A John Waters Christmas @ the Neptune, 12/5
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar
“I love Christmas so much I could shit,” said John Waters, as he began his show, A John Waters Christmas. The brilliant filmmaker, writer, actor and Renaissance Man, brought cutting humor and analysis to the Neptune on December 5th. Tickets to Waters’ appearance sold out way in advance, and the venue was filled with fans of his work. It’s rare to be able to see an artist such as Waters – wait, are there other artists like Waters? – stand on stage and share his ideas.
The Neptune was formerly a movie theater, so it seemed appropriate the Baltimore-based Waters should set his show there. When the house lights came up so that he could have a Q&A session, Waters said the Neptune, with its stain glass Poseidon artwork, looked like The Poseidon Adventure. For the Christmas show there was just Waters in a sharp, lacy black-and-white suit and a holiday wreath on stage, and, among other topics, Waters talked about . . . Christmas! He bemoaned the fact that The Wire never did a Christmas show, said he thinks crackheads would make the best carolers (Jingle Bells!! Jingle Bells!!), and that he’d like to begin a tradition of breaking into people’s houses and unwrapping presents, then leaving the presents under the tree. Waters will always be a mischief-maker.
With his quick wit, Waters would be one of the last people you’d want to get in an argument with, at Christmas or any other. There’s no way he wouldn’t be able to cut you down to size, no matter who you are. And he’d be really funny while doing it. Nothing and no one were safe from his wicked commentary, from Sylvia Plath (he speculated on what her gas and electricity bills were like), your pets (a dog and owner can only have an S&M relationship, and “I hate to tell you, but your cat hates you”), and all those movie previews (or as Waters called them, warnings). During the Q&A after his show, an audience member brought up Waters’ support of Manson Family member Leslie Van Houton. What did Waters think of Manson? “He’s the kind of person you’d move away from at the bar,” replied Waters. Also, if you’re an actor interested in working with Waters as your director, don’t talk to him in terms of the “craft, journey. . . process.” “We’re making a movie in Baltimore,” he’d respond.
Waters was charismatic, entertaining and he’s got that classic smile. He is the kind of person every single person in the Neptune that night would want to hang out with, and for one evening, we did. Oh, and if you’re still hunting for those final Christmas presents, here’s what Waters said you should send in a gift basket: “Cigs, cash and porn.”