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Review: Quantum Joy

by Photo of Paul Hansen

Review: Quantum Joy

Review: Quantum Joy

Dixon Place, an innovative theatre organization that specializes in new work,  recently  presented Quantum Joy.  The production is a one man show which is billed as addressing universal issues of life and art through the use of particle robots,   computer visions and dynamic mapped projections.    The production also seeks to explore electronic gaming environments and the dramatic possibilities of digital glitches, errors and bugs.

Quantum Joy was created and performed by Victor Morales.   On stage, Mr. Morales seems like an amiable Renaissance man.  In addition to being a director, Morales is also a performer, game designer, video animator, sound designer and puppet maker.

The premise of the show sounded quite interesting to me.     The rapid metamorphosis of electronic technology certainly raises some important philosophical questions.   The pre-show publicity brought to mind the television series The Ascent of Man where the great intellect Jacob Bronowski discussed the philosophical implications of scientific advancement.

Mr. Morales had some interesting observations to make , including  how the spread of information has accelerated through the ages culminating in the invention of the Internet.   He also made the intriguing observation that “the whole world can now be carried in a cell phone."   Towards the end of the show, a robot has a long and articulate soliloquy commenting on a number of social issues.   The production also has some truly impressive video projections designed by Mr. Morales.     

In general, I did think that the presentation of the material could have been sharpened.  The philosophical points of the script could also be more structured.    Mr. Morales also had a tendency to stop speaking while he manipulated his computer and imagery on stage which slowed the momentum of the show.  Perhaps in future productions he can develop some patter to cover those otherwise silent spots. The elements for a good show are there,  the production just needs to be brought into tighter focus. 

After beginning in the salon of a Paris apartment in 1985, Dixon Place is now located in an impressive performance facility located at 161A Chrystie Street on the Lower East Side.    The organization is dedicated to fostering and cultivating new work across a multitude of disciplines.    The theater company caters to both new and established artists and entertainers.  Blue Man Group and John Leguizamo appeared at Dixon Place at the beginning of their careers.  Well known established artists who have presented new work there include Lily Tomlin and Wallace Shawn.  

Earlier last summer I saw The Flatiron Hex at Dixon Place,  an electronic noir thriller which was truly an impressive show whose intriguing images still linger favorably in my mind.   Those interested in new and experimental theatre should definitely be aware of the offerings of Dixon Place. 


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