Pure Energy

Don’t even try to understand how Thaddeus Phillips puts together a performance. He plucks seemingly random things from the air and somehow creates relationships from a whirling mass of stuff, and his newest work, Microworld(s) Part #1, is no different. Somehow mad scientist Nikola Tesla, the Nagakin Capsule Tower in Tokyo, Shakespeare, a Serbian expatriate and a rubber duck are seamlessly interconnected in the work as they spin around in a white box powered by foot pumps operated by audience members as they enter the theater.

Lost? No need. In his own magical way, Phillips, an expatriate friend of the Buntport Theater gang who returns occasionally to present his latest works, is certain to charm and entrance: He’ll fool you into believing every minute of it and, in this case, loving that you’ve expended some of your own energy in making the whole thing work.

In typical fashion, Phillips began simply with the vision of doing a show powered by renewable energy. Then, while touring Serbia last summer, he came across the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, which reveres the inventor who imagined such advances as solar energy and the Internet well before their time. He read an article in the New York Times about the Nagakin tower. “There was a great quote in the article about how the building represented possibilities or roads not taken,” he explains. “And Tesla represents that as well.” From that miasma came Milo, a Serbian guy living in a capsule apartment with his rubber duck (Tesla, Phillips notes, often talked to pigeons) and quotes Camus and...and, well, you get the picture. But not the denouement!

Microworld(s) opens tonight for previews and continues Thursdays through Saturdays, with three Sunday matinees, through November 8, at Buntport, 717 Lipan Street; for tickets, $10 for this weekend’s previews and $13 to $16 for the rest of the run, go to www.buntport.com or call 720-946-1388. And for more on Thaddeus Phillips, go to www.luciditysuitcase.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 15. Continues through Nov. 8, 2009

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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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