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I finally saw Csínom Palkó! So here is a more or less coherent post wherein I babble about my feelings and assorted observations. I will not do a summary of the plot – see Carmarthen’s post for that. The cast was the usual one, the ones I should probably point out were Faragó András as Tyukodi pajtás/Kárló, Sipos Imre as Förgetek/Ottó, and Bálint Ádám as Gautier.


ACT I


- First things first, I did not expect to like Palkó and Jankó this much, but I dooooo, they’re weirdly charming in their clueless enthusiasm haha. They are definitely brothers and not cousins or something, Béri Balogh Ádám calls them “testvér” (which the surtitles give as “brothers”, close enough), and in Act II Kati says something about Palkó’s “brother” but I didn’t catch the actual word she said because the surtitles were laggy. Anyway, they’re… not the sharpest (they share one brain cell, and Palkó owns three quarters of that), but cute and hilarious. They talk at the same time, like stereotypical twins! Jankó is the younger one, but a head taller! They look almost nothing alike! They share a weirdly skewed world view (“You’re bandits? See, we knew you must be good people!” “…And the punishment for running away from draft was hanging. So we ran. *Jankó nodding along like this makes perfect sense*” “Theft isn’t wrong if it’s flowers or gingerbread.”)! Jankó apparently thinks his big brother is the bee’s knees, will talk at great length about how Palkó has mad game with the ladies (including axe-standing-in-for-dick jokes), and probably got all his cues about how flirting works from him (I refuse to believe that weird line where he calls Éduska a “beautiful black doll” wasn’t filched from Palkó). Unlike KMM and GAM, they’re probably supposed to be relatively close in age (as Ákos is said to be 20, so he cannot be much older than Peti), but please try and imagine them with a ten year age gap, baby Jankó trailing after his super cool teenage brother who knows everything and can do anything, and then… never quite growing out of that. Cute babies <3


- On a much shallower note, GAM keeps getting more handsome every time I see him, how is that possible. He spends this show wearing either tight jeans and a tank top, or assorted parts of ridiculous uniforms with ridiculous tight pants. Or fairly unconvincing old lady disguise :DD Very distracting.


- So much percussive dancing! I liked the rattly boots especially :D


- I theoretically knew this before seeing the show, but only while seeing it did it really dawn on me that yes, these are actors who either can't get jobs yet (the students) or not anymore (the older artists). Idk, I only belatedly grasped just what a sorry bunch of losers they are, and how desperately they NEED this show to work out, petty fights notwithstanding.


- Is it actually implied that Borika got that text about sex when you’re over 50 (40?) from Feri? It does seem likely, since she does go on about him being a ~true artist~ etc etc, but then again she brags with all kinds of hinted exciting romances she might or might not have, so the mysterious poet could also be someone else? In any case, I am amused at the idea of Feri composing this text while absolutely plastered haha. But seeing as his methods of… motivating his female actors are a little on the questionable side anyway, he could just as well have thought that text a good idea while sober as a judge, idk.


- I did not see Földes Tamás as Ottó, but the fight between Ottó and Feri was still super intense. I liked Sipos Imre in the role, though of course I have no grounds for comparison.


- I LOVE THE DONKEY THAT'S PULLING THE GINGERBREAD CART. And I mean both in-story, as an actual donkey that Palkó and Jankó pet and coo over while everyone else is distracted by the gingerbread merchants (what a great ridiculous entrance that was), and on the meta level, as two dancers under a weird, vaguely donkey-shaped disguise (it also could’ve been a small elephant, or a very small moving mountain). Of course Palkó has to slap the asses’ ass. Duh.


- Lévay Énikő as Éduska/Elsza is a beautiful goddess with the voice of an angel. I also saw her as Szilvia in Csárdáskirálynő and she was even more amazing because main role = more stage time. Ever since I saw her in the (video of the) Three Musketeers medley I also knew she could make leery faces to equal those of KMM, which is no mean feat. This woman does A+ acting.


- Béri Balogh Ádám is a flash bastard omg. I am not at all sure Ottó calling Feri a hammy actor was all that unjustified – freaking BBÁ basically has his own little intro sequence every time he is introduced to people, like a superhero with a catchphrase or something (Palkó and Jankó make for appropriate sidekicks, quick somebody think of a superhero cartoon opening for Béri Balogh Ádám, here to save the day). Szil live btw is as much a beautiful weird unicorn as Szil on vid, but I’m not sure I ever appreciated just how great his facial expressions are before. Also I concur with Carmarthen, the dancing seemed suspicuously half-arsed, when he wasn’t just standing around and trying to look imposing. Feri probably isn’t a big dancer :D


- The fact that in Romeo and Juliet fandom in general, “blade” tends to be a euphemism for dick is probably the reason why Jankó poking at BBÁ’s rapier and getting his hand slapped made me laugh this hard. Maybe. Idk, it was fucking hilarious for some reason.


- So Förgetek is a former teacher, the innkeeper claims to have been raised by Jesuits, but why the heck is Jankó trying to read over BBÁ’s shoulder when he receives the letter? I… really don’t think Palkó and Jankó know how to read, because if those clothes they first appear in really were their Sunday best, I don’t think their family could afford sending them to school instead of having them help with work at home. Jankó is probably just nosy on principle, heh.


- I actually liked Palkó and Kati’s first duet as a song, but man the projections carried it over into kitschy kitsch territory big time. I actually snorted when the one with the stars came on, but then again I am not a fan of projections in most productions. I feel like this show deffo makes fun of overzealous projection use though.


- Feri is such a sarcastic SOB hahaaaaa. But he wasn't wearing his scarf :-(


- I remember about a year or so ago Carmarthen tried to describe to me how the whole Feri lifting Imola up while kissing her stunt was supposed to go, and I could not for the life of me understand HOW. Now that I have seen it, I am still slightly baffled and a lot impressed, wow. (And now I’ll never get explanatory stick figure drawings. Sadface.) I promptly forgot which hand goes where, because freaking Szabópé uses his left and right hand interchangeably on stage for basically anything but writing, but yeah I think I got it. I did not expect there to be a SECOND snog Jesus Christ way to be a MASSIVE CREEPER Feri (I… am really not into the sexy ravishing trope. To each their own, I know it tickles some people’s ids, just not mine). Ákos turning up and asking Feri to be their best man had the entire audience shrieking in glee at Annamari and Szil’s synchronized horrified faces. Mostly Szil’s though. His face is a gift. THAT’S RIGHT FERI, AT LEAST HAVE THE DECENCY TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. ALL OF THE DISCOMFORT FOR YOU. But also, what IS that mysterious hospital visit Ákos mentions? Did they all visit the guy with appendicitis who was originally supposed to direct this?


- Ughhhh, Imola was so upset after that, whenever she broke character she just looked so troubled ;__; Freaking Feri sung half of BBÁ’s longing lovesong in her direction, too. Feri is a self-important butt >:[ I am all for making him suffer in fanfiction before he gets to be part of the OT3, just saying. I thought Imola looked especially sad during Marika and Kárló’s argument, because this was exactly the future Feri prophesized for her – you’re going to get married, have a kid, ruin your career, and then he’s going to cheat on you with someone younger and it’ll all be for nought. (Maybe that was how Feri’s first marriage went? I wholesale adopted Carmarthen’s headcanon that he has been through a string of failed marriages that turned him from idealistic if slightly pretentious to cynical and super pretentious. I also wish to propose the added headcanon that at least one of his divorces was a public one, with gossip magazines greedily snatching up every bit they could get about it or just blatantly making stuff up, and both parties using that to fling mud at each other, and that Feri doesn’t particularly like journalists as a whole because of bad memories.)


- There is a training montage! I felt like watching a live action version of Mulan for a sec there haha. Also it’s Jankó who gets an axe to the head and has to sit down for a bit, and Palkó who kisses his head and then pets him like a dog while listening to the instruction of how to FIGHT using PSYCHOLOGY (I loved that bit, and knew it would come back as a running gag to bite them in the ass haha), but it’s definitely Peti who storms off stage with a little too much enthusiasm and is called an idiot by the stage manager, heh.


- Speaking of which, by now I’m pretty sure Király Anna is an actual stage manager at Opi. I saw her again in Amerikai komédia two days later, where she pulled the curtain closed at the end of the show, and I’m pretty sure I saw her again during faildevils on Saturday, where she was one of two people cleaning up the confetti during intermission. Ancsa (spelling?) and her pálinka are also freaking hilarious.EDIT:She appears in the werkfilm for Marie Antoinette, so yeah, she really does work backstage. Glad my face recognition software appears to have been correctly installed |D


- I expected to have the Csínom Palkó song stuck in my head after seeing this show, but nope, it wasn’t that, and it wasn’t Fakó lovam either (I really liked this one, especially the Kati and Palkó version with the faily dancers-pretending-to-be-horses bit and the silly everything haha), nooope, it was Örsze’s food song, which I suspect has some questionable sex metaphors in there somewhere because lol operetta. Also percussive dancing feat. wooden spoons, v impressive.


- During the on-stage costume change for undercover disguise reasons, when Kati takes BBÁ’s jacket, I think Imola held it to her face and smelled it? Maybe? It was over so soon I’m not sure in retrospect, but it was the impression I got while watching. Also, to get the costume nerdery part of this post over with quickly: The waistcoats on the labanc disguises have accurate strings for fastening on the back! Hooray! You know what other costume could have really done with this?? The prince outfit from Oszi Boszi, is what! …Ok I’m done.


- The living tableau of Hungarian suffering during Förgetek’s song was notably diachronic – I saw some WWI uniform… parts (why is everyone shirtless??) and a machine gun and stuff that looked earlier than the story’s setting, but nothing past WWII I think.


ACT II


- HAHAHA THE BELGIAN DUDE AND HIS TRANSLATOR oh my god. My French isn’t actually fluent, but Gautier’s lines are very short and simple and Bálint Ádám has very clear pronunciation so I understood most of it, and according to the surtitles his translator seemed to translate HIS lines pretty faithfully – but I think when translating back from Hungarian into French he strategically dropped stuff. Idk, the translator’s “French” was mostly indistinct mumbling with single words discernible, like “les kurucz” and “les labanc(e)”, heh. And “ta mère”, when he accidentally translated Ottó insulting Marika :DDD


- I also enjoyed the random German bits – no Marika, this guy speaks French, but gold star for effort on complimenting his style (he really did look very sharp in that suit, I agree). Also the countess Koháry waxing poetically about Vienna, oh Vienna, how can I ever forget you~


- When Borika and Zsuzsika had their divatastic argument and Zsuzsika called her old, Feri actually took a step back like Ooop here it comes, that’s it I’m out. Very wise choice mister.


- AND NOW FOR THE SPANISH BRANCH OF THE HABSBURGS jfc I KNEW that was coming and I still had to clap my hand in front of my mouth to avoid shrieking in delight. Kállay Bori is amaaaazing.


- Ákos’ “please don’t steal my girl” speech was super pathetic and not in the least bit intimidating, axe waving notwithstanding. Poor Babies ;_; Feri is a dick. I did get a weird sense of déjà-vu from when he ranted at Imola before, and half expected a reprise of the awkward snogging even though I knew it wouldn’t come. Carmarthen is right, it SHOULD have been there :p


- Amazingly enough, when going undercover as Konek, BBÁ goes from a flash bastard to an even flashier one, if that is even possible. Him sucking up to countess Koháry (literally) is eerily similar to Feri flirting at Borika, heh. I… don’t actually think BBÁ as a character is SUPPOSED to be full of dry sarcasm, but I think Feri is incapable of playing a character non-sarcastically, and so fake-Konek’s line of “my soldiers are very clever” in reference to Palkó and Jankó of all people just drips with irony, haha. Oh, and fake-Konek encountering fake baron Piperec at the ball was a thing of beauty to behold. Just— the FACES. “Oh shit oh shit—wait, is that…?” “Oh hey it’s YOU” “IS THAT YOU??” “Damn right it’s me, aren’t you lucky”


- I also knew Palkó and Jankó reenacting BBÁ’s heart-eyed “Éduskaaaa” moment would come. Still laughed out loud. GDI you two trolls, give your boss some privacy for five seconds, won’t you (no don’t, I’m really not here for boring operetta romance). Jankó takes the fact that Éduska was never really into him with surprising grace, but then again if your competitor is freaking Béri Balogh Ádám of the legendary hat, it’s no fault of yours if you lose out.


- Oh god that botched escape stunt. DAMMIT JANKÓ DON’T IMITATE THE STUPID THINGS YOUR BROTHER DOES, YOU NEED CARTFULLS OF CHARM AND SHITLOADS OF LUCK TO GET AWAY WITH THAT. Handkissing a line of ladies into fainting so you can run past, who ever heard of that working out, huh. On the other hand… I abhor IRL violence, but handsome Jankó in his fancy uniform being captured, tied up, and beaten was very… fun to watch U.U’’ *shameface*


- Hahaha Palkó’s impassioned defense of his brother's amazing ability to… stay put and be rescued (you’re wrong there dude, your brother’s amazing ability is pulling off bad drag that for some reason nobody thinks to question). Jankókám! Édes kis… nagy nagy Jankókám! Sounds about right for a description. Tracing his silhouette helped too.


- That whole escape scene was so ridiculous, from Éduska singing about lost love while Jankó gleefully changed into the old lady costume in the background (talk about mood dissonance), to him keeping up the voice while beating up a sentry, to them freaking hauling him bodily into the camp and STILL thinking that was a feeble old lady to the SURPRIZING reveal, omfg. There is lots and lots of Palkó and Jankó hugging in this show, but at least in this scene it was justified (some other hugs just seemed totally random. Not that I minded). Also according to the surtitles, Palkó’s greeting ran along the lines of “My better half, I was beginning to improve without you!” Yeah. Clearly, the bad influence in this relationship is the gormless overgrown puppy, CLEARLY.


- ÁKOS STILL STANNING FOR FERI AND CONVINCING HIM TO STAY EVEN AFTER ALL THE JERKASSERY HNNNGH MY HEART. The two bunnies are too cute for this world.


- Oh man, BBÁ calling them Csínom Pál and Csínom János for the whole awarding of fancy hats ceremony felt so weird, like someone calling Mickey Mouse “Michael Mouse” or something. (Well, in the German comic translations he is often called Herr Maus, but that’s different /offtopic) Also during the wedding, with Jankó standing off to one side with the other soldiers, the others tried to steal his hat from his head, and when Jankó threw it in the air at the end one of the soldiers (dancers? Not sure which meta level the trolling was on, haha) caught it instead. He gave it back though.


- Most people stayed in character for one or both of their roles during curtain call also, which was entertaining. "Feri" and "Ottó" held hands while bowing together, then "Ottó" wouldn't let go of "Feri"'s hand and he yanked it away before stomping off :D

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