Friday, October 2, 2015

a few words on Tabac Rouge at Brooklyn Academy of Music

James Thierrée is the grandson of Charlie Chaplin.

It doesn't mean much where his talent is concerned since he is at least his grandfathers equal if not his superior.  I only mention it because Thierree's  build and grey hair mixed with some of his mannerisms makes it seem that Chaplin about the time of THE GREAT DICTATOR is on stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Thierree and his theater company are performing in TABAC ROUGE through Sunday and if you want to see some of the most amazing things you will ever see go get tickets now. And that's not hyperbole I am in awe of what I saw and some of it is so far beyond WOW and any other superlatives that I simply can not explain what I saw. Frankly I should have been crying from the sheer joy and disbelief at what I was seeing by quite simply I couldn't and still can't process what I just saw.

The evening began with a mishap- there were technical difficulties and the start was delayed roughly an hour. Hubert and I kind of wondered what all of that was about. What could delay things an hour?

When the curtain rose the stage was litter with lighting rigs, music played, lights flickered. The house lights stayed on. Eventually people were carried on to stage, things happened and a man blew out the house lights. From there wonders came one after another as a huge wall moved around and revealed more people- who slide and danced and contorted their way across the stage Everything was constant motion. Somewhere a dictator or god like figure dealt with the people around him. It all ends with a giant mobile spinning on stage as the audience stood and went berserk with applause.

I kept thinking that was the coolest thing I had ever seen until the next thing happened that made me think that was the coolest thing I had ever seen. And somewhere  in there I started to tear up because I was seeing something that had put me so far past words that all I could do to express myself was to cry.

I can not tell you what the show is. If you look at pictures or clips you'll see stuff that's in there but you won't see what the whole show is. It will not and can not convey what it is like to be in the theater when this thing happens. If pressed I will say its some weird fable that is kind of like watching Charlie Chaplin trapped in a silent post apocalyptic Samuel Beckett play that is occasionally invaded by Bill Irwin.

Its just- WOW.

I'm not going to lie and say everyone is going to love it. It's not for all tastes. There is a loose through line but how and why and what it all means are not specified. Things happen and you either accept it or you'll go mad. Hubert ,who went with me, kind of summed up the best way to handle it which was after a while he just stopped trying to make sense of it and just let the show happen. Frankly the people  who walked out missed one hell of a show stopper at the end. No clue what the giant whirling spinning mobile meant but god damn it was cool.

The show plays through Sunday and you really have to rearrange your life, cancel the wedding, sell the kids, put grandma in hock in order to see this. Trust me you will see wonders the likes of which you have never seen and will be better for it.

For tickets and more information go here.

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