Culture Magazine

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

 

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
  
  
Rise of the Numberless 

 

Written by Patriac Coakley, Andrew Hobgood,
Evan Linder, Chris Gingrich, Julie B. Nichols 
Directed by Andrew Hobgood
at Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru May 26   |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
  
Check for half-price tickets 
  
  
   Read entire review 

 

The numberless just doesn’t add up

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)

  

Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony present

  

Rise of the Numberless

Review by Clint May

For something with aspirations of celebrating the rejection of numbers, Rise of the Numberless certainly paints by them. A punk rock angst driven by shrieking, indistinct lyrics, it borrows from superior sources without adding anything distinctive. It has the maturity of a script written by a first-semester college freshmen who fell asleep studying Philip K. Dick and listening to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Shrill, and irritating, its first sign of desperation starts before you enter. Stamped with a QR code on the wrist and handed some ear plugs, you’re made a part of the underground resistance in a tawdry attempt to immerse the audience in a way the production never does.

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
A passion play within a play, Numberless takes place on the night of the semi-centennial anniversary of a potential savior’s’ death. In an underground pod, the story is meant to illustrate through song and recreation the near mythological truth behind a big government cover-up. Cheat sheets in the press notes detail the lyrics, but as the audience doesn’t get such a liberty, I felt it unfair to read beforehand. If the cast couldn’t make the lyrics clear enough, why should I be allowed to cheat in a way the audience can’t?

Numberless takes place long after cataclysmic natural events have destroyed a good deal of the US, and for some reason this leads to a popular senator-cum-president proposing a one-family-one-child act and thereby creating a dystopian sci-fi environ. I would think after that much loss of life, it’d be better to start repopulation, not limitation, but that’s neither here nor there as logic was clearly dismissed pretty early on. The law mandates that citizens be numbered. Apparently, anything above “1” is cause for serious alarm as that means one’s parents have procreated illegally. “Digits” are taught to despise the “numberless,” who are forced to raid the above-grounders for food to survive. This is where it became clear to me that this underground owes most of its inspiration to 1993’s “Demolition Man” if it were told from the resistance’s point of view. And that was a pretty mediocre movie.

As a professed sci-fi nerd of grand proportions, I couldn’t help but rattle off in my head the stories of Resistant Underground going against Evil Government that Numberless is aping. It’s the attempt at being as diverse and heartfelt as the aforementioned Hedwig—complete with glam-rock makeup—that bothers me the most as I love *Hedwig* (which was also derived from other sources but in a deliciously delirious and refreshing way) and what it did to revitalize rock opera at the turn of the century. Now *there* was a musical that melded form, song and context. What’s more sad is witnessing cast members I’ve seen do better reduced to this tripe, wearing costumes that look like the characters from Mad Max went shopping at American Apparel.

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
Martin-Perkins-Lanning-Harnichar-Klix-Carson-Groner-Tobey

Nothing works here, from the hollow hipster angst of the script to the shrillness of the music (those ear plugs are not just a polite recommendation, they’re a necessity in a small space with no concessions for volume). Reading the notes, I found it difficult to believe that – out of the three writers – nothing new is said about the nature of resistance. Sure, the piece trots out a few emotional tricks, but no character is ever fleshed out enough to engender attachment.  Numberless begs for emotional investment but ultimately leaves you, well…numb.


Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)
Rise of the Numberless continues through May 26th at the Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee (map), with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and 10pm.  Tickets are $20-$25, and are available online at Tixato.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at TheNewColony.org.  (Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission)


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING