Friday, January 22, 2010

then whose lover is she?

I spent the night with Michael Jackson.

I could make a cheap (and tasteless, as if "cheap" and "tasteful" were natural partners) joke about selling my tale to the National Enquirer

But you have heard them all -- and can probably contribute some of your own.

Of course, it was not the real Michael.  I realize some of his fans were disappointed that he did not show up for his This Is It tour three days after he died.  But he failed to show up in person in Melaque on Thursday night, as well.

Who did show up was a very talented impersonator: Faraon.  He impersonates a number of Mexican entertainers. 

But the northern crowd at Ricky's was provincial enough that Mexican humor would fly over our balding pates faster than Tinkerbell at a skeet shoot.

So, rather than regale the crowd with the wit of Juan Gabriel, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder showed up to prove that we Boomers know what we like and we like what we know. 

We would have expected the real stars to sing the same familiar songs.  Nothing is more disturbing than the unexpected.

He was a good entertainer.  The lyrics were synched.  But the moves, the steps, the banter were all Faraon, and he caught the spirit of both Michael and Stevie.

I do have to add one little note.  Faraon's skin tone was a bit dark to play Michael (a joke he made himself), but too light to play Stevie.  He resolved the latter problem the way Al Jolson and a generation of minstrel show performers did -- with black face. 

The PC shock could have been registered on the Canadian Human Rights Commission monitor in Ottawa.  But, we are in Mexico, not north of the border, where entertainers are not hounded off the stage for perceived insensitivities.

The fact that Faraon could catch the spirit of Michael and Stevie begs the question: why are we so enthralled by celebreties?  Why do we spend our evening watching a fellow pretend to be super-stars?

We have all run into fantastic entertainers who seem to be permanently stuck on the D List.  They have made the cut enough to make a living at entertaining. 

But they will never have the type of Baal-admiration accorded to the entertainment demi-gods.  Of course, the answer is that life is what it is; it is not fair.  Nor does it pretend to be.

Faraon will never find out what it is to be the Mexican Michael Jackson -- or even George Michael.

So, he plays the faux celebrity, and we enjoy our evenings -- for a moment believing that Billie Jean truly is our lover.


norm said...

Marketing is the difference between selling a little and selling a lot. It matters not if it is something you can drop on your toe or something that makes you laugh, the better you market the product the better it sells. Jackson's father was very good at marketing his son's talent and got him off to a good start. They had a good deal of resentment between each other and for good reason but it was the father's ability to sell his son's talent that made THE KING OF POP.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a good time watching Stevie and Michael.
I have no problem with impersonators, if you enjoyed the "show" then they've have delivered what was promised.

Anonymous said...

Who cares who he's impersonating, as long as you had a great time! Mary

Tancho said...

I'm still waiting for your sequel to the drag show of last year....

Gloria said...

How fun Steve. As long as you enjoyed your time, then all is well. I personally loved Michael and was very saddened by his loss. He lives on though. Sounds like you are getting out and about. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Norm -- One of those Father's Day tales that carries its own shackles.

Francisco -- You are correct. Live entertainment is always its own best reward.

Mary -- At least he was not impersonating me. I leave that to Darrel.

Tancho -- I suspect I will not be going back. it simply was not very good. But we will see if there are any other requests. Who knows? I may.

Gloria -- I need to get out and about; I will soon be heading north.