Cleveland Public Theatre
Rusted Heart Broadcast
Gordon Square Theatre
6415 Detroit Ave.
May 30 through June 15
It is a strong suggestion by me that when you go to see “Rusted Heart Broadcast” that you take along a friend, spouse, significant other, relative or even a total stranger you met at the grocery store this afternoon. The reason for this is that “Rusted Heart Broadcast” now playing through June 15th at the Cleveland Public Theatre’s Gordon Square Theatre has so much going on that it takes two people’s total attention to grasp everything about the play. There is a lot going on.
The story line is simple enough. Kaysha leaves Cleveland, Ohio for Hollywood to fulfill her dream of fame and fortune. While there waiting for her “Big Break” she takes on a job as the official spokesperson for “softnet”, an implant that lets you connect to the worldwide web without wires or devices. Unfortunately, something goes wrong. A virus takes over and everyone in the country using any type of electronic device is “infected” with a sleeping sickness that eventually kills them.
“Rusted Heart Broadcast” is the telling of this story through the use of song, dance, recitation and acting. Although the story becomes fragmented from time to time and a feeling of confusion may overtake you, if you hang in there until the end the cobwebs will eventually clear and you will begin to make sense of the entire picture that this play is. This is where your tag along guest comes in. It will take the two of you to put this puzzle together. Take time to talk it over on the way home.
There are a number of things that this show has going for it. To begin with, the cast is extremely energetic and in shape. There is a lot of physical work involved. Throughout the production there is fast pace running as well as the shifting, stacking and dancing with various sized large wooden stools. There are synchronic dance numbers that will take your breath away and the use of lighting and staging of the cast will blow your mind. Did I mention the running? There is an Olympic amount of it. The use of group voice is also done very well (this is where the entire cast speaks in sync with each other using the same words. One device used early on in the second act is a total black out with only the voices of the actors coming from the darkness. It is very effective.
I would caution those who are faint of heart. I advise you not to sit in the front row that is stage level. There are a lot of dramatic moves that happen right in front of you and at times it can be a bit overwhelming. The actors come very close to the audience during the performance, especially during the running and dancing scenes and it can be quite intimidating if you are not use to it. If you are into that type of thing like I am, then you will love it.
Another fascinating element was the costuming. Everyone is dressed in similar garb much like one would expect of survivors of an apocalyptic event. The colors are for the most part muted earth tones. They have a basic T type top and the pants have a sort of wrap around flairs that balloon when they dance and run.
Lastly, the singing is a unique character of its own. Since 1994, Ray Bobgan has developed a song creation structure that they call “Dreamers, Catchers, Keepers” which encourages the improvisational creation of sound/song lines which results in repeatable songs. It closely resembles the sing-song sounds of Buddist singing chants and meditative mantras.
Conceived over the last three years, Rusted Heart Broadcast is a culmination of a collaborative ensemble-based process which engages actors in the authorship of the play. Featuring Bobgan’s hallmark style, the show is a visceral montage of movement, music, storytelling and action that celebrates Cleveland values and the aspiration to live fully.
Rusted Heart Broadcast, directed by Raymond Bobgan, features Molly Andrews-Hinders, Dionne D. Atchinson, Carly Garinger, Sally Groth*, Faye Hargate, Jeremy P. Lewis, Chris Seibert, Adam Seeholzer and Darius Stubbs.
Creative team includes Caitlin Lewins (Stage Manager), Alison Garrigan (Costume Design), Benjamin Gantose (Lighting Design) and Zach Svoboda (Technical Director). *Member of Actors’ Equity Association
Shooting From The Lip (My Final Words): Rusted Heart Broadcast has a strong story line, a lot of energy and an excellent cast who weaves what could become an indecipherable story. Lucky for the audience there is enough clues provided so that you can figure it out. Nothing is left for speculation once you put all the pieces together. It is a show that you will need to work at to understand. If you are not in the mood to have your intellect stimulated then save your money for a safer bet. If you like a bit of mystery and whimsy, definitely go see this show. It is top notch fare for the brave theater goers.
“Rusted Heart Broadcast” runs thru Saturday, June 15 in the Gordon Square Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District. No performance on June 8.
Performances are at 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday.
$10 tickets on Mondays and Thursdays, $25 tickets on Fridays and Saturday with a $3 discount for Students and Seniors
Free Beer Fridays – Every Friday after the show, mingle with the artists while enjoying a drink or two on CPT.