Eerie, ominous soundscape? Check. Bizarre video projections? Check. Nudity and people barking like dogs? Check and check. This fascinating collaboration between Seattle choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey contains many of the usual tropes of avant garde multimedia performance—it just does 'em better than a lot of other shows. Scofield's sinuous movements and unsettling tableaux, from a man straining on a red dog's leash to a spotlight capturing a lone figure methodically tracing the shape of her own body on a blackboard, are supremely weird. And Shuey makes eye-catching playthings of light and sound, most notably a smoke cloud that twists and writhes along with the dancers. In some ways
which is ostensibly about "the liminal space between action/reaction, cause/effect and before/after" (whatever that means) is far more a mood or dream than a dance. It may also be a nightmare, but it's a beautiful one. KELLY CLARKE.
Call it a "cover sermon": In
actor Andrew Dinwiddie faithfully (ahem) recreates a fiery evangelical rant by America's original rock-star preacher, Jimmy Swaggart. Taken from an out-of-print recording released in 1971, the tirade is filled with dated references to the evils of miniskirts, the Beatles and the White Panther Party, but Dinwiddie's one-man show isn't played for ironic laughs. If there's any irony to be had, it's that Swaggart's astounding oratorical skills and theatrical flair transformed his fundamentalist ravings against popular culture into its own form of show biz. Removed from any true religious context, Dinwiddie's powerful performance captures a moralizer who was at odds with his own beliefs long before a late '80s sex scandal made his hypocrisy public. Dressed in a beige suit and tie, Dinwiddie paces the stage, gesticulating wildly as he denounces drugs and homosexuality and advocates horsewhipping parents who allow rock 'n' roll records into their home. The heavy-handed rhetoric is bound to induce chuckles from a knowing audience of non-believers, but the fact that these are the words of a once-influential man—and words many still take to heart today—makes the performance more frightening than funny. MATTHEW SINGER.
Describing a children's show as being "on acid" isn't very helpful—it's hard to name a program aimed at kids that doesn't appear to be under the influence of a mind-altering substance—but the lysergic inspiration is particularly strong with Kansas City's
. A typical show overloads the senses with colors, music and bugged-out costumes; it's as if the Flaming Lips took over the programming at Nickelodeon. Then again, there really isn't such a thing as a "typical"
show. It's a variety show with an emphasis on variety. Since it started in 2006, co-founders and hosts Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren—he plays a soft-spoken werewolf, she wears a red spandex outfit adorned with empty food packages—have welcomed everyone from dancing grannies and drag queens to bodybuilders, gospel singers and Civil War re-enactors. (When it staged a production in Sweden, the group held a "hugging contest" with a death-metal band.) It might sound anarchic, but
's philosophy is rooted in community involvement: In every city it visits, the company works with local kids to help design sets and put together the live show. For TBA, the group collaborated with PICA and mentoring organization Caldera. Expect, well, anything. MATTHEW SINGER.
SEE IT: Tickets to all TBA performances may be purchased at PICA's box office on the campus of Washington High School, at the corner of Southeast Stark Street and 14th Avenue, by phone at 224-7422, or online at pica.org. Individual tickets are $5-$40, festival passes cost between $45 and $250.