Plan-B Theatre Co.: Not One Drop
"If you go any slower, you'll turn into a stupid green tortoise," Aidan says at the outset of Not One Drop. Rowe quickly responds, "Why stupid?"
Plan-B Theatre Co.'s new production is certainly unique—fitting for a company with a mission to develop and produce one-of-a-kind, socially conscious theater.
The show consists of only two actors, which is part of its distinctive exploration of identity. "It is unlike anything we have ever done at Plan-B [and] the first absurdist play we've done in quite a while," says Jerry Rapier, Plan-B's artistic director, as well as the director for this show.
This absurdism is unusual for local productions, he adds. "One of the hallmarks of an absurdist piece is it doesn't have a standard structure. Most plays are building toward some sort of significant moment, and then the action falls from there," Rapier says. "In absurdism, there's no traditional structure at all. [It's] more the experience of encountering the play than the method of the play."
Playwright Morag Shepherd has had a few of her shows produced already, including at SLC's Sackerson, where she is the resident playwright. The play evokes the feminist politics of Caryl Churchill and the confrontational style of Sarah Kane. According to Plan-B's website, "If Churchill and Kane were to have a literary baby, this play would be that baby ... a weird, wacky baby."
Not One Drop was developed as part of Plan-B's three-year partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists. (Casey Koldewyn)
Not One Drop @ Plan-B Theatre Co., 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, March 23-April 2, times vary, $10-$20, planbtheatre.org
Holi Festival of Colors
Ah, spring. The time when a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of chucking multicolored cornstarch into the face of his intended.
At least that's the mythological narrative that originally spawned the Holi Festival of Colors. According to Hindu legend, the god Krishna became enamored of the goddess Radha, only to be embarrassed by his unsightly blue skin. Instead of moping around his room and listening to The Smiths, Krishna took a page from Adam Ant and decided to paint Radha's face blue as a symbol of overcoming their differences.
This celebration of de-emphasizing outward beauty while re-emphasizing inward beauty has come to represent one of springtime's most popular social events. And, yes, coloring each other's faces still remains a very large part of the festival. Attendees can pick up bags of polychromatic cornstarch at the festival, and are encouraged to throw it at others every hour or so.
In between these sessions of vibrant chaos, attendees can enjoy a wide range of live music and yoga instruction. Any Holi veteran will tell you to relax your personal boundaries a bit and have a good time. They'll also tell you to think of an effective post-festival cleaning method, because that stuff gets everywhere. This modern celebration honors love in all of its forms and provides a welcome reminder that, despite our differences, we are human and we need to be loved. (Alex Springer)
Holi Festival of Colors @ Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, 311 W. 8500 South, Spanish Fork, March 25-26, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., $5.25, festivalofcolorsusa.com
Brendan Reichs: Nemesis
If you find that it's not easy to define the kind of story that Nemesis is, you're in good company with its author, Brendan Reichs. "I got this crazy idea that spiraled into other crazier ideas, and then they all kind of mashed together," Reichs writes in an email. "It's hard to say what the core inspiration for Nemesis is, other than perhaps, well, everything."
It certainly opens with a bizarre, provocative concept: On her 16th birthday, a girl named Min is murdered, but wakes up in the woods near her small, isolated Idaho town—an event that has occurred on every even-numbered birthday since she was 8. As terrifying as the regular event is, that whiff of immortality might come in handy as people prepare for a meteor that could end life on Earth. Meanwhile, Min and her classmate Noah uncover what might be a massive conspiracy.
What follows is a fascinating mashup of science fiction, a post-apocalyptic thriller and young-adult romance, barreling from one strange revelation to another with dizzying skill toward a cliffhanger sequel setup. Along the way, it also touches on timely ideas that the author might not have been able to anticipate when writing. "I do feel that many themes in Nemesis have a resonance in today's unstable political and media landscape, not the least being the atmosphere of paranoia and distrust," Reichs says. "Min and Noah fighting a faceless, nameless, uncaring enemy with far more power than they themselves possess, but they never give up the fight. I think we can all draw inspiration from that." (Scott Renshaw)
Brendan Reichs: Nemesis with James Dashner @ Provo Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-484-9100, March 25, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com
Odyssey Dance: Shut Up & Dance
Today's pop music just isn't as danceable as it used to be. At least, that seems to be the concept behind this year's Shut Up & Dance performance series by the Odyssey Dance Theatre. The show's 12-night repertory run rotates between three pieces, focusing on the music of The Beatles in Let it Be, Michael Jackson in MJ and Prince in Purple Rain.
The first two shows are revivals of past performances that Darryl Yeager—founder of Odyssey Dance and artistic director for the show—says were brought back by popular demand. The Michael Jackson tribute has been expanded from its original half-show to an evening-length performance.
The new Purple Rain comes in two acts. The first consists of three new pieces, but it's the show's second act that's sure to draw the most attention. Going through the late artist's music catalogue, the company pairs its choreography with some of his greatest hits like "Raspberry Beret," "Let's Go Crazy" and, obviously, "Purple Rain."
Yeager says the eclectic style in each show's performance, coupled with music by classic artists the audience likely already knows, keeps showgoers coming back for more each year. "You're not going to see the same thing done over and over again," he says. "In today's technological and Facebook world, people's attention spans are a little on the short side, and so doing the shorter pieces all connected by one particular artist just makes a lot of sense." (Kylee Ehmann)
Odyssey Dance: Shut Up & Dance @ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle, 801-581-7100, March 29-April 8, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday matinees 2 p.m., $20-$40, odysseydance.com