Thursday, June 14, 2012
Opinion: Robert Faires on Now Now Oh Now, Boom and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires offers reflections on learning at the theatre in his engaging portmanteau review of the Rude Mechs' Now Now Oh Now, Capital T's Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, and the Doctuh Mistuh production of the musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson directed by Michael McKelvey and featuring David Gallagher. Here's an excerpt; click the link to read the full text.
All Over Creation:
Turns out theatre is a great place for getting schooled
The woman said that she was going to speak to us about evolutionary biology.
Now, had this been back in my school days, that declaration would have shot a torrent of Barton Springs-chilled water through my veins. See, at some point in my adolescence, science and math stopped coming easily to me, and the deeper into those subjects I ventured, the more I floundered. In my ears then, "evolutionary biology" would have rung with the sound of being dropped into the middle of the Gulf of Mexico without a flotation device.
But I was not in a classroom, and those days were long behind me. In fact, this was just a few weeks ago, and I was inside the Off Center, seated at a long table along with some two dozen other people, and the woman addressing us was a company member of the Rude Mechanicals, playing a character in the troupe's most recent production, Now Now Oh Now. Now, she did indeed go on to discuss concepts in evolutionary biology, and most of it struck me as beyond your basic Darwin – the primary notion being that nature may select for beauty as well as survival skills – but rather than being at sea, I was thoroughly engaged. I mean, I caught that wave way out in the Gulf and rode it all the way in to the Padre shore. What she talked about was not only clear to me, but it's stayed with me in the days since, and I've been much more attentive to birds, wondering about the extent to which sheer pleasure has shaped the development of their coloration and songs.