Friday, January 8, 2016

Out There: RoosevElvis

It's pretty rare that I see something so completely original that is equally completely awesome. 

Photo courtesy of the Telegraph.
I am delighted, however, to say that that is the case with RoosevElvis, the kickoff show in the Walker Art Museum's annual Out There series. 

RoosevElvis is two stories in one. The first half is a totally engaging dialogue between Elvis and his hero Theodore Roosevelt. The second follows Ann, a bummed out lesbian, who channels Elvis to propel her from her natural state of complete ennui. After a failed attempt at a romantic getaway with an online fling, Ann is compelled to take her dream trip to Memphis to begin living her real life, and is only able to take the trip with Elvis and Teddy along the way to stimulate her.

There are several characters in this show, all of whom are expertly played by two actresses, Libby King and Kristen Sieh. King and Sieh are masterful chameleons, providing gorgeous, vibrant portrayals of their characters (not easy when playing such charismatic figures while cross dressing). They are the main reason to see the show, particularly for their astonishingly chipper Teddy Roosevelt, and it's worth the cost of admission alone for their excellent performances.

The set is larger than expected and fairly nimble, giving the viewer an adequate visual metaphor for the action levels in the plot. Costumes are relatively mundane, with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt's full Western getup, which is marvelous.

The Walker's Out There series is a perennial favorite of mine, always giving me something fresh to think about and displaying a completely new way of putting on a show. I love attending and I encourage all theater lovers to attend at least once; it's always good to see what new glass ceilings the avant garde art world is breaking for us. RoosevElvis is an excellent start. RoosevElvis only runs this weekend; find more information and tickets by clicking on this link.