Animal Husbandry and Cannibalism in Bootown's Backyard

Last night, in a backyard somewhere off W Alabama, Bootown presented their original Holloween show The Farmer and the Badger, based on a Japanese folktale of the same name.

The Story: Badger steals farmer's veggies. Farmer gets mad. Farmer catches badger. Badger kills farmer's wife. Farmer (unknowingly) eats wife. Rabbit avenges farmer's wife. Rabbit becomes farmers wife. There's also unitards, a severed hand, and some badger-flesh-burning wedding action.

The Execution: Bootown did a lovely job making us feel at home last night. Walk up the driveway, get your ticket, grab a free Lone Star or two, and sit down for some theater. Certain backyard elements that really added to the play were the neighbor's barking dog, an actual yelling neighbor and people driving by blaring hip-hop through their subwoofers, yo. For a production in which the light/sound equipment was operated on a fold-up table, the tech was great. There were slow-motion fight sequences with some serious Matrix-style action, accompanied by what must be a fantastic mix-tape of a Japanese-metal cover band. You haven't heard Van Halen till you've heard it in Japanese! In the morbid-things-are-still/always-funny category, the show included a man eating his dead wife in his soup and a few moments of funny suicide consideration.

The Verdict: Perhaps it's a parable. The lesson might be something along the lines of 'kill all animals before they kill your wife,' or 'kill all humans before they kill you because you're an animal,' or maybe 'rabbits shouldn't marry humans.' The show is going on again tonight. Go see it. Check out Bootown on the web. They also do Grown Up Storytime ... which is the bomb.

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