - loud and wild and raucous

What's it about? 

Anything! Everything! Five installments of episodic plays battle for supremacy from over the course of a weekend. The three with the most votes are renewed for yet another episode next week. The two with the least votes are cut. Gone forever. 

What'd I Experience? 

I've been to Serials @ The Flea before, if I'm laying all my cards on the table. I'll also admit to being pretty partial towards The Flea theater in general. (I would be one of those people to donate the 1,000$ for their perks if I had that cash to give.) 

I attended Cycle 36 of Serials in the middle of Summer. I actually attended the very last performance of Cycle 36, while this time I was attending the very first showing of Cycle 37. Night and day. 

Cycle 36 was wild. Before the show, the only people around were Flea-going-regulars who were busy being loud and wild and raucous to the deafening sounds of dubstep in the Flea lobby, and the crowd didn't let up during that particular showing. 

This time it was so much more subdued. I was at the theater about an hour and a half early, as I am wont to do. Soon, a small crowd amassed around the Flea's stairs. I'm just keeping my nose out of conversation while catching some of the things this huge group is saying. All their words seem pretty rehearsed and it's like they've had these conversations before. 

Then I realize that I'm actually surrounded by the people who will be acting in Serials tonight and they're rehearsing their lines. So I just end up eavesdropping on what I can, get a little sneak peek at what I'll get to see that night. 

Inside the theater, it's all strangely calm. The music is mostly classical (until they bring us downstairs for the show), the crowd is small and only a few people know one another. 

The show starts, I've gotten a front row seat. Directly beside me, not sitting, just kind of there, there's this man with a nice Canon 5D Mark III, and he's snapping pictures all show. For the next hour and a half, I'll just randomly hear the - CL-KICK!- of the guy's camera.

The show itself was hysterical. Facial expressions, deliveries, songs, plots, it's perfect. My laughter tears were streaming within five minutes and kept going the rest of the show. My eye was clinically red the next day at work. 

A sci-fi adventure about a clinically depressed spaceship crew in Non-Distinct-Non-Copyrighted Star Trek clothes. A demonic possession with The Amanda Show styled characters. An offensive musical. A crazy gas station store. A journey into hell featuring a love-sick and depressed Satan, a great Cowboy, and Cake People (My personal favorite). 

 Okay, the current co-producer of Serials, Colin Waitt, hyped the crowd up to start the show, saying: 

It’s Thursday! These shows have only been rehearsed for six hours and anything could happen. We don’t even know if all the actors remember their lines!

For the most part they did. But there was still quite a number of brief stumbles (with good recoveries). There was one, though... 

During one of the shows (The Exposed Bones Workshop Collective Ensemble Studio "Not Your Average Theater Company" Theater Company Presents: "When Pigs Fly!" A Reading of Hot & Spicy New American Plays Written by The Artistic Director [Episode 5]), there was a joke about how Exposed Bones was not Clubbed Thumb. 

People laugh, I laugh. Then everyone sees it. The actress who delivered the joke is barely containing her laughter. The crowd bursts into even harder laughter. The other actors on stage are either barely holding their laughter or are just laughing outright. I'm laughing harder, the crowd is screaming, the stoic cameraman beside me is trying to take a photo and losing his shit. 

The actress quickly delivers the rest of her line and exits. We've all been murdered by comedy of happenstance. 

And that, at about 11:45, was the highlight of my Thursday. 

Want to see it?

$14.25 tickets (with fees)

The Serials
@ The Flea
thru Sept. 24