Life of the Party

 

Life of the Party

Think of it as a journey through parties, life time parties. The party man, think of him as Zelig, keeps showing off in party after party unannounced and with no invitation. With his stories, dance moves and the ability to inflict everyone around him with good mood, he becomes the life of the party.
It should start as a dinner party, the occasion not that clear, and slowly shift into other parties following a time line of life-in-parties. The transition from party to party can have a historical time line – from childhood to death, funeral as party – but can also shift in associative manner with no apparent trough-line. The party-host can start with his own stories, told around the table, but things can shift to the guests (audience members) or other performers. The audience move from a passive interaction, eating and listening, to an active one – talking, dancing or participating in party games, etc. The host’s stories can shift from personal memories of past parties to a more historical recount of parties via images, text, film. It can also move alphabetically during the course of the evening – from A, anniversary parties, to C, circumcision party, to H, party hats. Which means a style shift from talking/story telling to lecture-demonstration to audience participation to theatrical recreation. The host, Zelig live, leads the proceedings but from time to time disappears into the party crowds and becomes one of the guests while someone else takes over.(someone else can be a D.J., a party band, a party leading performer, a magician, etc.)
Circular and repetition – since the evening encompasses a life time of parties certain recurrences are unavoidable. Some parties happen in a person’s life-time again and again (birthday parties, death, new borns, etc). The repetitions are also a way to signal time shifts, aging, seasons, the devaluation of the ritual over time.(You start with a cake- candles-singing, you move to cake-candles, you end up with a cake and sometime with one lousy card). So, in terms of narrative, it is less a linear story-telling and more theme and variation. It is about accumulation, about being party-over-fed, about the obsessive need to party but also about the need to tell about the party after the party.
The room where the party takes place is a semi-neutral room, a place that can accommodate any party, any time (which the generic hotel public spaces are actually are). With very simple changes the room becomes what you want it to be – from birthday party room to cooperate gathering decor to wedding hall.

There is a Hebrew song Hava nagila hava with the lines:

Hava nagila
הבה נגילה
Let’s rejoice

Hava nagila
הבה נגילה
Let’s rejoice

Hava nagila ve- nismeḥa
הבה נגילה ונשמחה
Let’s rejoice and be happy

Hava neranenah
הבה נרננה
Let’s sing

Hava neranenah
הבה נרננה
Let’s sing

Hava neranenah ve- nismeḥa
הבה נרננה ונשמחה
Let’s sing and be happy

Uru, uru aḥim!
!עורו, עורו אחים
Awake, awake, brothers!

Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ
עורו אחים בלב שמח
Awake brothers with a happy heart

Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!
!עורו אחים, עורו אחים
Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!

Be-lev sameaḥ
בלב שמח
With a happy heart

But in the original Hebrew version there is a line that says: We have to be happy, we must, we are obliged to be happy. The idea is simple; if it is a party then we have to have fun, to enjoy ourselves, to make the best out of it. There is something almost pathological in the need to rejoice at any price. It will be nice to put this need of being happy in any price into the overall structure of the evening. A Jewish lounge where the last thing one can do is relax.

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