(Gananoque, ON) We’re talkin’ ‘bout my generation… about a whole lot of people’s generation. Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Miller’s “Boom!” has hit the stage with all the wildness and complete abandon of the generation for whom it was named, and whether you are a “Baby Boomer” or not, you’re in for a great ride through one of the most turbulent 25 year periods in modern history.
“‘Boom!’ is a play that I started creating about four years ago,” said Miller, writer and sole performer. “It started when I was researching the history, culture and politics of the generation that preceded me. I was looking into my DNA in a way, and I realized that I love rock and roll, I wanted to know why it became so interesting in the late ‘60s, what made that happen, and I realized that you can’t tell that story without looking at the politics of the time, or at the technology that was bringing young people together and allowing them to hear all this explosive stuff and connect around it.”
What sounds like a cute peek at the past, which could become tedious, dry and dull in no time at all, is actually vibrant and full of life. Running from WWII through the “Summer of Love”, the music is there, the events are there, the people are there, all calling out for us to come take a look, get involved, drop in and not out. Audience members can look forward to “All My Loving”, “Blue Moon”, “Your Cheating Heart”, and “Eve of Destruction”, among many other classics.
“Although it started with that political/cultural perspective, my family started telling me stories – my dad told stories from war-torn Austria, about growing up in Hitler youth, and I didn’t even know this stuff,” said Miller. “I started gathering it and realizing that I can create this big picture perspective on a generation that I didn’t live through but that led to me and, by so doing, hopefully speak to people of today.”
A living documentary, “Boom!” blends video clips, slides, audio and live performance to create a whole new sensation. As you watch, it is very easy to forget that this is a live one-man show – none of the voices are recorded, the majority of the sound truly is live and real and happening as you sit there. Men, women and children all speak and live and respond from this one body as you see their images projected on the scrim, and the eye is carefully teased back and forth between carefully selected clips and slides and the living, breathing man behind the curtain. Miller presents each character smoothly and distinctly, and every voice convinces you that these people are here, alive and well and speaking directly to you.
“It’s not just some sort of nostalgia about the past,” said Miller. “‘Boom!’ is one man, 100 voices, 25 years, trying to create some sort of time capsule that is living and breathing and that speaks to Millennials as much as it does to Baby Boomers.
“‘Boom!’ is a collage of stories that I’ve been documenting about the generation that immediately preceded me: stories of the famous and the not-so-famous; stories of the living and the no longer living. Each story in itself might be worthy of a full play, but in this case I’ve chosen to paint them into a larger picture. My hope is that by spiraling through 25 tumultuous years (1945 to 1969), we can all gain perspective not only on who we were, but who we are now and where we’re going.”
This is not just another night at the theatre. This is a show you will want to see again. And again. And maybe again. And don’t forget to bring all your other generations – there is something there for all of you.
“Boom!” is playing at the Springer Theatre, 185 South Street, Gananoque, from May 24 until June 10. Show times are Tuesday 7:30, Wednesday through Saturday 8:00 pm, with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm (starting the Sunday after opening night). Running time is about 2 hours (including intermission). Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors age 65+, <30 Club $20. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. For more information, please go to www.1000islandsplayhouse.com or contact the box office at 613-382-7020.