Abilene’s Best Of Broadway

The following is a piece “In Review” by Anthony Mincer. It’s of “Abilene’s Best of Broadway – Aluminum Show” from January 25, 2011

Enjoy.

The spotlights were moving quickly across the audience changing from
red to blue and as each light passed over my head I was blinded in
that moment. But I remained poised, hands held high to catch or punch
or give some kind of karate chop to the flying silver. Well, I’ll call
it a pillow. These flying silver pillows, at least five feet in
length, were bouncing around the crowd like a beach ball at a football
stadium. I’m estimating that at least forty were set free with the
unspoken challenge of reaching the back of the Abilene Civic Center.
Thirty minutes later in the show, I courteously urged an enormous
growing silver worm over my head to the awaiting hands of my new
friend in the row behind me. This worm made from industrial strength
aluminum air conditioning ducting was being inflated from massive
machines located somewhere off stage. My shiny vivacious tubular
friend then suddenly shrank violently back toward stage as the
machines changed their directions.

I will certainly never look at aluminum ducting the same ever again;
nor will my fellow audience members that attended The Aluminum Show at
the Abilene Civic Center. In fact I have high hopes for their
imaginative ideas in regard to industrial strength materials, but more
on that later. The latest Broadway venture to journey across west
Texas is the brain child of Israeli dancer Ilan Azriel. Ilan made a
name for himself as a contemporary dancer in Tel Aviv. Soon he
branched into puppetry and started choreographing shows that combined
both dance and puppetry. One day, on a routine trip to the hardware
store, he noted that a small piece of ducting could be used as a
puppet. That’s when he had the vision to use ducting large enough for
a grown man to fit inside.

Aluminum is the 13th element in the periodic table (AI). Aluminum is
strong, light, abundantly available (the most abundant metal in the
earth’s crust), and corrosion resistant. It’s also inexpensive. The
metal is used in building construction, computers, cars, aircraft, and
fighter ejection seats. The metal is perfect for ducting.

During The Aluminum Show, imagination and the suspension of disbelief
are required. The short summary of the show goes something like this.
Two large slinky objects become attracted to one another and fall in
love. They have a little slinky baby. Slinky baby becomes lost from
her parents. Slinky parents and slinky baby try to find one another
while meeting a wide variety of other creatures (all made from
aluminum inflatables or ducting). Finally after a great deal of
puppetry, dancing, music, crowd interaction, and acrobatics, the
reunion of the family is heartfelt. Mind you, the show is
approximately two hours long so that simple plot is carried along by
lots of visual theater and humor.

Ilan Azriel’s production first debuted in Jerusalem in 2003. In 2005,
they performed their first international production in Istanbul,
Turkey. Since then they’ve covered the planet with shiny distractions
worthy of attracting all the Dory’s of the world (reference Finding
Nemo).

Other than punching silver pillows or passing mechanical earthworms,
some of my highlights from the show were the “factory scenes”. The
cast inflated a number of large pillows for five minutes of the
production with no apparent rhyme or reason. Then they attached these
pillows to a massive silver giant who then walked amongst the crowd
via the help of steel poles and four talented puppeteers. Later, I
was envious of the lucky audience member who had the pleasure of being
pulled onto stage and eaten by one of the slinky creatures. Sacrifice
for science, I say. The Aluminum team included a group of robotics
experts who controlled the baby slinky’s movements around stage. The
only awkward moments of the production was when one of the male cast
members paraded shirtless on stilts wearing an aluminum skirt. I still
have no idea what that was all about. Judging from the silence from
the crowd, I think we all missed that punch line.

After the show, the dancers came into the lobby with the robotic baby
slinky and a variety of aluminum ducting that was used as dance props.
Children and adults alike had the pleasure of interacting with the
industrial materials just as the dancers had done during the
performance. Ilan has made a fortune, gained fame, and traveled the
world off his creativity with an everyday household item. The
production Stomp became world famous with their artistic use of
garbage cans. So, what’s next on the list of common household items to
be used in a famous Broadway production? Hmmm, what about something
with garbage bags? Ceiling fans? What about step ladders? Maybe you
will discover the next great household item sensation. Until I see you
on Broadway, I hope to see you at the next traveling Broadway
production,
Beauty and the Beast, gracing our beautiful city on February 21 & 22.

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One thought on “Abilene’s Best Of Broadway

  1. CamAmateur says:

    what a beautiful blog unlike most other articles with all the spam i had to skipp today

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