Well that was one hell of a history lesson. Rick Miller’s multi-media solo show ‘BOOM,’ featured as part of the PUSH International Performing Arts Festival and presented by The Arts Club Theatre Company, is a mind blowing coalescence of history and culture, of entertainment and emotion, of nostalgia and cutting edge technology. Commencing in 1945 and culminating in 1969, the play follows a detailed journey through time, highlighting yearly developments in technology, politics and music.
It is an astonishing feat of theatre. Obviously directed towards the baby boomer generation, the show nevertheless speaks to current generations in its pointed reflections and expressions of significant moments of history that have shaped our current world. Composed of entirely true stories and featuring hundreds of photos and recordings, it is an emotive and powerful glimpse into a past which is still part of our present, resulting in a meaningful and deeper understanding of the lives and values of this aging population.
Perhaps the most significant reoccurring theme in the play is that people are a product of their time. Through the brilliant use of narration and re-enactment, I perhaps for the first time readily understood my parent’s generation more indepthly than ever before. It brings to question what significant events and developments have, or will, define the millennials. Perhaps this is something that can only be understood through past reflections, or perhaps the show says it all with its astounding and relevant use of modern technology.
Though a one man show, Rick Miller is seemingly never alone onstage; the many videos played across the rocket shaped scrim behind which he stands act as his scene partner, and the dozens of characters Miller assumes throughout the show make it feel as if he is part of an ensemble cast. He is, simply, outrageously talented. If our lives are all part of a bigger picture, as he states in the show, I am happy, for one evening, to have been a part of it.
‘BOOM’ plays at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until February 13th