Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review from Elsewhere: Ba

Quoted in its entirety, from Austinist.com:

FronteraFest Long Fringe 2011 Review: Imagine That Productions

A Writers Vision(s) at Salvage Vanguard Theater

John Boulanger knows American absurdism. His precedent-setting House of Several Stories, which garnered the ACTF National Student Playwrighting Award in 2008, presented a refreshing reminder of the genre's ability to stun and strike a deep, resonating cord. Viewers expecting something like a repeat of this stylistic acrobatics show be forewarned: despite typical elements like negligent mothers, incompetent therapists, and general confusion about reality, this show is only absurdist-ish. It's straight-up zany. This show simply won't allow you to take it seriously. Don't bother trying.

It's not just mad-cap and unleashed; there's technically a through-line narrated Seuss-style about a struggling writer visited a la Christmas Carol by three representations of his sub-conscious in his efforts to unclog unclear-to-him blockages in his latest creative process. It hardly matters though; the ridiculousness effervescing through the piece suffices in the place of any real meaning (though admission of this at the end of the piece comes across as unnecessarily defiant). It's a rambunctious pastiche of farce, absurdism, and pop cultural weirdness stuffed with appearances of local theatrical luminaries like Babs George, Jill Blackwood, Martin Burke, and Laura Lane that, in lieu of receiving Equity-scale pay, revel in enjoying themselves on-stage. Most successfully, it’s masturbatory and thoroughly self-amusing without being alienating. Like its lead character in the end, it simply refuses to take the process of writing "seriously" and is all the better for it.

By Bastion Carboni in on January 25, 2011

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