Things are getting groovy in the Guloien Theatre at Streetcar Crow’s Nest with their production of Rick Miller’s BOOM X. This incredible one man show has writer and director Rick Miller playing one hundred characters in one hundred minutes to the absolute delight of audiences. A look at Gen Xers and the pop-culture which shaped their lives, this multi-media phenomenon is pure joy from start to finish.
I suppose I should start by saying that I am what they call an elder millennial, so technically part 3 of this series, BOOM YZ would have me feeling the same nostalgia as the Gen Xers were clearly experiencing around me during this play. Although, the end of this play does include around my 5th birthday or so, and I cannot express how joyful I was at seeing some of my early childhood fascinations, like Barney, up on the screen. That being said, thankfully my parent’s taste in music dramatically rubbed off on me, so I was bopping and singing along with the best of them! So many of the pop-culture tidbits referenced, from films to commercials to music, are all still so present in the zeitgeist that nothing felt unfamiliar or foreign.
BOOM X has a stunning multimedia set up. With several scrims being projected on and live camera feeds being projected as well, it’s a technical marvel. An element of this which really packed a punch was how when Miller was performing as various musicians, there would be headlines from that year scrolling across the screen just above his head. Often, the juxtaposition was jarring; a super fun, fan favourite song being performed and then the sudden realization of a horrible headline floating above him. It’s a brilliant representation of life as it truly is, the high moments mixed with the low, of reality smashing through even the most fun songs. There are times where his interaction with the projections is so precise, I can’t imagine how much rehearsal must go into getting those moments totally spot on. These technical aspects elevate the performance to a whole other level, and make BOOM X and unforgettable experience.
Rick Miller’s performance is totally dynamic. His energy and enthusiasm permeate through every moment of the production. I loved how he would do voices for the people he interviewed; his ability to mimic their voices is uncanny. This fabulous talent is extended to the musical acts he portrays throughout the production as well: Tina Turner is a personal fave, along with Freddie Mercury. BOOM X is also a fascinating form of auto-biography, talking about his generation in general along with stories and highlights from his own life. He’s able to use these events, mixed with real world events, to give us a full picture of how the man performing for us has come to be. I’m now desperate to see the other two pieces and how he looks at the lives of his parent’s and children’s generations through the same lens.
You absolutely have to go and see BOOM X before it closes on May 28th. No matter which generation you’re from, there’s something to love about BOOM X. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.crowstheatre.com/whats-on/view-all/boomx
Photo by Craig Francis