BOOM is an explosion of sound, vision and song

Posted on: Friday, March 25, 2016

The eponymous BOOM of Rick Miller’s touring hit invokes the Hiroshima bomb, the post-war baby boom and the boom of the rocket boosters which took man to the moon. But it could also refer to the explosive energy of the man himself, whose previous work includes the Shakespeare-meets-the-Simpsons spoof MacHomer and occasional collaborations with Robert Lepage.

For almost two hours, Miller powers through 25 years and some hundred voices, many of them musical: included are clean cut crooners from the ’40s, rock’n’rollers from the ’50s, and the wild men and women of the pre-Woodstock era. All the while he perfectly calibrates his performance with a truly dazzling cascade of imagery, projected onto and beyond the see-through cylinder which surrounds him.

As a showcase for Miller’s stamina and impersonation skills, BOOM, which clocked its 200th performance last Tuesday, is already on solid ground. But it’s also a fascinating, kaleidoscopic overview of an era, taking in everything from Cold War anxieties, the birth of television, the civil rights movement, the blooming and withering of flower power optimism, the naiveté (or extreme chutzpah) of ’50s and ’60s admen, and plenty more besides.

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