Thursday, May 1, 2014

Paul Lazar on Radiohole

The amazing Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater on Radiohole's production of Tom Murrin's Myth or Meth that played last week at The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa:

"I promise (maybe) that this is my last email about The Radio Hole show Myth or Meth but I feel that a lot of the comments about it are selling it short cause they are mainly talking about how grotesque the show is. YES it is grotesque and yes the grotesqueness is essential and important because it keeps the piece from ever lapsing into the unacceptable zone of being acceptable. (and the grotesque stuff is so artfully executed). BUT how about the way the performers make that text fucking sail for an hour and a half straight with no lapses? To me the text sits in this unique place between Foreman and Ludlum. Weird poetic philosophical and also deliciously idiotic low end camp. Straight actors would suck dick at saying those words, as would many non traditional performers because because because it requires that you just be that specific bunch of balls to wall people for it to fly. 
HOW about bingo and beer with the audience before the thing "starts". Whenever somebody gets BINGO that's when the onstage action "starts". That's deceptively simple but it created the best atmosphere to receive all that transpired thereafter. No simple trick.
HOW about the set and props. ALL that Whiteness. What a perfect canvas for an evening a shit, puke, piss and jizz. One could wax dramaturgical about staining the ALL WHITE world. I won't but to say I loved all the whiteness, even the glare of white light.
How about the l e d lights and the two stupid "theatre" doors and yes we've seen radio hole and others run the sound from onstage for a long time but to see Scott Gilette dripping with shit hit a button on the sound box and then sing a song. 
How about the costumes? Findley's delicate sheer flowing fabric over his leather jock, that's a pretty exquisite clash. THE WHOLE PIECE IS AN EXQUISITE CLASH BECAUSE THERE'S A HEAVY DOSE OF FUCK YOU ANGER BLENDED WITH AN EQUALLY HEAVY DOSE OF GENEROUS FESTIVE LIFE AFFIRMING GIVING OF AS MUCH AS A LIVE PERFORMER CAN GIVE. And how about the "ERS Law Book by John Collins". That one object describes the whole difference between this moment in Downtown (for lack of a better term) Theatre and Tom Murren's Downtown Theatre. For better and/or worse it is now possible for Downtown work to MAKE IT it the mainstream. In fact, actual members of the Supreme Court are supposedly attending performances of ERS's Arguendo in D.C. right now. 
Tom Murren's work and it's ilk was only seen by the Supreme Court when they were ruling on whether or not to ban it. I am NOT making a judgement about this being a good or bad change in the world of Downtown Theatre. It's just SOOOOO different. Maybe it's a change for the better that a non traditional aesthetic can wend it's way into the mainstream. All I'm saying, as a person who is in the "making it" mode so often myself, is that MYTH OR METH is like one of those Zen stories where one Monk gets too caught up in bullshit that so another Monk does him the favor of whacking him in the head with a fat stick."
Who else saw it?  Thoughts/Comments?