Thursday, June 12, 2008

Monsterpiece Theatre

Cue theme music: Baroque trumpets and fanfare.
Establishing shot: a blue gentlemen in lush red smoking jacket addresses the camera.

Host: Good evening. This Alistair Cookie and welcome to Monsterpiece Theatre. Tonight, we present big, big feature...

Anyone who grew up with Sesame Street, whether parent or child, knows Monsterpiece Theatre with the slightly more sophisticated Cookie Monster hosting as Alistair Cookie. Here we were introduced to classics such as The Monster of Venice, Hamlet, Waiting for Elmo, The Sound of Music, Me Claudius, and my personal favorite, Cyranose de Bergerac. All of them parodies on the original masterpieces, but each one lovingly done with a Sesame Street theme and one or two sophisticated jokes as well.

Looking back, I now know that this segment had a big influence on what I picture when I hear "culture" or "classical theatre." I'm drawn to baroque music and favor playing fanfares to jazz when I practice my instrument. I love personal libraries with big leather bound books and busts of famous authors. And of course, anything British is more sophisticated and anything American.

But it spawned such a great appreciation for great art. There is something magical about sitting in the enchanted moonlight of Cookie's salon hearing those great stories, whether parodied or not, that will linger with me the rest of my life.

Other titles include: Taming of the Shoe, The Old Man and the C, 400 Blows, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Gone With the Wind, Chariots of Fur, Twin Beaks, 39 Stairs, Fiddler on the Roof, Dr. No, ABCD Blue, 12 Angry Men, The Horse Whisperer, 1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The King and I, and Guys and Dolls.

Happy Birthday: Uta Hagen (1919-2004)

1 comment:

  1. Delightful. Yes, Cookie brought the classics to life in a new and different way. Wish I could see them all again.

    Thank you this trip down memory lane.