[joe-frank-list] live show in O.C.-- COMMENTs?

Mike Musgrove musgrovem at washpost.com
Mon May 19 18:10:06 PDT 2003

I didn't think the dancer was terribly out of place, as one poster said. I
liked it that he kind of danced away with her off the stage at the end. It
was interesting to see him smile or almost crack up at his own
inventions... and so strange to see Joe in front of a live, laughing and
applauding audience when I am used to hearing him in a quiet room. I was
worried that the smoke was going to clear us out of the place for a moment
there-- the sort of thing that might happen in one of his stories...

One or two of the pieces seemed to have some familiar content to me, though
I couldn't place what show they came from. In one, Joe sees a woman pulling
a cello, and in the flash of the moment he imagines them as lovers and
imagines what their life would be like together. Then she walks on and Joe
is relieved. Can anyone name that Joe, or was that a new one?

Other (new, or new to me, at least) pieces included Joe going to a doctor
who recommends that Joe fix his problems with incest or necrophilia. His
sketch of dark, obsessive love was classic ("I want to serve your brain
with jalapeno vinaigrette... I want to stitch your face on my chest so I
can train my muscles to recreate your facial expressions.")

I can't wait till the jf.com team posts the show, naturally.

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                      joe-frank-list-bounces        Subject:  Re: [joe-frank-list] live show in O.C.-- COMMENTs?                            
                      05/19/2003 02:09 PM                                                                                                   
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Ah yes, the fog machine. I think the idea was to provide a thin layer of
ground fog while the dancer was doing her thing, but instead a tremendous
thick cloud cover erupted from stage right as soon as the music started,
engulfing the stage and the audience and lingering for 5 - 10 minutes after

the machine was turned off. So the second and third pieces were read while
Joe stood there at the podium surrounded by a thick layer of fake smoke. It

was interesting and eerie the first time, but by the third dancing break
the audience was coughing and choking and breathing through their sweater
sleeves, so someone backstage took mercy on us and pulled the plug on the
fog for the rest of the night.

One thing that I found to be very interesting (as long as I'm typing here)
was Joe's demeanor. I had really expected a scowling, dour, almost dark
presence, but that wasn't his persona at all. He was more like a sly,
subversive prankster spinning out elaborate stories and jokes, which he
himself would often smile at, at one point even laughing out loud at one of

his more humorous passages. Of course, if you closed your eyes for a few
minutes, it was just like listening to the radio show...and the weird, dark

Joe that I'd always imagined was right there in the room.

The pieces themselves were classic Joe Frank (minus the underlying music
and sound effects). The first piece, about a woman, her dead husband and
the neighbor from across the hall was one of the best pieces of humorous
writing I've heard in a long time, from anyone. When the audio goes up on
his site I'll be hitting that one right away. Classic.


At 08:57 PM 5/18/2003 -0700, you wrote:

>Actually, I just listened to the interview he did on KPFA tonight and he
>mentioned something about a fog machine going a bit out of whack that
>inundating him and the dancer.

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