Scenes Around Town: Playing at the Moore

I first saw the Tiger Lilies a couple of years ago. I’d gotten tickets for the Shockheaded Peter show and had bullied the husband into coming along. I didn’t know who the Tiger Lilies were: all I knew was that someone had done a stage production of Struwwelpeter and no one was going to stop me from seeing it. The husband wasn’t really paying any attention to what was going on (he had had a much more stable childhood than I had), but once we got to the theater he was extremely excited to hear that we were going to see the Tiger Lilies. “Who?” I asked, innocently. I think that night we both saw a side of each other that we had never seen before. Exiting the theatre, we swore never to speak of this again. At least, not until the next time they were in town.

Big man, tiny drumset

But the whole thing is, Shockheaded Peter, the original german story, was written for children, so after you’ve seen them sing this, there’s only one way to go, and that’s down, deep down, where you’re not being protected by a PG-rating. The Tiger Lilies sing about arson, alcoholism, sexually transmitted diseases, and kicking babies down the stairs — always in falsetto — all to a cheerful beat and accompanied by accordion or ukulele. At one point the drummer (my favorite guy) reaches down, pulled out a baby doll, and used it as a drumstick.

I don’t know which was more amusing. There were the cheerfully depressing dirges. The lead singer (with a single long braided pigtail), screaming “GIN! GIN! GIN!” in falsetto. There was the packed theater, screaming in laughter and enthusiastically clapping at the end of each song. Or there were four people sitting in front of me who, just before the show started, were asking themselves if anyone knew what this show was about. Two of them got up and left after the gonorrhea song. The other two grimly lasted until the end but obviously decided that the encores were just extra punishment. Their seats were quickly snapped up by a couple of enterprising fans who wished to better themselves.

And this is why you should always do your research before going to the Moore.

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