By: Sharman Yarnell – mtltimes.ca
What a history lesson! What memories! What Theatre!
Good theatre should leave you exhilarated, or encourage you to think about the lives and actions of the characters on stage, and how they reflect in our present society.
Rick Miller’s BOOM, playing at the Segal, does just that. It is nothing short of an amazing, wonderful romp through the history of the Boomer generation.
Miller recounts the era through his mother (using stories of his aunt’s), his father and a friend who lived through the time. It doesn’t end there. He also takes on the personas, vocally and visually, of many of the politicians, media people, and entertainers spanning the period between 1945 to 1969. Yes…he also sings many of the songs, in character, as well. (They couldn’t get the rights for any Bob Dylan songs but that didn’t stop Miller…he created a Dylan piece by writing his own lyrics and music.)
Miller is warm, convivial and, above all else, most entertaining. He draws the audience into his world of ‘the boomers’, reminding us of some of the life changing events that occurred during that time: the assassinations of the Kennedys, King, Sputnik being revealed the same day as the Avro Arrow, the British invasion with the Stones, the Beatles, and a multitude of North American artists. (Wait until you experience his Mick Jagger and Janis Joplin!)
Rick Miller’s BOOM is storytelling at its best. And that is what good theatre does!
Miller wrote and directs the piece that has been performed across Canada to great acclaim. This is history presented in a way that won’t have anyone nodding off. Quite the contrary, it will have you foot tapping and trying not to hum along with the music.
Amongst many other impactful events, the show covers the Cold War, Macarthyism, Vietnam, Trudeaumania, Flower Power, the Apollo landing, all packed into a vibrant time capsule that leaves the audience on a high when the show is over.
A Montrealer, Miller, whom Entertainment Weekly has dubbed one of 100 most creative people today, has worked in five languages on five continents. He has taught a class, Architecture of Creativity, at the University of Toronto. He also collaborated with Robert Lepage on Geometry of Miracles, Zulu Time and Lipsynch.
Motion graphic designer, David Leclerc’s work is clear and creative. The use of commercials and other timely projections on a circular scrim, support and enhance Miller’s creations.
At the end of the show, Miller, a Dora and Gemini Award winner, comes out onto the stage to listen to your stories, your thoughts on the show. He sits down on the floor of the stage and once again, draws you into his world of creativity, as he banters back and forth with members of the audience.
So listen up Boomers! Take the children and grandchildren. Schools, take your students en mass. This is one history lesson students won’t forget!
Tied up with a magnificent theatrical bow, BOOM must be experienced by all…especially those Boomers who have forgotten the era!
BOOM, a Copa de Oro co-production, is on at the Segal Centre until April 10.