Keith Snyder
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ILY: Costume change

Between this excellent article, Bill Peschel's comment about Tarantino-meets-Cole-Porter, and the niggling doubts I already had, I've decided I need to change my costume ideas for the Thugs.

These characters started life in CUPID & PSYCHE as parallel-evolution versions of the thugs from the screen version of KISS ME KATE. (There don't seem to be any stills of them on the web, but here's a photo of those thugs in a newer production, in largely the same getup.) I say "parallel-evolution" because when I wrote mine, I'd never seen KISS ME KATE.

Thing is, you dress up a couple guys like that now, and add some violence, and you're in Tarantino territory. I don't want to be in Tarantino territory. I have enough trouble just managing Snyder territory.

Yesterday pushing the stroller back from the park, I thought, What if the Thugs show up at the factory already knowing they're going to break into song? What if they've got all their costume changes on, in ordered layers, under their suits?

It's not the perfect idea. They still show up looking Tarantino in their establishing shots, for one thing; and it would also assume they know in advance they're going to have to explain to Eddie how to talk to his wife, which doesn't make any sense. But it's the beginning of a good idea, and it wouldn't add a lot to the budget.

I've also been trying to figure out how exactly to handle the tall/short comedy of the Thugs. I don't want to play Little Genius and Big Galoot. It's just too done. So I thought, let's switch it. Big Genius and Little Galoot. I like that--but then how do I explain how the Big Genius needs the Little Galoot? After all: He's big.

The answer is so simple, it'll probably seem like an easy one, but it took me a couple of weeks. The Big Genius broke his right hand (probably on Eddie's head during their previous visit), and he needs the Little Galoot to rack his pistol for him.

This also gets me the final shot I want, which is both of the Thugs' gun arms coming up in unison. If they're both righties, the shot's not symmetrical. But if the Big Genius' right hand is broken, he's using his left. So I get the two gun arms, together, pointing at camera.

New storyboards are called for, but tomorrow I'm going to try to get out to Flushing Meadows Park with the Kid Karriage and see how well Daddy's legs hold out.

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