Guru Pitka Live
Since last spring, Mike Myers has been testing out his new character, Guru Pitka, on NYC audiences. Friday night he brought the Guru to the Magnet Theater and I went with my family to witness the spectacle.
The tiny theater (less than 100 seats) was packed with friends of Mike Myers (including Sarah Vowell) and NYC improv scenesters who were lucky enough to get through the phone lines last Tuesday to make a reservation. People were standing along the walls and sitting on the stairs and stage, all hoping to see Myer's next big screen character, Guru Pitka, who is kind of like the offspring of an obnoxious yogi and Dr. Phil.
The show certainly didn't dissapoint. I appreciated the time and effort Myers spent on this show. If it weren't for those twinkling eyes of his, you might not even recognize him in his Guru costume, complete with silver wig and beard combo, prosthetic nose, and white robe. He also put a lot of work into the show's graphics. His lecture was accompanied by a slideshow that displayed pictures of his Gurus (Guru Tugginmypuddha), examples of his previous self-help books ("I Know You Are, But Who Am I?"), and highlighted clever play-on-words that parodied the ridiculous world of motivational speakers (the topic of the evening was "Intimacy" or "Into Me I See," and he spoke of taking us from "nowhere" to "now here").
The crowd loved the blessing that is exchanged between the Guru and his followers after every encounter: "Mariska Hargitay." Hilarity ensued during the Q & A, when a Scottish audience member (who, not surprisingly, sounded a lot like Fat Bastard) asked the Guru about losing his aura. Myers responded by saying, "It's hard to hear your accent and not do your accent." But the crowd pleasiest moment came when Guru Pitka was explaining the importance of self-acceptance. He ran through a list of embarrasing scenarios, each one ending with "You must accept yourself." The last scenario was "Even if you’re on a telethon with Kanye West when he decides to say George Bush doesn’t care about black people and you know that motherfucker is right but he didn’t tell you ahead of time, you must accept yourself." Needless to say, this one brought the house down.
After the show Myers was nice enough to sign autographs (my copy of Wayne's World!) and pose for pictures. I asked him about the high-tech cameras that recorded the show from multiple angles (they even had a camera just for audience reactions), whether or not they were for shopping around to studios. He said he's already got the greenlight for the movie, so it looks like we will definitely see Pitka on the big screen. He said he's been working on the script for the past 7 months and realized, "Oh wait, I don't even know this character." So he decided to workshop the Guru more to continue developing him. When I asked him if this would be the last show for the character, he responded with an emphatic "No!" But he's not sure if future shows will be back at the Magnet Theater. So good news for the hopeful few who couldn't get into Friday's show, the Guru will return.