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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: FOUR: Yourself

Colour Me Intrigued
There is so much to think about that I want to see FOUR: Yourself again.
by Valerie Cardinal
My experience with verbatim-style theatre was very limited until I saw the MAP Project’s FOUR: Yourself. Now, colour me very intrigued. FOUR: Yourself combines interviews with its three performers and endless pop culture references to make a narrative. In essence, it’s an epic journey made up of a collection of moments that don’t make sense until it ends. But when it does get there, it generated enough discussion between my play-going companion and I that I could write a nice philosophical essay about the purpose of nostalgia and video if I really wanted to. The shot of vodka that came free with entry really helped with that as well. 

This is probably not a show for the non-culture-savvy...
The narrative is told almost completely in references to movies, music, television and even YouTube videos. These are combined with interviews projected on a screen, with the performers repeating and complimenting different parts. It’s intriguing to see mannerisms and speech patterns repeated on the stage word-for-word, often by the same person who originally said it.
FOUR: Yourself capitalizes on the fact that people relate to each other through common experiences and knowledge. This is probably not a show for the non-culture-savvy, as all the references would be lost and the entire show would then fall flat. As a fan of pop culture and someone who has friends who communicate almost exclusively in references, I really enjoyed the call-backs to movies and TV shows that I love such as the Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and even America’s Next Top Model.  FOUR: Yourself is so full of references it even references itself at a few points.
The thought and work that went into FOUR: Yourself is obvious in the sometimes frighteningly dedicated performances of Amy Kitz, Jake Zabuski and Iris Lapid. From start to finish they were giving it their all as we got a glimpse of three very different lives. 
There is so much to think about that I want to see FOUR: Yourself again. Bring friends, or be prepared to make new ones. You’re going to want to talk about this after it’s over. 

FOUR: Yourself: The MAP Project

May 25-28
Running time: 1 hour 
MainLine Theatre

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