BWW Review: WITHOUT WALLS FESTIVAL at La Jolla Playhouse - PDA, TALL TALE OF THE HIGH SEAS, INCLUSION, & IKAROS
The La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls Festival offers the most thought provoking, surprising, and creative theatrical fun you'll have outside a theatre this year. Playing through Sunday, October 20th at Liberty Station this choose-your-own-adventure approach to theatre means there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Liberty Station has proven to be an excellent location for the festival, with parking, food and drink options, and an easily navigable area that encourages not only theatrical exploration but one of the many options within Liberty Station as well. Between Liberty Public Market, various restaurants, shops, and theatre it's hard to find a reason to want to leave.
Free shows to paying shows, and for all ages, the festival offers theatre options for all ages, interests, and participation levels. Most o the sows are within short walks to each other, though I would recommend comfortable walking shoes and a car if you need to get to some of the shows on the outermost areas.
With close to two dozen different theatrical events, there are plenty of options. (For show listings click here)
Here are some quick reviews of the festival shows I was able to see:
PDA -by the theatre company People of Interest founded by U.C.S.D. grad, choreographer, and director Jesca Prudencio this real life dance documentary explores the stories of three real life couples sharing the stories of their relationship, and that it melted my icy, romantic comedy resistant heart.
From meet cute stories, how the significant others changed each other's lives, to mixed reactions at big life news (Twins!! Dad cheers while Mom curses) it is a wonderful look at real life romances. The performers are Erica Mejos and Anna Galvan, Eden Hildebrand and Bernardo Oacheco, and Dana and Francis Thumm and all sweetly authentic and provide a thoroughly romantic and captivating dance piece.
Tall Tales of the High Seas- Australia's Strange Fruit presents Tall Tales of the High Seas, which is a fun, swashbuckling, adventure for all ages. The performers brave the high seas, from the rhythmic motion of the boat in choppy seas, to the stillness when the wind has calmed, these sailors frolic on the spinning boat, and on top of it, with acrobatics on top of 16 foot poles. Who knows, it may even inspire you to become a pirate yourself.
INCLUSION - San Diego Circus Center brings this entertaining, artistic, and athletic performance to life, through some gravity defying trapeze work, aerial acrobatics, and even fling through the air with the greatest of ease. All of this while commenting on what talented people are being missed as people are being increasingly excluded , and instead shows the amazing things that can be created when people are included and together.
IKAROS - by New York based theatre company Third Rail Projects, this show is an audience centered walk, with audience members wearing headphones, positioned under the flight path making the planes a part of their story.Telling a flight inspired story of Ikaros, and his dreams of flight, Amelia Earhart, and the myths surrounding them both.
This is one of those shows that people go to and share because everyone could be getting something different, and it inspires conversation and contemplation the longer you think about it. Is it about man's inability to learn not to exceed his grasp technology wise?
A parallel of how Ikaros flew to far, too fast, and too close to the sun with just wax and feathers and we continue to do so in the belly of the metal beasts we send into the air? Or a contemplation of the unknown of what happened after Ikaros fell, and Amelia disappeared?
Possibly any or all or all of those things. Honestly, I couldn't stop thinking it about it after I saw it.
Told mostly through dance, with a soundtrack provided through headphones you move through a winding, walk along the water (it is very dark and mostly flat but if you have eye or balance issues this may not be for you) and the passing overhead planes as they ascend the flight path over your head are an essential component as they remind everyone that we are constantly reaching for the skies.
The Without Walls Festival is playing through Sunday, October 20th. Check www.lajollaplayhouse.com for theatre specific dates, times, and locations.
Photo Credit: E.H. Reiter