As original chiptune compositions fill the air, choices from an electronic menu determine which scenarios the actors perform in-the-round, upon a digital labyrinth painted on the floor, against a backdrop of monitors, screens, and consoles (displaying the Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, World Series Baseball, et al).
In the opening scene, Pasiphaë (the daughter of Helios and the wife of King Minos of Crete) takes pleasure in a union with Poseidon in the guise of a bull, a crude but effective representation of how the bulls of Wall Street have helped themselves to others' assets.
In the third scene of the opening sequence, Daedalus uses a joystick to manipulate his son, Icarus, onto the game board and up a couple steps on the ladder, in response to the boss, Mr. Knossos, who presides over the labyrinthine corporate protocols that measure success.
Gradually, the storylines intersect, with Icarus donning his famous wax-secured wings to ascend the corporate ladder. An ongoing sculpture, perhaps the Golden Calf, takes shape to the side.
In HOT + WAX, as in Brechtian drama, character serves ideas, so, in a sense, we experience tragedy without catharsis, which is exactly what one would expect if, as Mr. Knossos claims, the game is rigged.
And who, but the multimedia wizards of The Lida Project, would so effortlessly update the hypnotic mechanical symbolism of Chaplin's Modern Times or Elmer Rice's The Adding Machine with the rudimentary key scales and color palette of old time electronic games and use this platform to lay bare the money game?
The Lida Project's production of HOT + WAX: On Being Too Big To Fail (A Piece in 8 Bits) runs through October 23rd. 720.221.3821 or firstname.lastname@example.orgBob Bows