Journal

 “What can I do to help you stop screaming? ” Jan 16, 2009

by Stephanie

 “ ”¦a wet balloon filled with warm clams ”  ”¦that one is going to stick with me for awhile. Fantastic musings on sex, moments with snakes that mean everything and nothing, the removing of hair pins, a white shirt that says  ”˜Rainbow Times’, a moving yet simple dance sequence that illuminated this world, an alien bringing lasagna, the fun combination of humans and television screens, and a lecture from Whitley Strieber’s The Key that brought pasta eating to an art form ”¦the details form layers in this world, yet what do they mean? How do they come together? Is there a story? Should I care?

There is a sense of isolation, a black hole about Linas Phillips’ Lasagna or: How I learned to stop slipping towards the prison of permanent darkness. Physically? Geographically? the show felt flat and two dimensional with everything placed downstage, largely on the same plane, the two large flat TV screens, the bed, the cellist in profile ”¦not much physical depth here. Occasional bits in a special upstage broke the wall of  ”˜flat’, but the isolation and looming black hole of existence remained throughout the piece for me. While it had a flat feel, there was a depth to this piece that contained many layers of dimension which would warrant another viewing.

I enjoyed the piece more when I wasn’t trying so hard to make sense of it all, the individual moments meant more to me than the whole. Leah Schrager’s dancing was beautiful and brought a color to this drab world. A close up on Linas Phillips’ mouth when he is disappointed by a former lover on the phone had more expression in that moment than the whole show put together. The live music (fantastic work by Lori Goldston) was haunting and invisible, minimal, yet a key component to the piece – it felt jarring when the music was absent in the few brief moments it wasn’t there. While I found the  ”˜lecture’ from Strieber’s The Key difficult to stick with, the work both Jim and Linas do with the television screens was amazing. The play off the video projections with the live components was quite a feat.

What does it mean? I don’t know. It was nice to watch a piece that is NOT all about giving you hope, but perhaps questioning our existence in this isolation ”¦What can I do to help you stop screaming? Recommend you see this piece more than once.

- Stephanie Farhood

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