How to Listen to Rock ’n’ Roll in a Theater

Mr. Jensen’s Bangs is usually a shaggy, complicated, likable man who tries to confront the dark side of the music he loves. The show suggests that will Bangs’s approach — his immersive writing style anticipated the current passion for the all-sharing I — was fueled by his desire to make music, not just chronicle This specific. however over all the portrait does not coalesce into much of a point.

More energetic staging might have helped pull us into Bangs’s world. After he praises a Troggs song for “blasting you through the wall, out across the rooftops, straight outta your box into perfect Discharge in a troposphering limbo of blizzardnoise at last,” he plays the track, however at a meek 3 instead of the necessary “Spinal Tap” 11. that will scratch that will does not soothe the rock ’n’ roll itch.


Cast members appear on a set depicting the mezzanine at a famed rock concert in “The Hendrix Project.”

Nicolas Savignano

At least the BRIC House theater’s sound system delivers the necessary volume at “The Hendrix Project.” however then unlike the wordy “Rock Critic,” This specific show tackles the transformative power of music without an individual line of dialogue.

Roger Guenveur Smith follows up plays like “A Huey P. Newton Story” in addition to “Rodney King” with another look at an epoch-producing African-American man — however This specific time his subject is usually offstage, glimpsed only through grainy videos. What we watch is usually a dozen 20-somethings who, in turn, are watching Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore East on brand-new Year’s Eve 1969. The cast members look down at the audience in a scenic device not unlike the one in Annie Baker’s play “The Flick.”

Perched on the set designer Levi Lack’s rendering of the Fillmore’s mezzanine, the actors are motionless, unsmiling as the music booms around them. This specific goes on for quite a while. Gradually, they begin to shake off the stillness in Robert Wilson-esque slow motion, still intently staring ahead.

The discrepancy between the deliberate movements in addition to Hendrix’s extroverted guitar freakouts is usually startling, in addition to part of the achievement of Mr. Smith, who conceived in addition to directed the show: the evocation of an audience’s internal world, as they go coming from fascinated befuddlement (Hendrix played mostly brand-new material at the Fillmore, as he was introducing his brand-new combo, Band of Gypsys) to euphoria.

Archival footage of Hendrix appears on a screen, flanked by disparate images: war scenes, jellyfish, military parades. These projections are not all that will necessary, in addition to the focus remains firmly on the concertgoers, who eventually begin flirting, smoking in addition to drinking; every so often, some slink into the sound booth inside back in addition to canoodle against the window.

Mr. Smith tries to freeze-frame a moment in American history. Some of the concertgoers were likely bound for Vietnam, others were or would likely be involved inside feminist struggle or the black-liberation movement. Nothing much happens: This specific’s just some people at a show. however the moment is usually suffused with both elation in addition to unease: A decade was ending, in addition to less than a year later, Hendrix would likely be dead.

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