Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Again: Isaac Newton As DJ

The Hinterlands Ensemble Revisits Newton’s Birthday

By Russ Bickerstaff
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It’s been established that Newton’s vision of a clockwork universe is wrong. That’s okay. The guy was still a genius. Time is relative. So I guess we can be a little vague with the date and pretend it’s still his birthday this week—maybe next week too. The man who would have been roughly 367 years old this past January 4th gets another birthday party this week and next thanks to encore performances of Isaac Newton Is Our DJ at Moct Bar March 4th and 11th.

New local theatre group The Hinterlands Ensemble presents an interactive evening of theatre celebrating a towering figure of science. As mentioned here in advance of the show’s original Milwaukee appearance in January, the press release describes the show like this: “One part sensual science experiment, one part rave, and a couple of slices of cake, all whipped into a boxing match that pits two scientists against each other in a battle over love, sex, and Newton’s legacy.”

Okay. Sounds interesting, but what does the show actually consist of?
“Essentially, we're throwing a party.” says Hinterlands’s Liza Bielby. As the audience enters, a bouncer stands at the door checking ID’s and determining entrance fees. Music is playing. People are encouraged to dance. It’s a traditional club atmosphere . . . except that there are two scientists roaming around amidst the crowd. A DJ (not Isaac Newton) introduces the two hosts . . . the scientists. Each one evidently represents a different approach to life. Those in the audience who follow one will find themselves being guided through activities and experiments that look at Isaac Newton’s work as a model for finding a mate. The other group are guided through a series of lectures that look to Newton’s life as a model of human isolation and productivity. Of course, the activities of the two groups eventually collide. Things get weird. Newton shows-up to straighten it all out.

Sounds like fun. “the audience can very well sweat if they want to,” says Bielby. “There's lots of time for dancing.” She goes on to say that there’s no stress on any one audience member at any one time. You decide how much you want to participate in the events as an individual. “Group activities are the rule,” says Bielby, “and aside from one volunteer opportunity, there is no singling out of audience members.”   

Hinterlands’ Isaac Newton is Out DJ runs March 4th and 11th at Moct Bar. Both shows start at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 -$15.

For reservations please call 414-208-4237 or email Hinterlands at: Info@thehinterlandsensemble.org

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