Of Death and Spaniels

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Even before the Eddie Izzard show started, I was having a brilliant time. The guy next to me was from Chile, and had also studied art. We spent the half hour or so before the show trying to figure out the Rococo carvings all over the walls and ceiling of the theater. I was firmly convinced that the one row was stacks of frogs. We also found a stack of hamburgers, interspersed with Tikis. And a woman having way too much fun riding a turtle. The whole theater was just one huge Rorschach test. What the frogs and the hamburgers say about me, I hesitate to think.

Any show that begins with “I’ve come to talk to you about death and spaniels” is just bound to be brilliant. For some reason, I suddenly flashed to Terry Pratchett, and the Death of Rats, one of my favorite bit characters ever.

At any rate, Eddie was brilliant, as advertised. It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but I did nearly spit out a kidney when he did his routine about opera. Picture him playing the baritone, then the soprano, back and forth, shaking the microphone around to get the vibrato. He is firmly of the opinion that even the Germans and the Italians can’t understand what people are singing in operas. It’s hard to argue with him. And that the guy who sings “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro” ad nauseum needs to be slapped and told to get on with it.

This may have struck my funnybone particularly hard because the theater was so similar to the theater where I suffered through so many operas as a kid. Including Figaro. Or maybe Eddie’s just a genius. I’m voting for genius.

At any rate, at the end, he makes this fabulous defining statement:

“Opera is just very rich people watching very big people being shaken by very small people.”