“My Life En Route” is the working title of my autobiography. The story of a theatre reviewer biking from show to show. As I watch lives unfold onstage, I manage the dramas and comedies of my own life. Riveting stuff!? But what is it? Is it…
- a film,
- a play,
- a musical
- none of the above
- all the above
Biophiliac Productions presents EYE INSIDE: THE ROCK AND ROLL ALLEGORY OF VANCE BARRETT. A man has gone berserk. He is in a strait jacket in a padded room. Who is he? What happened? Through a musical retrospective, the audience learns the back story of Vance Barrett. He’s a successful talent agent. His business practices are questionable. Years ago, his business partner died leaving a directionless son. Vance has a ward of his own but is more interested in his partner’s offspring. He spins his public relation savvy and makes-over the kid into a celebrity sensation. Fame, jealousy, and drugs expose secrets. Whose spinning who? EYE INSIDE: THE ROCK AND ROLL ALLEGORY OF VANCE BARRETT is a little “Behind The Music”, a lot “Entourage”, and slightly vaudevillian with an ever present clown.
EYE INSIDE has plenty of razzle dazzle. I spend the first act trying to decipher the story from the flashy spectacle. There’s a clown centerstage. He mimes an amusing routine as the audience takes their seats. He then melds into the 6 piece band, The Pawns, serenading the story. Their sound is electrifying. The music jams through the show. So much so, I have trouble making out the lyrics. It creates a fun atmosphere but it’s not an audio aide. Clown, band, guy in a strait jacket…film clip? Projected on the right side is a short scene of two guys doing shots. And one of the film actors looks like the crazy guy. Cue the chorus dancers! A trio of talented dudes add more snazzy accessories to the visual. They sing, dance, do drag, do lines… and add vibrant imagery to the creative showcase. It’s a whole lot stuff going on.
EYE INSIDE was co-created by Sam Quinn and Amelia Turner. Quinn also serves as writer, composer and star. Turner has various roles too, including director. The multi-media piece is an ambitious undertaking. The idea of combining genres is an occult manifesto waiting to happen. The entertaining aspects are present. Clown, band, go-go boys, film clips are all like one hit wonders looking for a collaborative label. Quinn and Turner need to pull them together in concert. Coming up with a stronger underlying melody to orchestrate the story will help establish a richer sound to go with all the visual stimulation. With more cohesion, EYE INSIDE: THE ROCK-N-ROLL ALLEGORY OF VANCE BARRETT could be 5). All of the above.
Running Time: Two hours and ten minutes includes an intermission
At Viaduct Theatre, 3111 N. Western
Co-created by Sam Quinn and Amelia Turner
Written by Sam Quinn
Directed by Amelia Turner
October 14th – Nov 5th
Thursday-Saturday @ 8:30pm / Sun @ 7pm