Train With No Midnight (Prototype, NY)
Between endings and beginnings there was Train With No Midnight
World premiere in Prototype festival
From the title of the show and description in the festival program I did not get much of an idea what kind of show it will be. For a rational thinker Train With No Midnight gives more questions than answers and the stage covered in smoke and vales does not give away much of information either, while looking for a seat by one of the tables. For a moment, it felt like sitting in a cabaret, waiting for the drinks to be served in excitement for show to start. As soon as the performance started, audience heard a story about the end of the world, predicted back in 2012, which never happened, or so it seems. People do not usually think about the end until they are facing one. In the beginning, we were reminded and warned that the end of the show will come, with fine description how it will look like. However it is inevitable and knowing actually do not change anything. You cannot prepare for it or avoid it in any way.
Light pop music, fog of smoke, animal sculptures and classically trained voice made a night to remember. With charm, wit and a talent to entertain, front man, writer and composer Joseph Keckler led the way to endings and trains where there are no midnight. Theatrical performance / concert merged the borders of these genres. In the show the connection of form and content captured attention, made the piece theatrical: usage of foreign languages in songs (English, few songs were performed in French, German, Italian and made up language of baby babblings), illustrating subjects of stories told with sculptures and videos (also created by front man Joseph Keckler). Expression created by light, video and stage decorations filled musical performance with effective visual impulses to think about the unimaginable scenery and deeper meaning of the shiny surface of simple words. Violin and operatic sounding voice gave sparkles of classical music to the whole sounding. Piano, synthesizer, voice changing panel, drum kit and a bass guitar flowed with energetic youthfulness, putting soft drops of imagination and surrealism into the general fabric of music.
The lightness of the genre set tone to the evening, which was more celebration of life, its beauty and absurdity. This entertaining show does not require evaluation or analysis. Theatrical perfection, polished expressions and scenes does not seem to be the goal of this show. Although the quality of the performance is indeed very important, however live interaction with audience and the element of unexpected reactions are playing quite big role, so every performance is slightly different.
In the end the audience found out the secret of Train With No Midnight. The train crossed time zones on New Year eve and the people in the train did not get to experience nor the end neither the beginning of the year. The train skipped that midnight.Stories told – intimate or common human experiences, sprinkled with imagination, humor and absurdity, twists of plot that were surprising the audience and bringing them up to ovation when the actual inevitable end arose before us, the viewers.