Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It's not much, but it's something

I saw Thom Pain (based on nothing) tonight at the DR2. The original actor in the one-man show has been replaced by a new guy, and he must not be drawing them in the way the first one was, because there have been a lot of comped tickets floating around. I’m glad I saw it, but I’m also glad I didn’t pay real money for it. You could describe the show, which runs just slightly longer than an hour, as an anti-sermon or an attempt at the opposite of vaudeville. Instead of someone getting up and putting you at peace with wise words or entertaining you with predictable banter or antics, “Thom Pain” gets up there and looks uncomfortable a good bit of the time and looks confused and distracted and attempts to make you uncomfortable by constantly asking questions and pointing people out in the audience. Several times people didn’t know whether to respond and play along or whether it was more appropriate to just play dumb and be the silent audience member. There is something of a narrative running disjointedly through the piece, but the show is mostly about its own style and also generally standing agog at the inexplicable ineffability of modern life.

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