Following a timeline of music and historical events is normally right up my alley, but Rick Miller’s Boom, just seemed too contrived. Miller is the writer, director, actor and producer and that is never a good thing. We all need fresh eyes to look at our piece.
Opening last night at 59E59 the show follows a time line between 1945 – 1969 known as the Baby Boomers. Though I fall at the late end of this, Miller’s trying to equate the past with the present is a little off base.
He performs over 100 politicians, activists and musicians, but not well. We meet five presidents, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., news anchors, several cartoon characters, and music icons, who bring us the hits of the day. “Great Balls of Fire,” “Piece of My Heart,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “With a Little Help From My Friends” are a few of the songs included. Miller is not a Rich Little or a Christina Bianco, nor really a singer. What he is good at is memorizing.
Another thing Miller incorporates into his piece is his mother Maddie, who like most of us grew up in a strict conservative family, but in Ontario. Canada. Miller’s mother and an African American activist and blues musician from Chicago, who escaped the Vietnam draft are highlighted, as is a Viennese immigrant, Rudi. Maybe in Canada these three people would resinate, but not in New York or for that matter the rest of the US.
What is done well is Bruno Matte’s muted lighting and David Leclerc’s multimedia projections that keep us on point.
The impression that Miller did well was Bugs Bunny and with that so long folks.
Rick Miller’s Boom: 59E59 until Feb. 23rd.