The reviews for Naomi Iizuka's Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West are fantastic.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, the Little Man is jumping out of his chair! Here's more:
“Scintillating…a sexy puzzle…The shards of story, vintage and modern photos, lies, surmises, history and tattoos set the mind spinning about topics as varied as the art and commerce of photography, the ways in which humans love and use one another, a century of intercourse between Japan and America and the mutable relationships between appearance and reality…So full of casual clues and odd payoffs that every moment is worth close attention…A puzzle that haunts the mind long afterward.”
And then there's this from the Bay Area News Group:
“Dazzling…A sly, elliptical play…Tantalizing images shimmer throughout…Touches on issues of art, authenticity and the elusive nature of perspective. It’s shot through with provocative visuals and intellectually stimulating themes.”
KGO 810AM raves, “Another winner from Berkeley Rep! With its intricate, clever combination of lights, sounds and visuals, it will absolutely amaze you. When I say this is a `must see,' I really mean it. I give it a `Wow!'”
Now see for yourself. Explore Strange Devices with this tantalizing peek:
Top photo: (from left) Kate Eastwood Norris, Bruce McKenzie, and Johnny Wu in Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com
This was the most unpleasant theatre-going experience I have ever had at the Berkeley Rep. The strobe lights were blinding, the cigar smoke noxious, and the play itself a half-baked, disjointed mess. The actors were good to excellent (as per usual) but the script needs to be sent back for more work.
I loved it. The bright lights did not have super-human blinding qualities, you could shut your eyes and not have any issue; just like when you're having your picture taken! I found the smoke to be quite calming. It reminded me of the days gone by. I don't mean to say you're a whimp but I find the car exhaust while waiting in bridge traffic to be much more noxious. The play itself was magical - and that's all that really matters.
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