A City Living the Same Lives
Connectivity, we are all living the same or nearly the same macro lives in this city of dreamers, and the symbolism which hammered this lesson home? Effing Los Angeles TRAFFIC that’s ‘traffic’ as in the four letter word we all hate so much!
The moment you walk into the theatre you’re enveloped in the whimsy of Wonder City The Visceral City Project. From the parking ticket you’ll likely receive to the interactive preshow set, everything about Wonder City tells you you’re in for a happy pleasant evening.
Dreams, Wonder City is a collection of the stories of Los Angeles, in a city of dreamers Wonder City puts the every day on stage and magnifies it, lifts up the common allowing everyone to see how connected, how alike we are. As I said, the show starts with Los Angeles traffic, each player is both vehicle and driver making their way through the clogged and congested arteries. Through the passing, stop and go, cutting off, makeup applying; you see behind two thousand pounds of metal glass and plastic are people, people markedly akin to ourselves.
As the Traffic piece comes to an end, you see the start of threads which can be interpreted by the audience. Wonder City is the type of Play where five people can come up with six or seven different opinions on the interweaving of the subtle story throughout; which is Los Angeles at its core. We all live the same macro events, but how we react becomes a personal experience. Wonder City is a sonderous journey which serves to remind us; that while we experience our individual story, so is everyone else around us.
The players were aided in the painting of this immersive dream by two characters. One character was the unseen, charmingly local, nostalgic and whimsical sound design by Roger K. Weiss. The other character is Los Angeles Herself. Unheard, grand yet tangible; the scenic designs of Meg Cunningham bring to life the Los Angeles we are familiar with of old dreams. With the talented ensemble the living sound, props, scenic set, and blocking, a dream as grand as Los Angeles is put forth on stage, and it makes you feel at home.
Wonder City is a breath of fresh air in a world that presently seems all too polluted. It’s a clean rain to revitalize the spirits of the City of Angeles. Every member of the ensemble deserves mentioning equally, which is why aside from the sound and set I held back on names. The pieces are too grand to be described, and each weaves through Wonder City with nearly equal weight. Wonder City is a collection of dream Venn bubbles overlapping, passing through one another. Each piece can be connected to others, and interpreted in more than one way, and the ensemble weaved this dream beautifully. To pick apart any of the threads would leave one quickly in knots. Sit back, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy Wonder City.
Wonder City Directed by Ashley Steed appears as part of Company Creation Festival, at Son of Semele Theater January 18th through February 12th.
For more information visit sonofsemele.org
Ashley Steed, Christina Bryan, Meg Cunningham,Roger K. Weiss, Mate Motzenbacker, Alexander Freer, Joe Shea, Mark Hein, Stacey Jack, Christian Pretice, Melissa R. Randel, Flor San Roman, Eric Trules,