NY Theater Review by Sandi Durell
Theatergoers are loving anything theater that is immersive and interactive. Well, if you’re one of those and whether you’ve seen the past incarnations “De La Guarda” or “Fuerza Bruta” by creator Diqui James, you’re in for some thrills and chills.
Down at the cavern called the Daryl Roth Theatrer on Union Square East & 15th Street, performers are running on platform treadmills, a white suited man gets shot, drummers who sing are yelling “WAYRA,” (which I’m told means wind) as they shake their bodies, moving to jungle rhythms, smoke, strobe lights, a wind machine and otherwise amazing lighting effects creating an aura not usually seen in your usual theater experience.
Performers hooked on to heavy wires are running around near the ceiling on a cylinder-like mylar curtain that wraps around the perimeter – – faster, faster – audience heads tilted upwards in a dizzying attempt to follow the patterns they make so as not to miss a beat.
And the piece de resistance, a heavy clear bottom plastic-like ceiling that lowers and lowers allowing audience members to touch it as gallons of water are released above for the aquatic females who slip, slide and swim above our heads. Pretty slick!
We are all suddenly covered in a plastic balloon (Globa) as air is pumped in allowing it to rise and rise to the top above us where 3 performers twist, turn and peek down at us through holes and . . . what’s that? Suddenly they’ve got a couple of audience thrill-seekers who they take up into their webs to peer down with them!
Performers run around with cardboard box squares that burst into confetti when they hit something; and somehow this one gal must have thought I would enjoy the experience, as she gave me a look of ‘what if . . .’ and proceeded to hit me on the head with one of the squares, confetti flying . . . and then. . . we danced. Or, if you happen to be standing in the wrong place (for some the right place), perhaps you’ll be showered upon . . . literally!
All I can say is that by the time I left, 80 minutes later, my theater companion and I both felt completely exhausted by the extreme sound levels and visual stunts that are WAYRA. I have no idea if any of it means anything other than extreme entertainment that gets a rise out of the especially young audience. But . . . I wouldn’t have missed it for the world; speaking of which these shows are touring all over the globe.
Splish Splash your way to the Daryl Roth Theater, 20 Union Square East, 212 239-6200 www.fuerzabrutanyc.com