POSTED ON APRIL 6, 2011:
A Material World
Combining puppetry, dancing and acrobatics, The Aluminum Show reanimates the scrapheap
On tour since January, The Aluminum Show, was created by Ilan Azriel and presented locally by Celebrity Attractions, is making its Oklahoma premiere and is -- though many shows claim this, it's likely truest now than ever before -- unlike anything Oklahoma's audiences have seen before.
The show opened April 5 and features dancers, acrobats, gymnasts and puppeteers, along with a whole cast of creatures formed from recycled aluminum -- some of which are manipulated by human characters and some of which take on lives of their own thanks to robotics technology.
To see a video excerpt of the show, one might think it's all lights and dancing and metal, but there is a story, according to one of its principal performers, Daniel Moser.
"It's an industrial Alice in Wonderland," he said. "It's a story about two tubes, a mommy and daddy tube, and their Slinky child. And they get separated, unfortunately. It's kind of about Slinky's journey to find his parents again. On his journey, in his aluminum world, he meets humans who are also discovering the world. My character helps him find his parents, and we discover one strange, bizarre character after the next."
The show's themes -- playfulness, curiosity, discovery -- are universal, Moser said.
"Discovery is the whole point of the show," he said. "When you walk into the theater, you're going to ask, 'What is this' and discover what's happening next."
The Aluminum Show uses recovered materials from industrial factories that are reused to build the set, dress the cast and interact with the audience. Industrial materials are given new and surprising contexts, as they transform into cast members.
The Aluminum Show first arrived to the United States with more than 60 performances at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J. During the second U.S. visit in 2010, the 50-show tour received excellent reviews, including Fox News calling it "A fascinating, family-friendly, fun and interesting show ... incredibly interactive from the front of the theatre all the way to the back ... very visual ... the energy is amazing ... something I've never seen before"; TheaterMania writing, "The Aluminum Show does everything you can possibly imagine with its star element ... kids will go crazy over this silver-and-black spectacle"; and The Clog writing, "The Aluminum Show certainly makes you take another look at everyday, inanimate objects -- like aluminum foil -- as it brings them to life in this hypnotic performance."
The Aluminum Show uses recovered materials from industrial factories that are reused to build the set, dress the cast and interact with the audience. Industrial materials are given new and surprising contexts, as they transform into cast members. When visual effects, lighting manipulations and enchanting music are brought together, all senses are on high alert. And with sights and sounds that overcome any language barrier, this family-friendly show provides entertainment for audiences of all ages.
Though Azriel conceived and debuted the show in 2003 in Israel, producers recently pumped in an additional $1 million and are guaranteeing audiences a whole new show.
"It had been performed in the U.S. at a few festivals," Moser said. "But the show was more of a curiosity dance piece in that it didn't have a story and wasn't that creatively developed. No one's seen this show. It's completely different.
A lot of themes have been carried over from the old show, Moser said, but the entire presentation and production has been "upgraded," he said.
One of the new additions is the 10-person cast, whose members underwent a rigorous auditioning process in New York City that began with a two-minute, self-devised dance piece.
"That was the producers' introduction to us," Moser said. "They wanted to see what we would bring to show. Originally, they were looking for just dancers, and I'm more of an actor. They were inspired by me, thinking, 'He could be part of a story in the show.'"
The artistic team created Moser's character -- who's technically unnamed but whom Moser refers to as "Link" -- following the actor's audition.
Moser, whose background is theater and musical theater, said he's enjoyed being involved with this most unusual show.
"I love any new creative opportunity or challenge," he said. "I was offered a role in a production of Oklahoma! before this. The Aluminum Show sounded like so much more of an adventure. This so much more a creative opportunity. It was uncharted territory; I kind of wanted to explore that.
"It feels just like theater: I'm warming up, thinking about my character, making acting choices on stage," he said. "The fun thing with this show is I get to interact with the audience."
Moser said the show was developed around the new cast members' strengths.
"If someone said, 'I can do flips here,' then they put flips here," Moser said. "If someone said, 'I can do ballet here," then they put that in the show. The show is very much a hodgepodge of our different styles and techniques, because we all have different strengths, from hip hop, modern, jazz, musical theatre. It's very collective. The show changes every night with each audience."
The Aluminum Show is set to an original score by Ivri Lider, whom Moser describes as "the Justin Timberlake of Israel." The music is high energy and highly creative.
"You know found object theater? This is like found sound music," Moser said. "Ivri uses sounds like machinery and breaking glass and remixes them to create music. By the end, it's just like a party."
The Aluminum Show stages at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St., Thursday-Sunday, April 7-10. Tickets, which are $10-$47, and other information are available at tulsapac.com and celebrityattractions.com.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A37678