The Terror, the Terror!

It’s truly a new dawn for Denver’s LIDA Project: After a sabbatical by LIDA’s divining light, Brian Freeland, and a forced change of venue, the indie/avant-garde theater collective is back on the grid with a fully planned season. That season begins tonight, full-throttle, with Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda, a work Freeland describes as a “theatrical editorial” about post-9/11 America. And it will be, he assures, one wild ride.

“We wanted to look at a piece that analyzed where Americans had been for the last ten years,” Freeland says. “And the one thing we came back to while developing the work was the fact that in a prolonged time of war and tumult, we’ve never had such a disconnected American population. We’ve become so disconnected to war, whereas our prior generations were either pitching in and keeping the home fires burning or out protesting. We seem to be completely apathetic toward our wars. And at the same time, we’ve grown increasingly fat and lazy — and we love our reality TV — over the last decade. This seems like an interesting point in time to sit back and reflect where we’ve been.” He promises, too, that it’ll be a shocker — “We’re not holding back,” Freeland warns — and that a good amount of Justin Bieber music will assault the audience’s ears. Is he optimistic about how people will take it? “It’s just, ‘We’ll see.’ We’ll see how the work lands. Now we’ll just have to see if it’s the content that will shut the show down and not necessarily the building.”

If that isn’t a challenge to check it out, we don’t know what is: Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda premieres at 8 p.m. in the new Laundry on Lawrence performance space, 2701 Lawrence Street in RiNo; shows continue weekly, Thursdays through Saturdays, through October 8. For tickets, $15 to $22, go to or call 720-221-3821.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 9. Continues through Oct. 9, 2011

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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