[Do not insert a "best of both possible worlds" joke here]
First it was the NYC elementary school that thought it would be cool to do a biographical sketch in the very cemetery where Lenny’s body resides. Then Carsen took out his beat-down stick and whacked with all his might to create something simultaneously kind of laudable, but incomprehensibly *not* Bernstein’s Candide.
Herpes jokes, a grabby-hands Pangloss, Cunégonde as a “shiksa b*tch”, the immigrants to the New World referred to as, “wops, kikes, spics, [insert additional offensive slang here], and the KKK dancing a hoe-down. It’s like, okay Carsen, WE GET IT. I mean, just how many times can you hear "West Failure" (for “Westfalia”) before it gets old?! Yeah, um: 3x.
Amazingly, through all the racial slurs and barbs, Carsen had at least enough sense to not drop the n-bomb…but then again, even if he did, I don’t think the audience would have cared, as there was indeed a warm reception for Carsen’s antics at La Scala tonight. Lots of cheers when Carsen (wearing one of the most hideous -- dark purple and white striped -- suits I’ve seen in my entire life) came onstage to take his curtain call. A smattering of boos, but really just a miniscule dollop compared to the wild cheering. For the American experience, Carsen leaves one with a complete dichotomy of both nostalgia and embarrassment. Embarrassment for the egregious metaphors and couched social criticisms via an extremely altered libretto. Or as the La Scala flyer states, “Liberamente adattato da Robert Carsen”, freely adapted. "Liberamente adattato" my a$$. That was straight-up misappropriation.
Carsen, your anti-establishment, anti-globalization, anti-TV shtick is hijacking Lenny’s musical/operetta/opera (I’m sooo not getting into this debate fyi tia) REPORTED REPORTED!! more tomorrow...