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4.27.03 Confidence not everything

Someone once said that all you need to be successful was "ignorance and confidence." Even though it's been a favorite principle of mine whenever I embark on a high-risk activity, I'm pretty sure it's wrong.

Last night I was disappointed to see this played out.

Four of us women went to see a sketch comedy production written and acted by 4 local women. The SomethingAboutWomen Group has been around for a few years, appearing at various regional festivals. We were expecting The Vagina Monologues, but got "original" work composed of tired comic clichés and pointless parodies. Does the world really need another bit about the many uses of duct tape?

What kills me is that I see four women really trying to make the most of their modest talents in the arts (like me!). They had the energy and the confidence to say, "Hey, gang, let's put on a show." But their material was just plain bad. Their bits were party goofs that went way too long. There were no layers, no deeper meaning -- no irony, for godsakes, in an art form that is all about irony.

They did an endless final skit about a lounge act of glittered-up meagerly talented sisters doing a tribute to the divas of song. In the 10 or 15 minutes it took to do bad imitations of lounge singer stereotypes, a good writer could have explored some fascinating angles. But instead we left the theater thinking of the SomethingAboutWomen Group themselves as a pathetic lounge act.

The biggest irony for me was that the audience loved them. There were screams of laughter throughout and they got a standing ovation -- which allowed the 4 of us to discreetly dash out before the possibility of an encore. What does that say about the sophistication of Rochester?

Maybe ignorance and confidence does bring success. Still, I hope that Maria and I aren't going down a similar path with our new production company. I hope our quest for fun is also tempered with worldliness -- and good timing.

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