Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sex, Drugs and Rock And Roll in Racine

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Eric Bogosian is not a name I imagine a whole lot of people are familiar with. His name rests in a special corner of my mind along with other writers, performers musicians and suchlike that have acquired a cult following--truly talented people a little too "out there" for big-name success, but possessing the kind of universal appeal that could, theoretically make them household names.  In spite of this, he's probably a lot better known than I think. I’d probably be surprised at the number of people familiar with his work, but I think the level of recognition he’s gotten over the years is limited in comparison to the level of talent the guy has . . .

As a spoken word artist, I’ve always been kind of amazed at what he’s put together . . . from Funhouse to Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead, Bogosian has a talent for developing starkly haunting monologues and stringing them together into oddly insightful little prisms of human emotion.


I’ve never had the opportunity to see him perform . . . and I’ve never been in the position to see his monologues performed by anyone else. And though I will not be able to see it, there’s a Milwaukee-area group that will be performing a group of his monologues at the end of the month. Friday, July 31st, Over Our Head Players in Racine will be opening its staging of Bogosian’s Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll—a group of monologues he originally performed as a single, cohesive unit in 1990. Bogosian strings together a strange group of people here . . . a homeless man with an overly polished panhandling presentation, a self-obsessed rock star somewhat trying to reach out to people less fortunate than himself and over a dozen others. And all of it resonates with a naturalistic kind of meta-awareness of cultural deficiencies-- a shooting gallery of different societal problems. It’s a very, very densely packed show that requires very, very little staging. And Over Our Head Players will be staging it with multiple people, which diffuses the pressure from on person and makes for a more fully-rounded evening fro those not interested in seeing one-person talk for an hour and a half.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see Over Our Head Players perform before, (and other obligations will keep me from being able to this time) but with Sex Drugs and Rock And Roll, they’ve chosen one that I will be truly disappointed to miss.

Over Our Head Players’ production of Sex, Drugs and Rock And Roll runs through Agust 9th at the Sixth Street Theatre on 318 Sixth Street in Racine.

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