Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dada Rave

Here's a rave review from Time Out this week about Soiree Dada...

Soiree DADA: Blinde Esel Hopse
WNEP Theater at Chicago Cultural Center (see Fringe & storefront)
Dir. Don Hall. With ensemble cast.

The white-faced cast of Soiree creates a little Duchamp of horrors.


One of WNEP’s clownlike Dada creatures is in the middle of an emotional monologue when suddenly his fellows surround him, making noise, shouting, singing and generally drowning him out. The storyteller soldiers on through the distraction until he can’t take it anymore, shouting, “I am having a poignant moment here!”

Good luck with that, we think. There’s poignancy in the latest Soiree DADA; it’s just not in Hallmark-card form. These Dadaists will move you, but they’re not going to be mushy about it.

The latest edition of WNEP’s nonsense cabaret, sprung from the confines of its shoeboxlike former spaces, ups the ante for its stay at the Cultural Center with a cast of 11 white-faced, questionably accented Dadaists, combining the purposely irrational, logic-rejecting anti-aesthetics of Dada practitioners Tristan Tzara and George Grosz with elements of vaudeville (unlike the Dadaists of old, this group isn’t averse to actually entertaining us).

Hall and his cast take us on one daft roller-coaster ride, careening from the sublimely silly (the petulant Dadaists fight over their belongings like toddlers) to that aforementioned prickly poignancy—witness Jen Ellison’s aggressive, desperately powerful, climactic counting piece. Those allergic to audience participation should find other plans, but a little harmless “in your face” is a small price to pay for some darn good “in your brain.”

Kris Vire

Nat Topping also has some interesting things to say about his experience of the show over at Clever Title.

This show has been very interesting experience for me as an actor. It's the first show I've done where people will come up to me afterwards and tell me they enjoyed it and then not be able to articulate anything else about it. Same on my end. The most I have to say is "thank you." The only exception I had was one person who came up to me and told me about all the research she did on Dada before coming. It was interesting for her to do so, but not very helpful in actually seeing the show. I think everyone gets something different from the show. Many people have told me they have thought about the show for days after seeing it. Dada, in its subversive ways, affects the performers and the audience on a level that percolates just below the surface. It's difficult to put into words, which might very well be the point.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Gull Meadow Farms has created a tribute to President Ford by carving his likeness in what?"

16% said "A vat of butter"
- No. But I heard he fell in one, once.

16% picked "A pile of manure"
- No. But I heard he fell in one, once.

No one thought it was "A soy bean"
- No. But I heard he fell - oh, wait...
Stuck in a rut, here. No, that was Jew-hater, Henry Ford. Stupid Jew-hater. (Um, yeah. Look, It's 4am as I write this. I'm up early to do more work on that corporate assignment. My brain cells are spread thin.)

68% got it right with "A corn maze"

According to the Associated Press, a farm not far from where Ford grew up created a maze in a cornfield in the likeness of the nation's 38th president, who died last December. Reagan gets a King's funeral. Ford gets a corn maze.