Generator Pestilence Part 1 Review. From Amoebas to Cave People at La MaMa

“Generator” is part art installation, part dance theater that evokes the evolution of life forms on earth. It starts with performers as single cell organisms dressed in hazmat suits, playing with blue-tinted props, and silently showing us cards from a deck in the lobby of La MaMa’s downstairs theater. It ends several billion years later with cave people in adorable furry black and beige outfits scurrying about on stage as an upright shaman, colorfully attired in a spider-like costume, asks questions like “Who are we?”

The show is accompanied by the other-worldly sounds of the band NYOBS, by video projections (some abstract, others documentary but eerie, like wildebeests maneuvering over rocky terrain), and even by a series of smells (Ethan Shoshan is credited with the “olfactory score.”) It is more or less narrated by “Technology,” the performer Bryce Payne in a series of noteworthy wigs, who says things like “All you are is preconscious fluid,” and then later “How did we jump from insect to humanoid hybrid? “
“Generator” is the first part of the trilogy “Pestilence,” which is billed as an AIDS allegory. The connection to AIDS escapes me, although I trust that will become apparent in Parts 2 and 3.

Click on any photograph by Theo Cote to see it enlarged.

Generator: Pestilence 1
La MaMa Downstairs
Digital Program

Conceived, Written & Directed by Jack Waters with Peter Cramer
Music composed by John Michael Swartz and performed by NYOBS
Cast: Davi Cohen as Aoua/Shaman, Maddie Schimmel as Auoa/Acolyte/Gourd, Bryce Payne as Technology/Anansi, JC Augustin as Amoeba/Hominid /Stag, Lauren Green as Amoeba/Hominid, Ivana Larrosa as Amoeba/Hominid, Irene Sanchez-Casas as Amoeba/Hominid, X as Amoeba/Hominid
Designers: Bizzy Barefoot – props and costumes; Mike Cacciatore – sets, art work, and moving image media; Rodrigo Chazaro – costumes; Peter Cramer – moving image, art work, set’ Christopher Roberts – media and moving image; Ethan Shoshan – scent score; Austin Windels – sets and art work; Carolyn Wong – lighting
Running time: One hour with no intermission
Tickets: $26 (students and seniors: $21)
Generator: Pestilence Part 1 is on stage through March 1, 2020.

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Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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