Blazing pinpoints of uniqueness lighting up urban sprawl, Urban Death has taken a turn down another dark alley vastly different, a comfortingly familiar like jacket (straight), from previous iterations!
Entering into a packed house, the usher finding only two seats remaining, I squeased in between two persons unknown, ready to hold my breath at any moment. One needs be prepared when they attend Urban Death, or they could find themselves jumping and screaming unexpectedly. You’ll still jump, but those mental placebos: clenched fists, stayed breath, grandmother’s scarf, eyes fixed open against the incomprehensible blackness knowing absolutely knowing there is something there. Or there isn’t the darkness is as empty as the magic in all our defenses. Still, the better to be prepared when walking into Zombie Joe’s Undergound, lest the darkness walks off with you.
Exhale, release, safety for now, only a mimed woman, yet she’s awfully close to that curtain; anxieties dancing like the muses already. The show hasn’t even started yet, but this and more is mirrored across the faces and body language of the audience; darkness, applause, tensions building again.
A siren rends the darkness open before lighting effects reveal nothing, but there’s never nothing for long. The slow build of a scene becoming an ever flowing overpowering weighted force, breaking suddenly to quicker scenes giving the audience a chance to breathe. Urban Death has constructed an emotional roller coaster examining the many ways beings, souls, minds, bodies et al. can die, or gain pleasure and pain from the destructive arts of life.
A change of pace from many of the previous Urban Death’s I’ve reviewed, there were fewer jump scares and blood splatter; in their place were twists and turns keeping the audience’s perceptions and thoughts on their toes. Just as scary, just as thought provoking, with that added pleasurable mental exhaustion from cycling through multiple unique points of emotional light. This UD feels like a drive down some of the more tangential allies of the metropolitan emotional landscape. That couple is simply having sex, look closer, turn down that side alley (was that Fabio, holding a corpse weeping?) and see it from a different angle and it’s something more. Is it the same thing taken to its extremes or was it something grotesque and nearly inhuman, it’s all in how close and from what angles you view through. Tilt your head to the side, look behind you or look quicker, we live in a vastly unique world and there are many ways to die while continuing living, and many darker ways to die and stay dead. Urban Death takes us on a tour, and might make us tilt our heads in life to see things from that oddly warped perspective that is humanity at large, one or two unique points at a time.
Urban Death Runs at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group Saturday nights 11pl through April 29th.
For more information please visit http://www.zombiejoes.com