I am not a Klingon

“We wanted to put together a show that people outside the theatre world could appreciate, but we also wanted to put together a show that fit with our mission of producing translated works.” (source)

That was an explanation, at least in part, for the creation of A Klingon Christmas Carol. Essentially the telling of the classic Charles Dickens tale set in a Klingon world. You know…the Star Trek characters? Or, excuse me, perhaps I should say “species.”?

If that’s not enough, it’s actually performed in Klingon.

Oh, yes. With English subtitles for those in the audience who needed it.

I guess when I question why do something like this, I expect the only real answer to be “why not?” And that may need to suffice, because beyond that I can’t think of a reason.

I also question the thought behind the quote at the top, however. It makes it sound as if most all of the shows produced by Commedia Beauregard are intended to please only people within the “theatre world” which seems like a rather limiting scope, when I know from their other productions over several years that does not, in fact, seem to be the case. (I’m assuming that people “inside the theatre world” would mean those who work in the field, which is made up of people who mostly watch stage shows a bit differently than a general theatre-going public.) It seems to me that doing works that the general theatre-going public would appreciate would be a given, not a lofty goal. And while I guess it could be argued that this is indeed a translated work, it involves a completely fictionalized language. (!)

I realize that some people, perhaps even linguists, might take issue with that statement. I stand by it until sociologists recognize the Klingon culture.

I’m not a Trekkie. Or a Trekker. Or whatever it is I would be if I were a fan who could name more than Captain Kirk, Jean Luc Picard and Scottie. Ok, if I think about it I can name one or two more, but you see my point. I don’t think I’m the audience for this…classic tale.

The guy behind us, who was panting with excitement and laughter at every Ferengi, Vulcan and..I don’t know, Ferby* reference may have had to leave the building discreetly covering his lap. He’s the audience for this. As were those in Star Trek costumes. And the cast members who did the Klingon salute or whatever it was at the curtain call.

Not me.

Before I completely dismiss it I should point out it’s found its audience. Opening night was almost completely sold out, and the crowd was very enthusiastic. It’s been revived for the past several years, and has now expanded from St. Paul to Chicago. Clearly there’s an interest for it.

I may not get those hours back, but it was a fascinating evening nonetheless, and I’m always a fan of risk-taking.


* Yes, I know ferbies don’t come from Star Trek.


5 thoughts on “I am not a Klingon

  1. This is a very confused review, was it too elitist for you or too plebian? The Klingon Christmas Carol is a production that is fun. It has elements of great art as well as deeply comedic tropes. Admittedly it does require a certain openmindedness, and a knowledge of Star Trek is extremely helpful. I am sorry if it was not ironic enough for you , as it does have Dicken’s deeply hopeful and redemptive theme in it.

    I fear that as one does not go to a steakhouse and complain that the fair is not vegetarian friendly, you may have wandered into the wrong venue. That of course does not mean it was beneath you or beyond you. We should at this point invoke the rule of in gustibus non disputandem

    • Were you somehow involved or associated with this production? I only ask because you apologize for it not meeting my expectations, or at least you do so in a sarcastic sort of way.

      I apologize if I sounded elitist. I didn’t mean to indicate it was beneath me, or that the work was…I don’t know…lowly, or something? I think I clearly indicated that I was not the intended audience.

      The great thing about art is that it’s subjective. Yes, the show has some fun parts. I disagree that is has “elements of great art” while I’ll agree there are some very funny things. (Yes, I even laughed at a few things, and I acknowledged the audience enjoyed themselves too.)

      But to piggy-back on your analogy, in this case I think I went to a steakhouse and said, “Huh. Turns out I don’t like steak. Some people do, but I don’t get it. Oh, well.”

      in gustibus non disputandem, indeed.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Yea, I was one of the translators and contributed some ideas and dialog. I also made all the prosthetic makeup. Thanks for your reply, and yes, not everyone will appreciate it, it’s a bit nerdy.

  3. Oddly, I’ve heard from other sources that some people have not liked the fact that I didn’t enjoy this show as much as they (or I, for that matter) would’ve wanted. And some have said how I don’t have a clue as to what it was all about, and take issue with my entry.

    I’d like to point out that a) I went because I was interested to see what this was all about, and I did so knowing that I was not likely to understand and appreciate many references, b) my date for the evening was much more familiar with the references and thoroughly enjoyed it, c) I clearly acknowledged that there were many people who were enjoying it and have enjoyed it in past years (which I think would say there’s certainly something there to enjoy), d) I acknowledged I’m not the audience for this (and everything has an audience) and e) this is simply my description of my experience, not really a review and not intended as a review (especially since I don’t think its thorough enough to truly be one.)

    I put random things up on this blog, about shows, scripts, writers, pictures, and any other variant of creativity that I experience, participate in or think about. It’s all just my opinion. I can’t expect it to please everyone.

    And while some may think I’ve dismissed the whole thing entirely, which I haven’t, I’d like to point out my summation at the end: “..it was a fascinating evening nonetheless, and I’m always a fan of risk-taking.”

    Kudos to the company. Now if I could only say Happy Holidays in Klingon!

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