RIFFS 2014
June 24, 2014
Report from the Field: "Dig Infinity"
Prince O's Latest Flip

From the current front line we bring you testimony in the key of E (for eye witness.) Less than a fortnight ago Oliver Trager laid a little email on LBC to hip us to his most recent stomp across the boards titled "Dig Infinity. For Thy peepers only, Beloveds:

  Heya Michael,
Hope all swings well with you and the Vashon.

With a bit of remove from the show, I just wanted to touch base and give ya a hit of how things went.

Reaction to the show was uniformly positive as perhaps evidenced by this cross-sampling of thoughtful feedback.

“Your play is big on the spirit. It's in the mold of old-fashioned ancient-Greek theater, a tour de force . . . I have no idea how you are able to retain and act out so much, so well, so fluidly. The range of the play transcends Buckley-tribute nights in that it is a timeless work of the spirit.” -- Evander, a publishing pro & Buckley fan.

“Wow! I have to say my expectations were high and they were more than met. The whole experience was inspiring and mesmerizing. I felt completely locked into this universe and persona you channeled...What more can I say? I'm sure there will many more good things to come from 'Dig Infinity!' based on the response and packed house.” -- Paul Lovelace, a 30-year-old-documentary filmmaker (Radio Unnameable).

“We've never seen anything like your show! We went into it without any type of background on Lord Buckley (our own fault), so it was a bit fast paced and hard to follow and take in at times... maybe a little more digestion time within the piece. But other than that really, it was SUPER cool -- the intimacy of it all, the flute and drums as you walk in, the dialogue between Lord Buckley and Orpheus, the energy, the mixed media, the mix of time periods, the engagement with the audience, the riddles and jokes . . . we were so proud to be a part of it, for real.” -- Sarah, a 21-year-old friend of Cole Trager.

Audience members ranged from grade school kids and housing project-dwelling twenty-somethings to hippie-hipster-yupsters, curious theater folk, artists and poets of note to a world renowned architect and just plain old regular people. Judging by their response to our modest production, Lord Buckley’s achievement and my framing of it appear to still have the power to move an audience more than a half-century after his swoop off the mortal coil.

Admittedly, not everyone “got it” or much out of it. One guy appeared to catch a pretty decent nap. But, with the audience nearly literally in my lap, I assure you that was an exception to the energy and love emanating from the pews. The audience are the young folk reared on Hip-Hop and their parents' '60s sounds hungering for something cool and authentic in this plastic carnival of crap pop culture.

Not sure how I feel about it all now that has come and gone. Some things I would have done different for sure but what's done is done. I'd love to continue to share and develop the work but the usual suspects — $/time/etc. — are major factors in stalling the moving of matters forward.

I know we put forth a compelling and magical plunge into the Lord Buckley vortex for all that had the opportunity to attend. And I know that the message contained within Buckley’s canon is life-affirming and embracing, a message conveyed in my play. Best of all: we made good art with heart, took audiences on a journey, had one ourselves, and had Fun w/a capital F along the way.