Picking up where The Glassblock left off last year and as part of a Recital sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, Recital is presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2017–2018 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Below is their review of Escape Velocity by Double Blind Productions, a collaborative response from Recital editor David Bernabo, season review panelist Jason Baldinger, and guest panelist Maggie Lynn Negrete.
By David Bernabo
To close the fifth season of the New Hazlett Theater’s Community Supported Arts (CSA) performance series, Double Blind Productions’ Escape Velocitybrings spectacle — aerialists, clowns, live music, dance sequences, and Chaplin-esque humor. While there are a few confusing aspects to the performance, the evening-length work is a constantly entertaining, technically impressive feat from a unique collective.
The plot and the characters were inspired by a deck of tarot cards — the beautifully-illustrated Wayfarer’s Deck, created by the group’s aerial director Mandy Hackman and visual director John Hackman. To that end, each character is based on a tarot card. But the plot also draws on classic justice-revenge tropes where a collective mass rises up against its oppressor — think Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks or Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal.