Friday, April 6, 2007

Be - April 5, 2007

According to their press materials Eylon Nuphar and Boaz Berman, of Mayumana have created a show which combines elements from various art disciplines based on music, movement, acting, dance and rhythm.

Perhaps they have. But I'm pretty sure that isn't the show I saw tonight.

What I saw, bluntly, was one hot mess.

I will admit that I am not a fan of 'international clowning' right here and now. But this took it a step further. This was international clowning ... with no interest in the audience.

It was masturbatory clowning. For a show that is, at least in theory, predicated on syncopation (I make this bold assumption from the fact that they spent the entire show pounding or banging on things or stamping in rhythm... usually in rhythm, any way) there was a severe lack of synergy. Or even cohesion.

I could gather a group of friends and bang on pots all night long and I wouldn't call it a show. I would call it messing the fuck around. Just because you do it in front of people does not give you the right to call something 'a show'.

I saw this type of thing done a thousand times better - it was called Drumstruck. There was a clear communication with the audience, a feeling that these people were performing for us, and for themselves, and loving every minute. In BE ... well, let me get some friends and some pots to bang.

The first thing about seeing any theatrical endeavor that puts me off is lateness. I understand that in live theater things can, and do, go awry. But when you begin your show 11 minutes late: baby you'd better make my wait worthwhile.

BE did not.

Their website shows video clips that are charming, lively and fun - it's the reason I went. But that little clip on their site takes place one hour 15 minutes in and it is the only time there is a feeling of a finished product. Then we're back to bad hand clapping and discordant 'dancing' and tumbling and god-help me Mime. Bad mime and clowning.

The costumes looked as though someone had seen the movie Godspell a few million times too many. The performers had no rapport with the audience, and not all that much with each other.

This show was so non-riveting that I didn't even think about Chinese food - all I could think about was how could I manage to escape.

BE with that.

Be, Mayumana
Union Square Theatre
100 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tickets: 212-505-0700 or 212-307-4100

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