Theatre Review: Look For the Signs


Note: This review was posted on the KC Stage review system.

“Rubble”, written and directed by Heidi Van. Produced by HYBRID (part of the KC Fringe Festival). First produced 2011. (Seen July 22, 2011.)

When I interviewed Heidi Van for the KC Stage July spotlight, we talked briefly about “Rubble” — and how it was a window play. Having only recently gone to a few shows at the space, I readily admit I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by the phrase. I now am fascinated by the concept.

Performed both in the front window and outside on the street, “Rubble” is a performance piece that delves into devastation and our reactions to it — and is truly what I think of when I think of the concept of fringe theatre. Being on the street, with the inevitable sirens and helicopters, adds to the atmosphere because of the inherent concept of the production.

Photo by Richard Sutton.

Like abstract art or a David Lynch film, it’s hard to go too much into what the piece was about without explaining it away as a whole — and this is a piece that needs to be experienced, not explained. But on the surface, five performers are on the outside, while two are in the window. While the two pieces seem to be independent of each other, it ends up tying in together and making a statement (at least to me) about how we, as watchers, sometimes miss what’s ‘really’ going on in the world.

Heidi Van, with signs about signs, seems to be the tying thread between the pieces.

The entire cast was flawless in their presentation, with special notice to Gail Bronfman-Bunch for her singing, and both Andy Perkins and Coleman Crenshaw (as the two men in the window) for their Godot-like performances.

I can barely describe the music, played by Katelyn Boone, Katy Guillen, and Peter Lawless (who created it) — at times haunting and creepy, and others adding to the quirky humor. It was a perfect soundtrack to this performance piece.

The Larval Masks were astounding, each one worn different yet the same, adding to the interpretation of the piece.

It was a fascinating production, even if (and maybe even especially if?) I didn’t quite understand what it was all about. If I had the time, I would want to see it again — just to catch things I hadn’t before. It’s the type of show that if you ask five different people about it, you would most likely get five different interpretations.

There are only four more performances of “Rubble”, and if you truly want something original, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Tickets are $10, and more information about the show can be found at the KC Fringe Festival’s website.

Read all of my Fringe reviews here

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