A Dispatch from the New York Off-Off Broadway World
Miss O’ is enjoying her blog fest in bed this morning, after a night of delicious, nay, fulfilling theater-going at the innovative live arts sensation that is Lively Productions’ Blogologues™, now running (dancing, riffing, and playing delightfully) at The Players Loft theater in Greenwich Village (through May 5).
This incarnation of the serial show is called, in a perfectly-timed title, Younger Than Springtime! And it is. Or at least I felt that. The key to Blogologues™ is timing: It's a show of present-day explorations into the virtual, and yet very real, cyber world that many humans inhabit for many, many hours of each day. Whatever the form—Tweet, IM, Web Log (Blog), Tumblr, e-mail, online publications, or a desperate plea to Craig’s List, the communication longings of planet Earth’s hyperlinked denizens are on display.
Blogologues™ is the brainchild of two Yale-trained actors, Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula, who clearly went in search of “the next thing” for live theater and saw what was actually happening in the daily lives of actual people, and made art out of it. To the weary eyes and weak heart of Miss O’—who is forever asking herself, “And the point of putting this on a stage would be…?” (when “this” is really a Lifetime TV Movie)—this show (and this is the third and best I have seen) is (true to its current title) a breath of fresh, spring air!
The premise: The Mizzes Goldberg and Jamula, along with fellow company member Matthew Cox, troll the Internet compiling comedy gold, scanning blog after blog after Facebook post, finding up-to-the-nano trends in texting and viral photo sending, and bring each worthy word to life as monologues, screen shots, and choral presentations. Every awful and absurd and rather wonderful letter to the world that is blogging can be found in the show, presented under a theme umbrella.
The actors are as terrific as anyone I've seen on a stage: Goldberg, Jamula, and Cox have appeared, or rather captivated, in each show I’ve attended, and are here joined by equally marvelous cast members, show veteran Wendy Joy and new-to-this-thing (but every bit as on) Dave Thomas Brown. They all help create the show, under the brilliantly imaginative direction of David Hilder. In their creative minds, morph-tastic bodies, and transformative hands (to say nothing of the spot-on music and projections), no blog is merely the sum of its words. All the physical possibilities are explored. Time travel is an option. Birds take wing. Allergies are lived and (not) breathed. Hunger games ensue.
I want to give nothing else away. You simply must see it. You simply must.
As faithful readers know, Miss O’ lives and (figuratively speaking) breathes theater, and yet her latest posts have found her mired in global misogyny and railing against the doofus-assed politics of the country known as “America,” leaving many to wonder of their writer friend, “What about art?” and “Have you lost your self-absorbed head up your fucking ass?” Blogologues™ was the answer to a (neopagan) prayer: How to embrace the weary-making "wonders" of this millennium’s chief product, narcissism, and turn it into 21st Century art? New York audiences are in for a tweet treat.
Blogologues™: Younger Than Springtime
Produced by Lively Productions
Directed by David Hilder
The Players Loft
115 Macdougal Street
New York City, April 13 through May 5, 2012
With Dave Thomas Brown, Matthew Cox, Wendy Joy, Allison Goldberg, and Jen Jamula. Runs approximately 90 minutes, with wine and beer. (God bless ’em, and yet you don’t even need a beer for this, which is more than I can say for Coram Boy…)
Go to Lively Productions website for ticket information: http://livelyproductions.org/home/