Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Working from blank pages: creating the Oil Boiler

This is not a review. I have no idea what’s going to happen next. They cornered me in a club, upstairs at this storefront, this former car showroom on McGee. The cocktail chair may have been hard, but I was too busy looking at puppets and the lounge singer. The music sounded smooth, edgy but effortless. I think someone killed someone and someone else thinks he was the killer as someone else played God with a definite upper-case god-like voice.

I’m not sure where they’re going with this and it felt intimidating to be surrounded. I saw the exit sign but decided to stay. Was this a play rehearsal or a party? What’s all this about an oil boiler? Some kind of appliance? The club’s called “The Juggler”, aptly named, for there seemed a lot going on. Or maybe they mean like the vein because there was some talk about a lot of blood.

Upstairs at the Pearl…a real place at 1818 McGee…walk through the “Living Room”, take the stairs at the back left, and enter the Juggler…not a real place, but a place you can visit May 7 – 9. Take a painter who develops a premise and a word sketch, pass the idea to an actor who knows a bit about music, slip the pages past the eyes of a few musicians and actors who do more than act, come back to the painter who’s painted some puppets, reel in an architect to design the sets, add a band…write some songs, convert the bare space into a dark club where perhaps we can shed a bit of light upon life…and keep this Oil Boiler thing enough under wraps to make it interesting.

This is not a review. I watched as artists brought out their palettes of voice, images, music, prose, light, dark, dance. Sounds complex but it’s brilliantly simple. People work together. Some called it collaboration but that sounds too corporate and makes me think of “death by PowerPoint”. This is a troupe that’s not a troupe yet but will be after this oil boils next week. This assembled buffet of talent looks to be on to something we cannot yet name, but we’ll be naming it in the coming months.

This is not a review. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but next occurs on May 7, followed by two more “nexts” on the 8th and 9th. Book a chair for twelve bucks at 816.529.3901 or book online here.

The Oil Boiler
May 7, 8, 9 at The Living Room at The Pearl
1818 McGee Kansas City, MO
Written by Tyson Schroeder and Christian Hankel
with original music by Christian Hankel and Jeff Freling.
Directed by Scott Cordes
Tyson Schroeder, Erin McGrane, Katie Gilchrist, Walter Coppage, Cody Wyoming and Christian Hankel
Featuring Shay Estes as Holly Red
With the musical talents of Jeffrey Rukaman, Jeff Freling, Kent Burnham and Johnny Hamil

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