Last weekend I went to a live performance of Point Break in Philadelphia at Underground Arts. If you’re not familiar with the movie Point Break, drop what you are doing and go watch it immediately. Point Break is my favorite movie. It blends early 90’s cheese with an attempt at being completely serious that just works.
It astonishes me how people don’t know about Point Break. Just now I asked a lady in her late 30’s if she ever saw the movie. She responds by saying, “who’s in it?” The fuck? You have to ask me who is in Point Break? Keanu and Swayze, that’s who.
I guess it’s something of a cult film, but I feel as though people should remember this if they were born in the early 80’s like me.
Enough people know and love this movie and it’s awesome serious/cheese that some enterprising youths took to the theatre to create a live show of it. Point Break Live! started in LA and quickly stormed across the nation at multiple locations. I saw the New York troupe who travelled to Philly.
The show started at 8 with doors opening at 7. I got there around 7:30 and called my friend who was inside with the tickets. He came out to meet me and upon entering, I was handed a Point Break Live! survival pack. Inside it contained a couple “Busey Bucks”, a parka, and a Point Break Live! sticker.
What a strong start to the show. To be honest, even if the show was horrible, I would have been satisfied with the fact that they gave me something called Busey Bucks.
8:00 rolls around and some guy in his underwear rolls out on stage saying that Keanu didn’t show up because of some “Hollywood Shit”, and they need to do an audition for the role of Johnny Utah. I knew this was going to happen, but it was pretty funny the way they set it up.
You see, the gimmick of Point Break Live! is that they take someone from the crowd to play the part of Johnny Utah every time they do a show. This makes Point Break Live! a completely new experience every time you go. It also makes it completely hit or miss. This time however, it was an absolute hit!
I got up on stage with my friend Uhll to play Utah. What they do is they have everyone who comes up say an iconic Johnny Utah line, do some physical activity, and say another line. The crowd picks who plays Utah by the level of applause given.
My friend and I didn’t make the cut, although Uhll made the final 3. To be honest, I’d be a much better Bunker or Australian cop on the beach.
The guy who they ended up picking as Utah fucking killed it though. He had the exact sound and mannerisms of Johnny Utah down pat. I imagine he watched Point Break over and over the night before just to get it right. Guy was scary good!
All the actors were damn good, but I especially liked the guys who played Pappas and Harp. They made Pappas into a huge coke head in the show. This makes a lot of sense to me because Busey was completely unhinged in the movie. They just took it to it’s logical conclusion. They also made Harp a little more intense and in your face than the movie with a little gay thrown in for good measure. All of this was welcome as it basically made real what everyone was thinking while watching the movie.
The ponchos that were given out were to protect the crowd from the water and fake blood shot. During surfing scenes they would shoot water into the crowd with super soakers. Whenever there was a death scene, they had little bags of fake blood they would splatter. It was pretty hilarious and another great way to bring the audience into the show. This was especially apparent in the scene where Pappas dies. They took what seemed like 5 minutes to shoot him and have his fake blood spray everywhere.
For the skydiving scenes, they used ropes on the side of the stage in order to simulate going through the air. It was pretty funny seeing Utah and everyone holding hands yelling.
Finally, the ending scene was pretty awesome. What they did was for the fight scene between Utah and Bodhi, they had the girl who holding Utah’s cue cards the whole time come in and do the fight. It was pretty awesome! The whole show they had a guy who looked like one of Bodhi’s crew playing guitar to accent certain scenes in the movie. Of course at the end, Ratt started blasting and he was killing it on the guitar. Just like the movie, it ends on a powerful note and gets you pumped while leaving.
During the show, I was on Phenibut, and I didn’t even notice I was on it until I left. Immediately after getting outside it was like a lightbulb went off and I was amped as shit! I attribute this to the guy playing Ratt at the end.
The only gripe I have with the show is they completely cut the part of the movie where Utah fights a bunch of dudes on the beach and later raids their house. I completely understand why this was cut from the show as it doesn’t really push the plot of the story along, but I think I speak for everyone when I say I would have loved to hear the line, “Back off Warchild, seriously.”
Overall, I’d say that Point Break Live! was the raddest thing I have ever seen. It’s a little strange to think of a live show of the movie Point Break, but damn is it awesome.
From beginning to end you will be entertained and will leave feeling pumped up!
If you get the chance to see it yourself, spring for the seated tickets. I think they are 10 bucks more, but they are totally worth it.