Saturday, October 29, 2005

Automatic Superstar, part 2

It was pointed out to me that I didn't mention Tracy in my blog about automatic superstar. Naturally I feel like shit. Of course, now that it's been pointed out that I didn't mention her, mentioning her seems totally insincere. but I'll do it anyway.

Tracy plays Tracy Trouble, the female love interest/wannabe rock star in Automatic Superstar. She is cute, sexy, and has an amazing set of pipes on her. If any record execs actually do see the show (not likely, considering the subject matter), she could end living out her part in real life. She's that good.

A further note about the brechtian quality of the whole play. Some of this comes from working with rock and roll people as opposed to theatre people. While everyone involved has some theatre experience, the production is being run by people who are primarilly musicians. As such a lot of the conventions of theatre are completely ignored, particularly in regard to the audience. Like *The Donkey Show*, which provides some inspiration for this piece, the audience is supposed to be part of the erformance. It is supposed to be in a rock club. The band hangs out on the floor at intermission as though taking a break between sets. The actors mingle with the crowd before and after the show--even Matic, who come sotu and shakes a few hands before taking his place for the overature. The extras, playing mostly concert goers, are int he crowd the whole time. There is no illusion here. THe piece is in a way very ritualistic, as though the actors come on as themselves and say "ok, now we're going to do a show." This fits in with the iconic nature in which the characters are written. There is absolutely no barrier set up between spectator and performer.

The interesting thing is how few of the audience members get it. They act as though they have come to see a PLAY. They look for seats when they come in (it's a dance hall, seats run out fast). The sit or stand during the performance more or less quietly--or, more precisely, as though they are observers. I have only seen one person so far join the extras and dance as if they were at a concert. It's kind of dissapointing, but very pavlovian. People when they go to see a rock concert expect a different kind of aesthetic then when they go to see a play, and audience members seem to be conditioned to take a position of passive observation when viewing what they no to be a play, a conditioning that is hard to break.


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