THE ELEMENTARY SPACETIME SHOW (César Alvarez): 2016 Fringe review 68.1

Photos by Paola Nogueras.

Photos by Paola Nogueras.

César Alvarez’s unique collaboration with the University of the Arts boasts a youthful cast of energetic performers who create a probing spectacle through the guise of a vaudevillian show broaching a brave topic: teenage suicide.

After a failed suicide attempt our protagonist Alameda (Julia Louis) gets stuck inside what is referred to as the “anteroom to the void” where she must complete eight tasks in order to win the choice of selection—to live or to die—to be or to not. The depth of Alameda’s pain and the particulars of her life story remain mostly unknown casting the light more on the universal questions surrounding suicidal desires than the individual life journey. It is apparent Alameda is one of many lost in a void of “nothingness.” The musical scores weaved throughout feel like prayerful ripples being sent into the universe, into the audience, voices that need to be heard. Voices that rarely feel understood. Alvarez scratches the surface of a much larger conversation with a united front of teenagers who are ready to take a stand.

[The Arts Bank at The University of the Arts, 601 South Broad Street] September 10-24, 2016; fringearts.com/elementary-spacetime-show.

Read Ashna Ali’s take on this production.

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