Lights burn bright on a tapestry, and drums and voice wail louder than any jet fighter. La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in association with Object Collection hosts a rousing call to revolution with cheap&easy OCTOBER.
Object Collection has crafted revolution of sound and lights to rival any rock concert. For Object Collection, revolution is knowing where you were and knowing where you’re going. While citing the events of 1917 and 1928, performers bring swords and dirt to the stage. Somewhere between a dream catcher and an elaborate spider web, design by Hannah Dougherty includes a tapestry with iridescent colors that go red in an instant. Communication is everything, and seeing is as important as hearing. There might not be a delicate balance in the near future.
Composition by Travis Just is blaring. Cymbals, drums, guitars, and violins reach new heights while performers intone text by Leon Trotsky, John Reed, Kara Feely, and Fulya Peker. There is a great effort to find range and pitch, while performers stagger the words of “History of Russian Revolution,” and “Ten Days that Shook the World.” Dialoguing takes on a new form, as performers sometimes call out to the audience, angling toward one another from opposite sides of the stage. There is nothing strict about the meter they are using. Choices in the moment are organic, and Avi Glickstein, Taylor Levine, Aaron Meicht, Tavish Miller, Daniel Allen Nelson, Fulya Peker, Andie Springer, Deborah Wallace, and Owen Weaver know how to rock it.
Is dedication everything? The program notes that their onstage performance is “in solidarity with the Gezi uprising and the victims of state violence in Turkey.” Though many of the artists have roots in New York (particularly Brooklyn), they make every effort to call attention to a world view that is larger. Their October and their future is built not only through shapes and objects, but through voice and gesture. Their black and white banners with fists and clouds of smoke contribute to the look of the show. Direction by Kara Feely includes triumphant gestures with objects in the air. It’s all part of a world they are building. The performers, like zombies, curl their eyes back into their head, revealing a desire to go further into a dark world, to find strength and spirit that is greater than suffering.
With cheap&easy OCTOBER, Object Collection is not only making art rock, inspired by October. They are summoning fresh spirit. They create the chance for togetherness without glamour. Glory can come from sitting quietly onstage with four people intoning the words that deeply mean something to you. The questions they pose are challenging: What if the spirit of revolution is abundant? Where is the noise later?
At the end of the show, you have to ask, is Object Collection’s protest too much for you? Even if it was, you have to give Object Collection credit for turning it up and turning it down without blinking.