Waiting For Guffman

The Play’s The Thing

Main Cast: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Parker Posey

Director: Christopher Guest

The last of my trilogy of mockumentaries, this movie focuses on the small town of Blaine, Missouri and its 150th anniversary celebration. Once again a genre is gently skewered, and this time the drama of the theater is put under the magnifying glass.

We first meet the city council and town historian, who take us through the town’s amusing history. Then we meet Corky St. Clair (Guest), the transplanted New Yorker who dreams of returning to Broadway. He thinks that his musical, Red, White, and Blaine, might do the trick.

He casts the town dentist (Levy), his old standby performers (Willard and Catherine O’Hara) who run a travel agency, a young would-be dancer (Posey), a young stud of a mechanic (Matt Keeslar), and the laid-back storyteller (Lewis Arquette). All are thrilled and hope this will vault them out of the small town. And when Corky announces that a top talent agent from New York, Mr. Guffman, is going to watch the play, their dreams seem almost assured.

The plot then takes us through the rehearsals and private lives of the actors. There are a number of set-backs (I love the scene where Corky asks for more money from the town council), but finally the night of the play rolls around and we get to see the masterpiece.

All in all this is a great movie, poking gentle fun without being cruel. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you will too.

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