Sunday, May 9, 2010

Not a Review of the Oil Boiler

This is not a review. Why bother, if you missed it? Why write a review for you if you saw it? If you’re like me, you’re still thinking about it. I want more of this creative ooze, this delicious punch of many ingredients, and sure hope they have something up their sleeve for more nights at this magical dark club called the Juggler, upstairs at Shawnna and Rusty’s “Living Room at the Pearl”. What I witnessed amid the puppets, luscious music, and despite God’s annoying interjections was the birth of a troupe.

The troupe looks to have a new home in this new, very living, room. Many of these conspirators in artful dodgery know one another well. The friendships and shared experiences go back years. It shows in their comfort as well as their edgy interactions, their eye contact, their laughter. They practice together and practice more alone. They gather at venues to support each other at performances. This is a troupe.

This is not a review because the play, or whatever I saw, had so many conceptual re-winds, and annoying interruptions from God, mixed with crooning, and tight music, that to review would require an artificial deconstruction of an elegant architected abstract…as much fun as examining Jackson Pollock’s sweeping spills and paint flung gestures with a magnifying glass. Besides, God wrote the review for this before the writers, Tyson and Christian, wrote it. Whenever God gets involved, you know there’s going to be puppets, rules, cynicism and tragedy.

So now the troupe should take us into the world of drama. Write something about lies and in so doing, give us some truth. See if the Preacher can preach without God laughing over his shoulder. Make more puppets. Ditch God, but save the voice and give him challenging text.

Make more puppets. Cut their strings and let the deceit begin. Push the puppets out into the audience. Make more music.

This may sound all a bit cryptic, if you didn’t hang out at the Juggler this past weekend. Don’t kick yourself for missing the Oil Boiler. Don’t start to feel sorry for yourself for not knowing about the Living Room at the Pearl. It’s a real place. And even though the Juggler is not real, the fantastic group of people, the yet-to-be-named troupe of artists of all flavors, is a very living and expanding circle of creative energy.

These are artists who know well how to start with void…silence, blank pages, bare walls…dream and make something. I could write something about God here, cynically scoff at his need to intrude, make rules, and laugh at us, but I’ll bite my pencil and tongue.

Cut your strings. Listen rather than preach. Appreciate, don’t over analyze beauty. Make more puppets. Sing. And after all that nice stuff, allow art to knock you over once in while, slap you “upside of the head” and make you question the existence of…well…you know. If you wanted a review, go see the Preacher.

I want more Oil Boilers…

Take your Mommy out tonight and catch it at 1818 McGee in KCMO...

Full disclosure:

The Oil Boiler, a collaborative bit of musical theater, a dark examination of the human struggle with love, guilt, and God, came to us thanks to a creative, multi-talented group of local artists and a few frequent visitors. Based on an idea and the art of Tyson Schroeder, written by Tyson and Christian Hankel, with music by Jeff Freling and Christian, directed by Scott Cordes.

The “troupe”
Tyson Schroeder
Katie Gilchrist
Shay Estes
Cody Wyoming
Erin McGrane
Christian Hankel
Jeffrey Ruckerman
Johnny Hamil
Kent Burnham
Jeff Freling
…oh…and God…actually Walter Coppage

Puppeteers and artists: Heather Copeland, Sam Cordes, James Pastine, John Kimball, Chris Meck, and Megan Turek

For a review, read Robert Trussell’s piece from yesterday, May 8.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds absolutely fascinating! I wish that I could see it.