Never before did I expect to see the Civic Center Music Hall awash in bits of floating foil. And thats not even close to being the most outlandish element of The Aluminum Show, which made its Oklahoma City debut last night. What audiences saw was so different a mix of dance, visuals, illusions and how did the hell did they do that? a few minutes of acclimation were required.
The opening scene allows for such, depicting two large aluminum tubes falling in love and procreating, resulting in the birth of a remote-control baby Slinky, who proceeds to steal the show as he inches his way through a world of discovery. (Slinky sex? Thats new.) What follows is tough to describe, but a marvel to witness.
Whether its tubes slowly snaking their way over audience members heads, or the assembly of a giant, inflatable golem that then walks offstage and up the aisle, the conceptual work is infinitely innovative, as if a scrappy, experimental theater company got drunk and raided the contractors pick-up window at Home Depot.
As the self-deprecating prologue suggested, Just play along.
Itd be tough not to. The spirited score pulls you in, at first sounding like moodscape master Brian Eno before seguing into uptempo numbers that playfully channel '80s electropop collective The Art of Noise, and all without lyrics. The lone exception is a puppet-led medley that merges Guns N Roses with the theme from Ghostbusters. I havent heard anything as lively in other recent Celebrity Attractions shows top that, The Color Purple!
Unfortunately, the 90-minute, intermission-free shows interactivity was taken by some audience members as an invitation to ignore the rules of common courtesy. Conversations were a problem (did they think the opening no talking warning was just for show?), as was the crinkling of confetti by the woman behind me.
As for onstage gripes, they are minute and barely worth mentioning. The choreography is not always executed with Rockettes-style precision, but the dancers are completing complex routines utilizing items that dont take direction from anything beyond the laws of physics, so that can be forgiven. Aluminum also felt like it had about 10 endings, one of which ventured so far over-the-top that I was reminded albeit only briefly of the classic Zoo Animals on Wheels episode of Chris Elliotts Get a Life sitcom of the 90s. (Then again, I would pay to see Zoo Animals on Wheels live.)
Despite the colorful shows generous use of a household item we use to wrap kitchen leftovers, theres nothing chintzy about it. If you have the time to see it before its run ends Sunday, do so, and take the family. Ive never seen anything like it, and for once, that's not hyperbole prepare to be dazzled by its boundless creativity. Rod Lott