Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Now Here in Nowhere

Have you ever gotten so inside your head that rather than finding solace, insanity just circles back to insanity? Enter YOUARENOWHERE. Don't let the title scare you. Yes, this is theatrical performance art, but there is a rich message deep within.
Created by Andrew Schneider with a little help from his friends, YOUARENOWHERE is a sensory overload that not only works, it is emotionally cumbersome. As you sit in the space at 3-Legged Dog, the haze pervades the air as your only visual is a frame with a giant white backdrop. But then the lights drop, plummeting you into the mystery of the unknown. You soon feel a sensation you've likely never felt inside a theater: the extreme rumbling of reverberation. Literally, the room shakes. And this sensation is just a precursor of what's to come. Don't be afraid if your mind plays tricks on you. Beware when your eyes deceive you. YOUARENOWHERE is not only magical, it's mystifying. To discuss what happens in Schneider's piece would be a complete disservice to any future audience. It would do nothing but spoil your experience. But what can be analyzed is Schneider's ability to craft something provocative. At the core of his spectacle is one man's journey of self discovery in a trying time. But he does it in a manner that is universal enough that it will leave you with your own existential crisis. He layers the piece with specific ambiguity that is so vague that it manages to hit you where you are most vulnerable. And believe me, it will. As a curator of the evening, Schneider is encapsulating. He steers the trippy ship keeping his passengers eager for the next wave of sensual sensation. Schneider engages in a marathon performance, thrashing about on stage, in a vigorous yet tightly choreographed fashion. The beads of sweat that roll off his body prove just how intense YOUARENOWHERE truly is.
photo by Maria Baranova
It takes a village to bring YOUARENOWHERE to life. Schneider may be the face of the piece but the production was created alongside Karl Franklin Allen, Alessandra Calabi, Daniel Jackson, Bobby McElver, Peter Musante, and Christine Shallenberg. To describe YOUARENOWHERE in a single word is kinetic. The production design is intricate and technical magnificence. Between the magical LED frame to the colorscape of lights to the complexities of voice, every beat was expertly crafted to work cohesively. One missed cue and YOUARENOWHERE is a sinking ship.
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice. Andrew Schneider and company will need to create something out of this world if they plan to top YOUARENOWHERE. Simply put, YOUARENOWHERE defies the impossible. This is not a show for the faint of heart. If you don't leave 3LD feeling a sense of overwhelming, you didn't allow your mind to succumb to YOUARENOWHERE's mystic spell.