Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yikes! It speaks!

Colm O'Reilly wigs me out. I mean it. He hardly ever moves, and he has this giant head and I can't stop watching him. It's like he's this rock in the middle of the stage, a rock with some kind of tragic history and a slow brute strength. He's a very strange actor, but he makes my heart beat faster, in confusion or possibly animal fear. I've been to two of his shows before- once he was just a recorded voice, once he spent the whole thing in a Quasimodo mask. In tonight's show, "Letter Purloined," he mostly just hummed synth-pop in lieu of actual words. Perhaps this is a blessing, as a whole show of O'Reilly talking and moving like a normal person would make my head explode.

Not that "Letter Purloined" didn't try, anyway. It's a super nifty show, with 26 scenes, a to z, performed in random order (i.e., not a to z.) The Neofuturists, who have a few prints on this play, have gotten us to chill about randomly ordered shows, but "Letter Purloined" actually has a plot. Tricksy. It's based on a plotty story, the Purloined Letter, the silliest, plottiest, least consequental part of Othello, and a number of amusing theoretical writings with no plots at all, and there's no control at all over chronology.* Amazingly enough, I think I could tell you precisely what happened, if not precisely when.

This show also taught me something about myself: I'd be awful at the "name that tune" board game. My recognition of Othello references was running at an easy 100%, wheras my recognition of the Who oevre was like, 15%. I've never realized how irritating it is when other people laugh at jokes that you don't understand!

*The ending tonight, Z, was suspiciously good.


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