Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Physics of Regret by Boise Contemporary Theater

Rating: 11100
I caught the saturday matinee of the world premiere of Michael Rohd's "The Physics Of Regret" as interpreted by the Boise Contemporary Theater at the Fulton Street Theater.

The director describes it best as: "...the show is more a collage than a single plot-drive narrative - in fact, it's a living puzzle."

There are multiple seemingly unrelated storylines starting off with a discussion of perception-- why do we see the same thing yet "see" it differently?

The story introduces Joseph Plateau and his early invention which was the predecessor of modern cinema. This invention flashed a series of still photos of a man in the motion of sitting on a chair from a standing position. He notices that the illusion of movement is achieved not just because of the photos but of the black spaces in between that result to a sort of temporary "permanence" of the image. Heavy stuff.

What was pretty interesting about the play was how it merged:
... choreography - the main actors going through the motions of sitting on a chair to trippy music-- in various speeds! they'd slo-mo their movements then suddenly fast forward... as if you were watching them through Plateau's invention...
... multimedia - the use of images (both moving and still) from an overheard multimedia projector was ubiquitous all throughout: representing hallucinations and what not
... song - they even broke into song well into the second act of the play! Surprising but refreshing!

It was certainly different from the Repertory Philippines' plays i'm used to and I must admit I didn't really fully understand what it was all about (the older gentleman beside me fell asleep).

I wouldn't pay another $24 to watch this again however if you get the chance, I encourage you to watch this-- para maiba naman.

Three pawikan points for this one, but i'd give bonus points for the cool choreography of the finale which demonstrated a lot of movement onstage with people disappearing and reappearing as somebody else much like a magic show. Maybe asking yourself why they did this is really a part of the performance. But for now, the meaning escapes me.

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