Wednesday, 17 December 2008

From Good Guy to Bad Guy

On our way to one of the Christmas parties last week (at which I caught a very nasty code which has slowed my preparations to a feeble creep), we noticed a poster on the Metro advertising a pantomime at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.

Pantomimes are another of those very British things that happen in the holiday season. They are aimed primarily at children, but there are usually lots of double entendres to keep the parents amused. There is usually a lot of audience participation and if there is a leading female role, particularly of an older woman, it is always played by a cross-dressed man, which is part of the humour. In fact there is a whole host of portly older gentlemen making a living off of cross-dressing in this country. I don't go out of my way to see them, but when I do, I must admit they are hilarious.

Anyhow, this particular panto advert caught my attention because of the dramatic make up and the vaguely familiar name: Paul Michael Glaser. Bill reminded me that he was formerly of Starsky & Hutch. Remember this guy? Old cars with growling big engines are the stuff of Bill's dreams, and probably over half of the rest of the British male population. I'm guessing S&H may have been reasonably tolerated over here for this reason.

Well now Paul Michael is playing the part of the baddie in Aladdin right here in River City Sunderland, which I gather bemuses a number of Brits. I was going to remark that the make up was one way to hide the wrinkles, but actually he is still strangely attractive.

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