Just quickly, tonight is the last chance to see Vivarium Studios The Itching of the Wings at 9 PM at Lincoln Hall. Two years ago at TBA, I let my chances to see Lone Twin slip through my fingers, and heard about the performance from everyone, theater people, visual artists, poets ForEVER. Last year, I cleared the decks, made it to Lone Twin and was rewarded in full.
That performance this year, (the one you must see) is Vivarium Studio/Philippe Quesne’s The Itching of the Wings, a piece built around man’s desire for and efforts at flight, a perfect theme in that it’s been well-explored (Icarus, Phaedrus), but is still compelling, is incredibly hopeful, but allows for spectacular failure and a good dose of humor. On the stage, there are four fields of action, and always at least one member of the company not participating but observing the action. There is a video screen showing documentary interviews (a dentist who makes remote-control birds and a friend of the artists takling about this pastiche-style of theater-making); a small video head that talks, whistles, makes faces; the inside of an apartment and a band rehearsal room viewable through a large window. These fields were employed to hold up the notion of wing, the notion of flight, and examine from all angles: literary, experiential, tangential. It was wide-ranging but managed to effortlessly cohere. Here, goofy worked because it was executed sincerely: failing efforts at computer-assisted simulated flight, smoke machines, lit fuses, a man applying feathers to a suit that he later dons for the finale. It was a perfectly non-Theater-y piece of performance with excellent characters (the visual artist making a seagull out of his ivory loafer, the reader of the bibliography, the painter who wrote song lyrics “That’s it. We’ve had it.” that he wanted to see set to a “cheery” tune) who left me wanting more.
–Lisa Radon