Monday, September 22, 2003

Duck Soup blog.

Kevin D. writes: "Had a good, though busy weekend. Lots of house stuff [he moved recently too], but I did break away Sunday afternoon for A Night at the Opera. Glad to see the theater about half to three-fourths full, not bad for a beautiful Sunday afternoon and a repeat of Saturday. It was preceded by a Bugs Bunny cartoon I had never seen. People of all ages, including quite a few teenagers on dates, which surprised me.

"Strangely, the biggest laughs came not in the stateroom scene, but at the concluding opera debacle, where the old woman in horrible makeup is on stage singing, and Groucho goes 'Booga Booga Booga!' The entire theater roared."

Years ago I went with my family to a $1 matinee of A Night at the Opera at the Josephine Theater in San Antonio. That summer, maybe 1973 or 1974, the Josephine showed a raft of Marx Bros. movies, some as double features, and I remember seeing Duck Soup, A Day at the Races and Go West, as well. Thirty years ago the biggest laugh for Opera was "Booga Booga Booga!" Maybe it was funnier because no one knew what it meant, and it didn't matter.

We watched Duck Soup on tape on Saturday. I'm happy to report that Lilly watched some of it, and found some of the pratfalls pretty funny. I've seen it in the theater several times, of course, once even in London -- the biggest laugh it got there was the "call for help" during the battle finale, when motorcycle cops, swimmers, boaters, elephants, monkeys and fish all heed the call to help Freedonia, thanks to stock footage.


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