A Wheel Deal

Roller disco and the Tower of Babel. John Hinckley and Jodie Foster. Ronald Reagan as the antichrist. Choreographed song and dance. Are you getting all this down? LIDA Project artistic director Brian Freeland doesn’t think small, and he’s putting his big ideas on wheels and taking them for a whirl — with help from guest co-director Tonya Malik — around the BINDERY | space stage to open LIDA’s fifteenth season.

Their collaborative original work, Roller Skating With My Cousin, not only features a supplemental chorus of real roller-derby gals along with the main ensemble, but is quick to bombard the audience with theatrical bells and whistles, from a flashy ’80s aesthetic to the barely hinted shadow of 9/11.

“It’s like a mash-up, where things simultaneously exist in parallel universes. It’s non-linear, it’s abstract...it’s full of dazzling musical numbers and all kinds of wild lighting,” notes LIDA’s Julie Rada. “Yet there’s enough of a device for audiences to be able to sink their teeth into the story.” And that all fits with the LIDA imperative to re-engage younger audiences with a new, experimental form of non-elitist theater. “We’re going back to the roots of what we always wanted to with the company,” she says. “It’s all about ritual and storytelling and connecting with human beings.”

The rink — and the web of subplots therein — starts spinning tonight at 8 p.m. at 2180 Stout Street; performances continue on Friday and Saturday evenings through February 20. Tickets are $15 to $17; purchase them online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/93585 or call 720-221-3821.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 15. Continues through Feb. 20, 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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