3rd Rush 80’s Edition was the nostalgic shock we all needed, providing necessary laughter to a city which had been down in recent weeks. From the opening cords on Leif’s guitar the mood of the crowd rose through the clouds, lifted up on the kinship fostered by so much awesome music!
Six songs take us on a much needed lighthearted journey back to a simpler more rockin’ time. Sebastian coerced the muses to apply pressure to Rush creativity. The intense pressure worked and each piece of 3rd Rush stands alone a unique pillar supporting the overall mandate to make the audience laugh, make us happy.
From go a force flows, the dark theatre is hit with a wave of that rebellious energy from the 80’s, the audience instantly awoken by the cords of Take Me On sit up ready for what’s to come. The lights come up and you’re pulled into a scene so familiar you can’t resist the pull. From here on, these are scenes of life, they happened, somewhere, in some from. The writers all taped into the zeitgeist of our collective lives.
Building on this collective nostalgia 3rd Rush weaves a sense of community, a connection to those around you. 3rd Rush is simply put, good theatre, it accomplishes what Sebastian set out to do and so much more. It made the audience happy, but showed us how connected we are despite our myriad of differences.
Andy Shultz took Dead Man’s Party literally, showing us the what ifs of a world with enough magic for crazy exes to wield. The dead shall rise, and complain about it… in humorous ways (I’m smiling remembering as I write this). Jahel Caldera is infinitely mutable, becoming whatever his directors need of him. This time Jahel intensely acted almost entirely in the background, adding the right amount of depth to shape the world, while not distracting from the central drama unfolding. His interactions with John Lewandowski and Anastasia Elfman serve to build and shape the drama serving as the needed foundation to show the full nature of the world and Anastasia’s character.
From the dead returning, to one’s hens coming home to roost The Great Wisconsin Orgy of ’88 is a fun and poignant piece. David Kaufman has an interesting stage presence; he both goes with the flow and becomes the boulder or bend in the river that changes the flow in unforeseen yet logical directions. This is the second time I’ve seen him on stage and his portrayal of a regular hedonistic man was so real that for all his faults you kinda hope more people had his virtues. If David hit this one out of the park, it’s because Ian Heath set him up with a strong character and a complex gordian knot of emotions to work through with Meghan Lewis, who herself brought that complexity to the drama.
Coming to the end of 3rd Rush the placement of the final two pieces cemented to notion that this is the every day, these dramas unfolding on stage could be any of our lives or those of our friends. We all know a few people who practice voodoo and witchcraft, they might not be able to call down lightning and raise the dead, but they’re out there.
Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight with Steven Alloway playing that friend we know who can never sleep and reads a lot of Anne Rice, you know the one. The silly happenings that unfold leave you happy and ready for the final piece.
Flash Gordon: The Musical-The Play comes in in a Flash, shocking you into alertness for the big finish. Everything in life is big and moving fast, while we’re simply trying to live our lives, work our jobs, maybe do something meaningful. FG-The Play follows the dance ensemble, behind the scenes and through their odd interpretive dance as Hawkmen, living trees, spaceships and who on earth know. There are layers to FG-The Play, life has layers, there is what we do to earn a living and what we want to be doing. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, but sometimes you get to have fun with it. Pumping the audience with energy in the end to tie together the communal energies 3rd Rush was putting out from the start.
3rd Rush 80’s Edition Side B a Force of Nature Production ran at the Eclectic Company Theatre Friday 3rd-Sunday 5th.
For more information on Force of Nature visit: http://www.FONProductions.com