(SOME) LOVE AND (SOME) INFORMATION (Ira Brind School and Headlong Dance Theater): Fringe Review 9

Staging a Happening used to be straightforward. To jangle the audience out of the role of The Observer, you redefined art from what-I-the-Artist-do-up-here into what-is-happening-between-you-and-me. You and the audience would resonate together and generate an uncanny energy. But these days, everybody’s accustomed to the personal being up for mass consumption. How is a Happening supposed to happen when the most mundane experiences cry out to be reframed as Facebook posts?

some-Love-and-some-Information_Headlong-Dance-Theater-and-The-University-of-the-Arts(SOME) LOVE AND (SOME) INFORMATION, directed by Headlong’s Amy Smith, does it with a simple gesture – an invitation. The whole room is a giant performance space (it feels like a squat, with mattresses and beanbags scattered on the floor). In the beginning, the audience mingles with the actors, who crook a finger and whisper secrets one-on-one. Soon, we’re a cheering crowd at a dance club, and then a regular audience. Our role changes throughout the performance, just like in real life. As the actors repeat lines spoken earlier and repurpose fragments of scenes into different contexts, we keep up because they keep beckoning us to follow along. In the end, the show pulls off the damnedest feat – it makes an incredibly mediated world feel immediate and real. [Caplan Studio Theater at University of the Arts] September 4-7, 2014; http://fringearts.com/event/some-love-and-some-information.

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JB Farley

JB Farley is a longtime Fringe fanatic and know-it-all. He won Philadelphia Magazine's 2012 Best of Philly award for his quizzo hosting skills. Test your wits with him on Mondays at Strangeloves, Tuesdays at the Locust Bar, Wednesdays at Era, Thursdays at Southhouse and Memphis Tap Room (summers only), and Sundays at Local 44.