Dec 4, 2004

Roht Reaction

I think I just heard a woman speaking in tongues... in Spanish. As I walked up Roselake Ave. to my car after the dizzying, piled-high wedding cake of a confection that is the Evidence Room's Peace Squad Goes 99, I passed a nondescript building from which emanated the strident, hysterical voice of a woman leading a Pentecostal worship. It's a cold night, so the windows weren't open--I couldn't hear details but I could see her congregants gathered, rapt, in the fluorescent-lit second-story room.

Somehow this seemed a fitting nightcap after the heady Shirley Temple cocktail irrepressible dance/theatre impresario Ken Roht has whipped up. There's really too much to talk about with this piece, except to say: Miss it at your own peril. But I must note that I was blown away by the titular "Peace Squad"'s Korean boy-band numbers, which layered on top of the '70s-disco-peacenik-comic-book cheesiness of the squad in such a rich and explosively entertaining way, in the midst of a controlled frenzy of fairy-tale camp and color and booty-shaking whimsy.

What do you call it when all your theatregoing faculties are engaged (hmm, I'm seeing a little Wizard of Oz here, hearing a little Fiddler on the Roof there, and--oh, wait, now I'm grooving to some N'Sync moves flavored with a kind of live-action animé) by an entertainment that's not out to confuse or even necessarily edify us, instead simply to delight us, to turn us on? I feel like all my antennae were up and they got a great tickle--the kind that makes you double over in ecstasy and wake up flushed, thinking, What was that? That was something.

Forget A Perfect Wedding: This is the show that should have opened the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

A girl can dream, can't she?

UPDATE: Yes, Virginia, there is 99-cent wine. I would advise sticking with the alternatives.

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