Review Time: Fuerza Bruta

Show: Fuerza Bruta

Location: Daryl Roth Theater- 101 E 15th St
New York, NY 10003
United States

My Show Time: 7pm

I may be getting old.

Wow, this is powerful.

I may be overthinking this.

I’m a little confused.

I’m very confused.

These were the thoughts that raced through my mind as I stood there in the show Fuerza Bruta. Yes, I said stood. Stood…along with 100 other people. I may be exaggerating. It may have only been 60 people, but as a person who gets anxious in a crowd, it felt like 100 people. And it was all types of people: older people, middle aged people, teens, and a few older children. The point is there were no seats. But what there was…., was a lot going on. There was drumming, there was dancing, there were strobe lights, there was a D.J., there was water, there was wind.

I’ve never been a “club-type” person so the call to jump up and down was not one that I felt the need to answer; not in my teenage years, and definitely not now. Though, I must admit, the rhythm of the drums did evoke me to shake my groove thang a little bit.
But back to the “a lot going on”.

There was a man running on a conveyer belt, which at first just seemed like a pretty cool scene until he gets shot and the “blood” runs down his shirt only for him to reveal a clean shirt under the stained shirt. At this point I can’t help but to notice that he’s a black man and the suspension device used to ensure that he doesn’t fall off the conveyor belt, now reminds me of a noose. So now I’m wondering if this show is about the struggles of being a minority in this society. Am I overthinking this? I wonder. But then the man begins to run and break through props that remind me of the many barriers that black men have to encounter and overcome on a daily basis. And I think, surely this is what this is all about! This is deep!!
Then comes the extremely thick plexi glass ceiling that is durable enough to support gallons of water and the 4 women who are belly flopping and sliding like penguins over our heads. And I think, “huh?” What does this have to do with the struggle? Perhaps I have overthought this (side-eye).

No, I can’t be overthinking this because now there’s a segment with women who seem to symbolize a liberation movement, as they shed half of their business attire to break out into some serious drumming. (I’m moved to dancing again. The drums always get me!)
Then the ceiling lowers once again and the “penguin sliding” resumes, and the audience is encouraged to reach up and touch the ceiling as it gets closer and closer to the crowd (A claustrophobic person’s worse nightmare).

And I’m confused again.

But the crowd around me is shouting and jumping and I’m wondering perhaps I’m missing something. Perhaps I too should have purchased an alcoholic beverage that is available for sale in the lobby. Perhaps the secret to the point of the show is found at the bottom of the cup.

By the time the show is over I’m left trying to read the looks on the faces of the guest that I invited, hoping they don’t beat me up for wasting an hour of their life. But they smile and say, “It was fun. It was interesting. It was good. It was different. I liked it.” I just smile in return and wish that I could have an opportunity to talk, just briefly, with the creators of this show to ask “What the…?”
But the show has been around since 2003, when it originated in Buenos Aires, and it has been running in New York at the Daryl Roth Theater since 2007, so there is definitely a crowd out there who thinks dancing and tapping into a deep level of consciousness, all while getting misted with water, slapped by confetti, and hit by gusts of wind from giant fans is an amazing experience.

So, why did I go see it in the first place, you ask, because there were definitely many opportunities for me to have seen what the show was all about before stepping foot in the theater. Yes, this is certainly true. However, the tickets were a gift to me and although I read about it, I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. You never fully know some things until you try it. Well, I came, I saw, I conquered, and I scratched my head in confusion.

There’s something out there for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me, but it may be for you.

Talk to you soon,
Sweetpea

Share with me:
Have you seen Fuerza Bruta? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to see it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

 

 

Review Time: That Physics Show

Review: That Physics Show

Location: Elektra Theater,  300 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036, United States                                                                                                                        Our Show time: 3pm

“I learned  more in these 90 minutes than I learned in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade”. 

These were the words of my 13 year old as we walked out of “That Physics Show”, an off- Broadway production that my family and I were fortunate enough to be given tickets to see. The premise of the show? Well, the name says it all: “Physics”. It was 90 minutes of Einstein meets Bill Nye the Science Guy. My son’s reaction to the show took me by surprise. Throughout the entire show, he looked less than amused. I guess it was that “don’t let them see you smile, laugh, or enjoy anything about life” thing that teens do. His 10 year old brother, however, knelt in his chair, sat on the edge of his seat, stood blocking the people in front of him, all to see experiment demonstrations, one after the next. He also whispered the occasional “I know what’s about to happen” in my ear, followed by a sped up narrative of what was about to go down so that he could beat the experiment to the outcome and have the satisfaction of saying “I told you!!”

As for me, I was pleasantly surprised that both of my boys ended up enjoying the show. My first instinct upon sitting in the small theater was concern that they were going to be bored. Well, actually, my VERY first instinct was to scout out the “Exit” signs. Having all three of my children (and my mom) in the small space automatically triggered my anxiety and had my spider senses tingling. But once that was established, I was concerned that the boys were going to stare at me some point in the show and say “Really mom? Really?” They were already giving me that look when I told them we were going to a show about science.

“That Physics Show” was carried out primarily by one man, David Maiullo, with appearances by his two assistants who said very little, but provided him with all the props needed to set him up for each of his “tricks”. When the show first began, he explained to the audience that he is a physics demonstrator at Rutgers University and that it is his belief that physics (and practically all sciences), would be a lot more interesting if they were taught in a hands on manner. While I definitely believe in that theory, I thought that his college vernacular would have my children snoozing in no time. With terms like “Laws of Conservation of Motion”, “Inertia”, “Isobaric Pressure”, and “Uniform Circular Motion” I thought surely they would lose interest. However, this was not at all the case as he presented some pretty amazing demonstrations to go with each tongue twisting term. Furthermore, as he performed each experiment, he tapped into the audience members’ inner scientist by posing questions like “what do you think is about to happen?”, followed by an enthusiastic  “let’s find out!” My ten-year old was always up for the prediction and waited to see if his hypothesis was correct. I, on the other hand, stayed silent not wanting to predict anything and run the risk of looking silly in front of my son. For example, did you know what would happen if people filled balloons with hydrogen instead of helium? Well, I didn’t know! (Don’t judge me). But my son knew and when it happened, the wide smile that filled his face was enough to indicate that this show was right up his alley.

After the show was over, everyone had an opportunity to take a picture  with the star of the show. My 10 year old stared at him with respect and admiration. My 13 year old gave him his props and told him how he wished all science classes were taught in this manner. My mom was just happy to get out with her grandchildren. And my 2 year old was able to keep it together with a little help from the iPad and some headphones for the last 30 minutes of the show.

Yup, it was a great 90 minutes: an outing with my kids, educational, and fun. Definitely time well spent.

Would I recommend this show?: Yes.

Who would I recommend this show to?:

1. Parents of a curious child

2. Middle school students (it’s a great way to show them how the things they’ve learned actually applies to real life).

3. Educators who need a little reminder that teaching should not be filled with lectures.

Pros:

1. A very interactive show that keeps the audience engaged.

2. My teen liked it! A teenager liked something that his mother chose to do. Enough said.

3. Extremely accessible from the NYC train station. The “A” train to 42nd street Port Authority, followed by a 50 foot walk from the train station.

4. The different physics concepts were broken down into simpler terms so that children as young as 7 or 8 years old could understand and connect it to their everyday lives.

Cons:
1. The seating was all one level, making it difficult for shorter children to see the stage.

2. Some of the experiments/demonstrations were anti-climactic while others kept me in suspense. It was like an entertainment sandwich; great experiments followed by things that I could have done at home, followed by things that absolutely wowed me. I am not sure that this is a true “con” per say, because it still held the attention of my children, and I guess that’s all that matters.
Overall Rating:

Four peas in a pod! (Out of five)
Talk to you soon,

Serene
Share with me: Have you seen the show already? What did you think of it? Do you plan to see the show? Let me know you thoughts once you see it.

Bubble Show

Review Time: The Gazillion Bubble Show

Review: The Gazillion Bubble Show
Location: New World Stages, 340 50th street between 8th and 9th
Show time: 11am

This weekend for exactly one hour, I was transported back in time to my childhood when the simple things in life kept me mesmerized and smiling in amazement. That is the only way that I could describe how I felt while watching the Gazillion Bubble Show along with my three children and the hubby.
I was gifted the tickets this past week, and while I had been meaning to take the kiddies to see this exact show when it first appeared a few years ago, I just never got around to it. Boy, am I happy that I was given the opportunity to finally see it.

Prior to going to the show, I looked up a bit of information about it, because I was on the fence about bringing my 15 month old. I didn’t know how she’d react to the dark theater or the crowd. But the site said, “fun for all ages” and that’s exactly what it was.

For exactly an hour, the bubble making genius Melody Yang captivated  the entire audience with tricks and illusions that had everyone sitting with our mouths hanging open, scratching our heads, as we wondered how in the world she made these bubbles do such fascinating things! (Spoiler Alert: Who knew bubbles could be square shaped?!!) I’ve blown a lot of bubbles in my days and the fanciest trick I’ve ever done was to catch the bubble on the end of the wand.
I mean, really, even my 12 year old turned to me during the show and said “Mom, this is so cool!” And listen, when you are a pre-teen, the words “mom” and “cool” rarely go together. rI definitely didn’t think he’d enjoy half as much as he did. But, honestly, even the coolest kid couldn’t help but to jump out of their seat, swatting wildly in the air, as the crowd was engulfed in a sea of bubbles multiple time throughout the show.

I knew that bubbles made children happy but this show proved that we all still have little children hidden in us that something as simple as bubbles can obviously unlock.

Would I recommend this show?: Definitely!

Who would I recommend this show for?: Anyone who likes to smile and occasionally enjoys the feeling of being a kid again.

Pros:
1. The theater was small ,intimate and the stadium seating allowed for the stage to be viewed no matter how tall the person is that is sitting in front of you .
2. There are two parking lots across the street.
3. You can purchase your own container of Gazillion Bubbles at the bubble store in the theater lobby. (I’ve actually used these bubbles back in my teaching days and they are the best by far!)
4.  There is stroller parking available.

Cons:
1.  There are no changing tables in the bathroom that I visited but I was told that a changing table does exist in a different kind bathroom on a different floor.
2.  There is a mandatory $20 Cash Only “Lap Seat” Ticket Fee for children under the age of  2.

3. Be prepared to spend $5 for a pack of M&Ms as well as a few other individual items that are being sold by a person who walks around the theater before he show actually begins.

Overall Rating:
Five peas in a pod! (A perfect score)

Talk to you soon,
Serene

Share with me: Have you seen the show already? What did you think of it? Do you plan to see the show? Let me know you thoughts once you see it.