John Waters’ This Filthy World
The Parker Playhouse – July 28th, 2013
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Alright, so when I found out I was getting press passes to review John Waters’ incredible one-night, one-man show titled “This Filthy World” at the Parker Playhouse on July 28th, I wanted to let all my readers at www.GotFolk.com know about this amazing event before it’s sold out. John, a film icon, has created some of the greatest cult classics of a certain generation that I’m old enough to have seen first-run. His impact on celluloid rivals that of Louis J. Gasnier (1936, Tell Your Children; a.k.a. – Refer Madness), John A. Russo and George A. Romero (1968, Night Of The Living Dead), and Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman (1975, Rocky Horror Picture Show). He is, in the end, a sort of Shel Silverstein sans the guitar; an Andy Warhol with more than just soup cans; a kind of Marguerite Duras you actually want to watch.
I must first apologize that when I rushed off yesterday to share the good news about his upcoming show, I didn’t have time to prepare a proper preview. After all, what can one really say about a man who defined the word avant-garde backwards? So, in my hasty email blast yesterday, I simply cut-and-pasted info from his event’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/events/323422217729969). But after a good night’s sleep, I came up with the perfect way to refresh the memories of all you late-night Pope Of Trash fans, and also a way for anyone who’s developmental years escaped his Midas touch to truly understand the wonder that is John Waters. So, I give you the following: a dream.
Now, I’m standing there around noon at the corner of Fifth and Yellow, holding my poodle under my arm, patiently waiting for the light to turn red so I can cross over to the other side, when a man floats up next to me reclined upon a pink, burled-fabric sofa that’s decorated with orange paisleys. He lays sideways upon the cushions in crossed-legged fashion, with his head propped up on one hand. Adorned in a smart purple sun dress, classic black Nina Fencel high-heel dress shoes, a grey fedora, and cat-eye sunglasses, he casually sips Mai Tai from a green-paper-umbrella’d coconut. His long facial features and pencil thin mustache make me say just one thing.
“Aren’t you John Waters?” I ask apprehensively, holding poodle a bit closer.
“Yes,” he says, floating beside me on his pink couch, festively sipping his coconut, “and could I possibly borrow your poodle?”
“My what?” I reply, clenching poodle even firmer.
“Your poodle,” he repeats fetchingly. “It will only take a moment. You see I have this final scene I need to shoot and, well, I need your poodle.”
“No!” I scream and go dashing down Fifth, clutching poodle for dear life, running as fast away from John as my two jello-like legs will carry me. But John just comes floating right up next to me, effortlessly, breathlessly, the brim of his grey fedora bending in the breeze. “Oh, please,” he implores with a pout, “it will only take a moment and I promise, I’ll bring him right back to you.”
“No, never!” I cry defiantly, “you will not, Not, NOT borrow my poodle.” And I do the only thing I can. Grasping poodle with both hands, I jump down into emptiness, for Fifth just south of Yellow becomes the Sea of Holes. But John and his couch jump down into the hole right next to me, and ever so slowly, to my surprise, he’s catching up. Falling, falling falling, but not fast enough, I turn around and there’s Ringo.
“Ringo,” I yell, “what do I do? John’s after my poodle. Help!”
“Help?” answers Ringo in monotone, “You need somebody? Help? Not just anybody? Heeeelp?”
“Yes, Ringo,” I implore, as John and his pink couch float up even closer behind me while we fall further through the Sea of Holes. “Help me! John’s catching up. I need something! Anything!”
“Well,” Ringo replies lackadaisically, “ maybe all you need is love.”
Realizing I’m getting nowhere and that John’s still getting closer, I clutch poodle harder than ever, turn away from Ringo, and fall out of the Sea of Holes into a bowl of pasta. Luckily we land solidly on a meatball, but there’s John, twenty yards away floating on his couch in the marina sauce, stilled reclined and sipping. “You, know,” he cries out to me gazing over the rim of his cat-eye sunglasses, “ this would be so much easier if you would just lend me your poodle for a few moments.”
“Never,” I decry as I turn away from John, only to find Clint next to me, sitting on a burro, dressed in sombrero and poncho, a long rifle slung over his shoulder. “Clint, Clint!” I shout, “what do I do? John’s after my poodle.”
Clint looks at me squinty-eyed and says, “Make his day.”
“What?” I ask, confused.
Clint leans slowly over towards me, spits chewing tobacco onto my shoes, and demurely restates, “Make his day.”
“Don’t you mean Make My Day?” I ask carefully.
Clint sits back upright on his burro and thinks for a moment. “You know,” he says bewildered, “you could be right,” and then he silently explodes into a million butter cups.
That was odd, I think to myself. As the yellow flowers sparkle and fizzle, I find myself holding poodle in the middle of the oval office. There, outside, through the windows behind the President’s desk is John floating over the rose garden on his pink, paisley decorated couch. “Look,” John matter-of-factly reasons through the closed windows, “I use saline, not tap water. Could I please just borrow your poodle?”
Suddenly the door to the oval office opens and Jack walks in reading some folder-bound papers. “Jack,” I scream, “John’s after my poodle, and he’s got saline. What do I do?”
Jack stops in mid-step, looks up from his folder, catches me straight in the eye and states with dignified determination, “Ask not what you can do for poodle, ask what poodle can do for you.”
Poodle and I both look befuddledly at Jack for a moment, then I complain, “Wait a minute, Jack, poodle here’s in trouble. Make sense, would you?”
“Make sense?” asks Jack angrily, tossing the folder aside. “In 1961 I deployed an invasion force to Cuba with NO air cover. In 1963 I stood in front of the whole world at the Berlin Wall and called myself a DONUT. And later that year I decide DALLAS is a good place to be? And you want ME to make sense? Boy, are you ever barking up the wrong tree.”
For some unexplainable reason, my long years of Feng-shue training automatically kick in and I’m certain now that no good answers ever come from an oval office. So, I reflexively lean forward to throw both afterburner switches into their off positions. Poodle lays snugly under my free arm as we sit inside the capsule wrapped in our separate space suites. But turning to my left I’m startled to find John strapped in next to me dressed in a pink evening gown, tiara, and matching bunny rabbit slippers. Trying to lean away, I ask somewhat interested, “Where’s your couch?”
“Oh, that old thing,” replies John, smiling through a mother-of-pearl Japanese kabuki fan he’s waving in front of his face, “I had to drop it off at the shop for a 50,000 mile oil change. So,” he declares, clapping his hands, smiling eagerly as he quickly changes the subject, “how about it? Can I have poodle now?”
Suddenly, through the space ship’s window I can see that planet earth is blue, there’s nothing I can do, and David’s sitting outside on the capsule’s nose cone strumming his guitar.
“David,” I say, exhausted, “can you hear me?”
David stops strumming for a moment, looks at me through the window with a blank, emotionless expression and silently mouths the words, “I can’t hear you?”
“Can you hear me?”
“I can’t hear you?”
“Can you hear me?”
“I can’t hear you?”
And suddenly poodle and I are back in Kansas, at the corner of Fifth and Yellow, waiting for the light to turn red. Cautiously I look around, yet John’s nowhere to be found. But when I look down, next to my shoe lies a little, green, paper umbrella. “Poodle,” I say to my happy companion, “there’s no place like home.”
* * * * * * * * * * * *
And you’ll feel right at home when John Waters comes to the Parker Playhouse on July 28th. Don’t miss this incredible evening of creative genius from the man who gave us such amazing films as Multiple Maniacs (1970), Female Trouble (1974), Polyester (1981), Hairspray (1988), Pecker (1998), and Cecil B. Demented (2000). Oh yeah, and there was something about flamingos, too.
So leave poodle on the couch at home and come join the fun!
For ticket information, go to: