The Onion Cellar
Last Night was good. I was taken to a hell of a show by some good friends who feel they owe me one. Sometimes, no matter how hard, you have to surrender to the generosity of others. It was made easier by the show.
UPDATE - you tube clip only
The Onion Cellar presented by the Dresden Dolls. I went into the experience without looking. I read one review of the show from the Boston Globe, a source i knew would miss any high-concept aspects of the show. I read the uncertainty in the reviewers tone, and knew instantly I'd like it. The review included some mention of a bear, and an older man drinking alone. Also of cafe style seating and a cash bar. All true.
What I did not know is that Gunther Grass was the inspiration, nor did I know that the band has been less than totally satisfied with the resulting show. I've also never read The Onion Cellar by Gunther Grass.
So, from my relatively uncultured perspective, the show was awesome. I may go again. The setting is a cellar cabaret, and the story is minimally told, narrated as much through the emotional charge of the DD's occasional performances as through the snippets of narrative action on the several stages in room. Everyone seems to be a doppleganger of everyone else in the show, right down to the band itself. the DD are two people. One is a drummer who boggles my mind and rewinds my internal springs everytime I've seen them, and the other is a keyboarist who sings songs of complexity equalling the emotions she is discussing. They work very well toghether.
anyhow, they are both in the show, wrote much of the show, and are also cast with doubles in the show. I found it fairly easy and very rewarding to follow. In the end I got it. I totally totally got the show.
I'm equally certain that I missed most of it, but when I left I felt significantly better inside. The crowd was universally pleased, everyone stood three times in the show.
The Onion Cellar didn't make me cry, but one of the drum solo's did make the 50-ish woman seated at the table in front of me cry. Literally, a drum solo, and played with mallets at that!. She cried. I too was moved. They both really put themselves out there in this show, more so than in any concert I've seen. So, the setting, at the American Repertory Theatre, works. It's NOT a DD show at a nightclub. It IS a DD show at a cabaret and there is a noticeable difference.
Also, the acoustic guitar playing while seated at and playing a drum-kit with the feet is something I have never seen or heard before. Whoa. These two put on a show like no-one else I've ever seen, and they also draw in the best sort of weirdo's - like some sort of existential UV lamp.
If you live anywhere near Boston, go now and see this show. You only have a few days left.