September 11th, 2009 5:33 pm | by BEN WATERHOUSE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

TBA Diaries: One last look at Small Metal Objects

Photo by Kenneth Aaron

I have just returned from watching Back to Back Theatre's Small Metal Objects, the last show I'll be seeing at this year's TBA Festival. Both Matthew Korfhage and Jonanna Widner have already reviewed the show, in which four actors deal with a drug deal stymied by an existential crisis, and I have nothing substantive to add to their critiques of the play itself. It's well-written, -acted and -produced, and highly enjoyable.

I would like to share a bit of the experience of watching the show at noon on a hot Friday. I've never spent much time in Pioneer Courthouse Square at midday—usually just long enough to wolf a burrito—and so had little experience with the heat that rises off the bricks under the sun. Before the performance even started, we were all feeling uncomfortably moist. To the rescue came Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and his friend, whom I did not recognize, who instructed a number of us in the art of paper hat-making. These helped tremendously.

There was a volunteer expo going on at the Square today, at which a number of nonprofit organizations had set up booths to recruit help. Sneakin' Out, a band that plays covers of classic rock numbers on mandolin, bass and xylophone performed a set in the corner. A young man was warning passers-by of the dangers of chemtrails (more on that, here). Several groups of lost tourists wandered by. A man in a cow-print keffiyeh and white caftan stood around, looking bemused. And in the middle of it all were 160 nutballs wearing headphones and (in some cases) paper hats, staring into space.

It's a lot of fun being this conspicuous, and I recommend you try it. There are tickets available for both the 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm shows tomorrow. The midday performance will take place in the middle of the inauguration festivities for the MAX Green Line, and should be a blast. Get your tickets now!
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