Archive for the Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory Category

Fitz Bunny: the DVD

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Sound & Vision on August 24, 2010 by brunswick

I’ve finally started assembling the FB:L4G DVD. This requires editing the three performances I taped into one which flows smoothly. The opening night performance was quite astonishing, but I often missed action which was taking place at an unexpected end of the long stage, and I was also shaking with laughter at some of the costumes and entrances – Enderby Hedgehog in tight little shorts, and Imogen as a sheep grazing from a bag of supermarket salad, for example.

Instead of loading each performance as an hour-long file, I’m breaking them up into acts, which means I only have to edit five-to-eight minutes of footage at a time. Hopefully it’ll compile well – the advantage I had with the Wellington production is that the musical numbers used backing tracks, which meant synchronising the different performances was a doddle. I was watching the DVD of the most recent Mighty Boosh live tour, and it was jarring to notice that during the long final number their backing dancers (an exuberant lycra-clad Sue Denim and Dee Plume from Robots in Disguise) vanish and reappear from shot to shot. Oh well.

And that’s why this show was awesome

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Lovely pictures on August 1, 2010 by brunswick

ATC kindly sent me a disk of Michael Smith’s publicity photos for FB:L4G.

The Last FB:L4G

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Unwarranted criticism on July 22, 2010 by brunswick

To FB:L4G for the last time, this time filming from the other side of the stage for editing purposes. It was a much better show than the previous night, but not as many people hung around afterwards, presumably because there’s a wider range of places to go late on a Thursday.

I had a bizarre moment earlier in a cafe, when I opened an Auckland events magazine at random to my own name. It also mentioned the Art of Dr. Seuss exhibition at the Lonely Dog Gallery, which I missed when it was on in Wellington. Unfortunately when we visited it just down the road, it had just closed here as well, but the gallery person was very nice and showed us all the prints they were preparing to pack up. I’m still not sure how a high-quality framed reproduction of a 1958 children’s book illustration, which represents about $50 worth of materials and labour, is worth $1,590, but that’s the art world for you*.

The Lonely Dog Gallery, as you can tell from the name, is full of the anthropomorphic abominations of Ivan Clarke, a very clever man who has deduced that a) money does not buy taste, and b) American investment bankers having a midlife crisis have a fuckload of money and like spending it on paintings of dogs in sunglasses doing moody things.

*The paint and canvas used for the Mona Lisa probably didn’t cost much, either.

Vroosh!

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Utter Trivia on July 21, 2010 by brunswick

Ho again to Auckland with the dulcet Kate for another round of FB:L4G. I was schmoozing with the cast afterwards (who are quite blasé about the fact that the show has sold out for the rest of the season, after Monday’s Nightline exposure) when I realised I only had ten minutes to get from the Basement Theatre to Britomart to catch the very, very last bus to New Windsor. So if you’re in the Auckland CBD on a Wednesday, and you want to get to West Auckland after 11:30pm by bus or train, you’re out of luck.

In other news: it’s possible to run from the Basement Theatre to Britomart in ten minutes.

I only actually like one of these things

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Jitterati, Lovely pictures on July 20, 2010 by brunswick

Back up to Auckland tomorrow, where I intend to film a couple of FB:L4G performances in order to edit them together into a proper DVD.

Fitz on Nightline

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Sound & Vision on July 19, 2010 by brunswick

You have to admit, that does look pretty cool.

Kids! Become a cartoonist, and one day you may have posture like this.

The FB:L4G cast looked much prettier than me, but my soundbites were awesome.

(Link to the news item in question, with 1.2MB of ads, unfortunately )

There’s a very limited number of The Hits of Fitz on sale in Graphic right now, for $4, I believe. They make cute, inexpensive presents. Look for the eye-watering fluoro-pink stand, it’s almost impossible to miss.

Oh, and I have a perplexing cartoon in the new issue of FishHead as well. It’s printed quite small, but it’s very clear.

…Good day, really!

Craccum review

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Unwarranted criticism on July 19, 2010 by brunswick

From Auckland University’s student magazine Craccum, by Rosabel Tan:

Based on Grant Buist’s comic BrunswickFitz Bunny: Lust for Glory is an explosive, high-energy musical about rabbit-pop-star-turned-politician Fitz Bunny (Sara Stone), whose successful campaign in the Auckland super city elections sees the town descend into chaos. Touted as Rocky Horror meets Monty PythonFitz is outrageously fun, boasting glittering costumes, a live band, upbeat harmonies, and rocket-loads of attitude.

The twelve-strong cast are enthusiastic, bordering on manic. Stone is marvellous as Fitz – capturing the irrational indignance of one drunk on power – carrying the show with gusto. Daryl Wrightson is cringingly cute as Enderby, the lisping hedgehog consumed with puppy love, and special mention must be made of back-up bunny Jessica Bates, whose flair gave the performance an extra kick. The jokes fall flat at times, though, and the pacing occasionally lags. The musical numbers would have benefitted from a little more variety – as Alex (Virginia Frankovich) exclaims at one point: just because you put it to song doesn’t mean it’s not bullshit. That being said, most of the pieces are a pleasure, and Fitz’s victory song proclaiming that awesomeness was simply her destiny is a comedic highlight. The meta-theatrical elements – when the band refuse to give Enderby his own song, and when the lighting operator is asked for the time – add another level of play, and the twist at the end leaves you chuckling. A sherbert-infused cherry that tops off the night wonderfully.

Oh no! A slightly critical review!* How ever will I cope? Actually, to be fair, I think most of the professional reviews of Young & Hungry have been extremely kind because no-one likes to be seen savaging youth theatre. Not to say this piece isn’t a classic “mention lots of good general stuff, but then balance it by mentioning some specific stuff you didn’t like” student review.

*Furthermore, one which criticises my musical numbers by using my own joke!

‘The Hits of Fitz’ book stand

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Lovely pictures on July 18, 2010 by brunswick

Appearing at comic book stores in Cuba Mall called Graphic… tomorrow!

Listener review

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Unwarranted criticism on July 18, 2010 by brunswick

An absurdly good review from the new Listener by Frances Edmond, not online for another week, so laboriously transcribed for your pleasure:

The final offering, Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory, is a piece of inspired mayhem and whimsical political satire from cartoonist Grant Buist. It is populated with performing rabbits; communist sheep, including Che Guebara, intent on a coup; and a lovelorn hedgehog, Enderby (Daryl Wrightson). Over all is Fitz Bunny herself (an extravagant and feisty performance by Sara Stone), a singing diva throwing tantrums in the grand tradition, and with aspirations to significant political power: the Auckland super-mayoralty! Surprisingly, she wins, and is wooed by the Americans with a nuclear missile … or is it a coffee machine? And does it matter, provided it’s a threat and provides her with political clout?

“Just because you set it to music doesn’t mean it isn’t bullshit,” someone says. Well, yes… but bullshit of the most captivating kind – clever, irreverent, outrageous and phenomenally silly. The song to evil is a particularly delicious highlight. It’s performed in cabaret style, with splendidly elaborate costumes (Caitlyn Brogan), fine strong singing from both chorus and soloists and an excellent on-stage band.

Now that’s what I’m freakin’ talking about! There’s a big photo (the male cast in hotpants, poor things) and a pull quote. And the costume designer and band get a mention. The other two plays are intelligently analysed, but FB:L4G sounds a hell of a lot more entertaining. Hooray for the Listener.

Lumiere Reader review

Posted in Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory, Shameless Namedropping, Unwarranted criticism on July 17, 2010 by brunswick

I wasn’t expecting there to be any more FB:L4G reviews, but here’s a new one Anita pointed out to me from the Lumiere Reader by Renee Laing:

Fitzbunny: Lust for Glory is an entirely different kettle of fish (or should that be bundle of bunnies?).  Anyone who thinks bunnies are harmless and cute better think again: Fitzbunny is a two-foot tall homicidal megalomaniac with a penchant for pink who thinks nuclear bombs make good interior design. When a deliberately released calcivirus kills most of her (very large) extended family, Fitzbunny (Sara Stone) gathers her acolytes (Olive Asi, Jessica Bates, Omer Gilroy) and a hapless journalist (Virginia Frankovich) and they swarm New Zealand like a Black Power gang in sequins. Along the way she confronts guerilla sheep, dubious politicians (as if there were any other kind) and crazed American generals (see under politicians). She also contests a mayoral contest against John Banks and Len Brown. I found myself wishing for a world where wearing hotpants and going shirtless was acceptable pre-mayoral behaviour, though possibly if any of the incumbents tried it, I’d quickly find myself wishing for the opposite. But I digress.

What I mean to say is that Fitzbunny is explosive, funny and very, very unpredictable. It’s in a genre of its own. But if Fitzbunny was holding a knife to my throat, punk rock political manga burlesque comedy may partially cover it.  Wellington Playwright Grant Buist plays fast and loose with current events and local politics and he’s clearly done his Auckland research (Len Brown’s credit card fiasco gets a dig, as does John Banks’s… well, all of John Banks). And did I mention the live three-piece band, and the all-singing, all-dancing numbers? The crazy sequined costumes and the high heeled boots and fishnets for everyone including the boys? Sometimes the laughter came out of sheer disbelief, but mostly because it’s all good exuberant fun. Special mention to Stone for the fine voice with which she carried out her lead role, to the chorus (Christopher Bryan, Jordan Mooney, Imogen Prossor, Thomas Webster and Jae Woo) for their energy, and to my favourite character of the night, Enderby the lisping lovestruck hedgehog (an aaw-worthy Daryl Wrightson).

I can’t take credit for the Len Brown credit card fiasco line, that was probably the cast! Nice that it mentions everyone by name, shame it doesn’t include Simon Coleman’s direction and Robin Kelly’s musical direction, which makes the show what it is.

The Nightline story will appear on Monday, apparently tonight’s show was already full up. The timing is good, it’ll help counteract the second-week slump that Young & Hungry usually suffers from.