Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Real Pain

Sorry, guys — that was one hell of an intermission. Act Two of “Compton Cookout: The Musical” needed some serious mulling. Plus, now that its springtime and Sun God unity is near, I think we can dig even harder on the beauty of what went down last winter — a raucous back-and-forth of action and reaction, with genius little script-quips flying between camps, and enough out-of-the-blue plot twists to send Scorsese back to the Dark Ages.

When we left off, Compton Cookout: The Party (namesake of my dear musical, which I proposed as therapy for monster racial tensions running through the cold eucalyptus groves of yesterquarter) was starting to really get loose.

Bros were aiming balls at sluts, sluts were harmonizing misogynistic Lil Jon and Lil Jon lookalike Jiggaboo Jones still lingered — like “The Wiz” in scar tissue — as a burn on our view of the awesome crimson curtain down back.

So, just when the sluts and bros think they’re safe beneath the memory of Jiggaboo — who will, on the closing curtain, return to take maternal responsibility for white sluts who dress as ghetto chicks when bros on Facebook tell them so — a mysterious goo begins to fall. Bucket after bucket of deconstructed purple drank is overturned from the rafters, unleashing a glistening waterfall of ingredients: streams of chicken broth, Kool-Aid, chicken broth, Kool-Aid. The “all you bitches crawl” chorus melts into a hearty “make it rain on dem hoes” — this time, just the boys, in baritone! — and purple drank washes the remaining fried-chicken grease from the wife-beatered fronts of all partygoers. Sluts’ faces are serene, for they are remembering a craving they felt during their quiet suburban childhoods to be slimed onstage like Nickelodeon peers in braceface.

As Jiggaboo’s brothers/sisters from other mothers melt to the ground like they’re on some wicked-witch shtick, a perfect marching block of humans in black body suits (with holes only for their orifices) marches across the stage, back and forth, solemn as praying mantises, engaged in a gospel round of “Real pain/ Shut it down.” This is a practical element in that it allows bros and sluts to escape and tidy up in their dressing rooms backstage, while of course giving the audience a great feeling of solidarity with this chugging train of Black Student Unioners and whoever else may be marching beneath a body suit.

The next scene takes place at the Student-Run Television studio. Joose cans litter the floor. A row of witnesses with their hands over their eyes encircle the ratty centerstage sofa, where a particularly hairy man sits in a poncho. He bobbles his head and unleashes a string of letters in no particular order for five or more minutes, until it becomes excruciatingly incomprehensible. There is a brief pause of welcome silence until he leaps up for his operatic battle cry: “Ungrateful niggers!” The witnesses move their hands to their ears in a grand slap and begin to repeat his toxic phrasing like larks on a loop, climbing in octave until we can’t even hear the words anymore. Lights down.

Remember, this is art. It’s supposed to make you angry. The BSU block marches through once more, so that Joose cans may be brushed to the stage gutters and the SRTV office may be closed for business. They pace a little longer this time, but eventually part their rectangle to reveal the limp figure of M.A. Fox, hanging from the ceiling by a piñata levy, manned by the heroic Penny Rue. We won’t even need a real actress for Fox — a dummy with red-rimmed orbish eyeballs will do.

Sit tight until next week. The real Cookout has only just begun.

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