Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Featured as part of the 5th Annual
Physical Festival Chicago,
Stage 773 at 1225 W. Belmont (773) 327-5252
By Catherine Hellmann, Guest Critic
I’m gonna be honest with you,
I’m not gonna lie,
this is the TRUTH:
The Red Bastard is worth seeing. It is theater like you have not seen before. (And he begins the performance by informing us there is no ending.)
Then again, all people LIE, so why would you believe me?? ;-)
The premise that all people fib, cheat, or are perverts is the foundation of the Red Bastard’s guide to life and love, especially in matters of the heart. Because who really writes these “Rules of Love” that we follow in terms of our relationships? What do we consider “cheating” in a relationship? How honest do
we need to be with our partners?
Swans may pair off and mate for life, but Eric Davis, a.k.a. Red Bastard, concedes he was not wired for being a swan and had his share of sexual shenanigans that made him a “dirty pony.” (How many audience members will make that their new naughty catch phrase?)
To prove that “Everyone lies,” at the beginning of the show, Red Bastard has the audience stand up. (if you are uncomfortable with participating in live theater, BEWARE...or sit waaay in the back. I discovered this personally. More on that later...) To locate an honest person, just one, Red Bastard surveys the crowd. If someone has lied to that particular question, he or she sits down.
It only took three questions to leave nobody standing.
I expected the usual questions: have you fibbed about your age, weight, or a past job experience... but the question that “killed” over half the crowd dealt with how often we select the “I have read and understand” the content on any online website’s “terms and conditions” page before we sign off on all that annoying fine print. As Red Bastard exclaims: “It’s a show about YOU--LIES!” In the theater, which is “a temple of lies!”
So how was I dragged into this soul-baring experience? “If you have ever dated more than one person at a time, wink at me.” I winked. He noticed. Oh, crap. He grilled me on particulars. “Did I lie to one of them?” No. “Why not?” I answered truthfully that they “lived in different cities.” Oh, Red Bastard
loved that and mimed driving across the stage, back and forth, back and forth, visiting my lovers.
Did I regret it? If I could erase the experience, would I?
I shrugged. “It was fun.”
I think I earned the respect of Red Bastard at that moment with my candor.
Told with boundless energy, humor, music (he plays a concertina!), physical theatrics, and wonderful improv, Eric Davis’ tour-de-force was vastly entertaining and thought-provoking. He had the audience rapt; we even laughed when he ate a piece of chocolate onstage. He ate a mango and slow-danced with a man from the crowd, charming all. And this English teacher learned a new vocabulary word from the show: “compersion.” Look it up.
Davis is also running a Bouffon Workshop for the fest. We chatted with Eric (our new BFF) after the show, and he was a delightful, friendly person. When asked where he lives, he said his wife is a member of Cirque du soleil, so he travels to follow her career. What a great husband! His wife got him to finally rebuke his dirty pony ways. We teased him that he needs to officiate at our maybe-someday-wedding.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL!
FINAL WEEK PHYSICAL FESTIVAL CHICAGO HIGHLIGHTS:
AN INGENIOUS DON QUIXOTE VIA SPAIN/UK
A KICK-ASS, ONE-WOMAN LITTLE GIRL WAR
REFUGEE TALE VIA BRAZIL/FRANCE
THIS JUST IN!
A NEW AUDITION WORKSHOP
WITH A LEADING CIRQUE DU SOLEIL TALENT SCOUT
New workshop just added!
From the Inside Out- Dance/Physical Theater Guided Improv – Friday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn directly from top Cirque du Soleil talent scout Leon Kupferschmid. Find out what he looks for in potential performers prior to Cirque du Soleil’s Chicago auditions for dancers, clowns and physical actors, June 9 and 10.
Bouffon Workshop with Eric Davis (aka Red Bastard), Sunday, June 3, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. has sold out.
Limited space is still available for the remaining workshops:
Sculpting Space with Dorie Kinnear and Will Pinchin (UK/USA), Monday, June 4,
10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Dreams, Wishes, Lies with Michael Montenegro, Wednesday, June 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Create Your Own Solo with Gaël Le Cornec and Ben Samuels, Thursday, June 7,
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Comedy & Clowning with Little Solder Productions, Saturday, June 9 at 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Visit physicalfestival.com/workshops for full workshop descriptions and to register. Workshops are $50 each, or look for information on a discounted workshop pass.
Tickets and for full details on all Physical Festival shows and workshops HERE