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What Happened in Ohio

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Fourth Street Theatre
83 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
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USER REVIEWS

Experimentation in the arts is always necessary in that we are asked to experience with an open approach that stories can be told without a clear narrative, using instead mime, song, movement and poetic aphorisms. But not all experiments go according to plan, and some plans are not well conceived. Sadly, "What Happened in Ohio", falls into this category. I say sadly, because there was genuine hard work and planning on the part of the players. "The Roadsters" are an improvisational, movement and musical collective. They are blessed with singing, songwriting and musical ability, but it is their storytelling technique that suffers from a muddled, incoherent composition with dull pacing. "..Ohio", runs for 90 minutes as a one act play/musical with two parts, only there is no definable character or story development between the two parts. The songs are delightful - a blend of Gospel and Bluegrass original works from "The Roadsters". They know their way around this style and at first, when they step on stage with an opening number "Everyones Itchin to Feel Alive AFore They Die", its a toe-tapping moment. But you spend the in-between scripted moments removed from the four siblings, which isnt clear unless you read their website or wait until sixty minutes in to get that clue. The players move around the stage, playing props and furniture. There is one clever method when they use themselves to make a bed, but boy do they take their time doing it. So what is the story of "..Ohio"? Its certainly about how we embrace the death of our loved ones and the questions of how we live when we are still here. Its set in 1950s rural America, and these siblings are poor farmers consumed with these themes. "We know what we want to find, but we evade ourselves", says the only brother as he prepares to leave the farm for a bigger city to find himself. "Life gets in the way of living sometimes", quips one of the three sisters. And these existential aphorisms peel off their tongues like thought bubbles that are said and heard no more. It seems like we are watching four lost souls, collectively dealing with something tragic, as they sing, crouch down on the floor to look at a dozen eggs, or mime screwing in light-bulbs. Then you realize that no tragedy has occurred yet, until it does, with a fatal automobile accident much further into the play. You cant help wonder, what was all the agonizing and reflection up until that point? The story is linear, so its not as if were watching events unfold out of sequence. Its unclear, and now the siblings must deal with this actual tragedy, only theres no heightening of drama. Theyve already been depressed; you are at the same level from where you began. One sister says, "I wish we were in a place that didnt require endless reminding". Tell me about it. As for a collective, "The Roadsters" have something unique and aspirational - but they must step back from their hard work to make inquiries of it. The movement, music, mime and poetry is at times entertaining with a magical quality; thats their strength. I hope with further reflection their next body of work is an experimental success.

Bluegrass and Gospel But No Hallelujah

Experimentation in the arts is always necessary in that we are asked to experience with an open approach that stories can be told without a clear narrative, using instead mime, song, movement and poetic aphorisms. But not all experiments go according to plan, and some plans are not well conceived. Sadly, "What Happened in Ohio", falls into this category. I say sadly, because there was genuine hard work and planning on the part of the players. "The Roadsters" are an improvisational, movement and musical collective. They are blessed with singing, songwriting and musical ability, but it is their storytelling technique that suffers from a muddled, incoherent composition with dull pacing. "..Ohio", runs for 90 minutes as a one act play/musical with two parts, only there is no definable character or story development between the two parts. The songs are delightful - a blend of Gospel and Bluegrass original works from "The Roadsters". They know their way around this style and at first, when they step on stage with an opening number "Everyones Itchin to Feel Alive AFore They Die", its a toe-tapping moment. But you spend the in-between scripted moments removed from the four siblings, which isnt clear unless you read their website or wait until sixty minutes in to get that clue. The players move around the stage, playing props and furniture. There is one clever method when they use themselves to make a bed, but boy do they take their time doing it. So what is the story of "..Ohio"? Its certainly about how we embrace the death of our loved ones and the questions of how we live when we are still here. Its set in 1950s rural America, and these siblings are poor farmers consumed with these themes. "We know what we want to find, but we evade ourselves", says the only brother as he prepares to leave the farm for a bigger city to find himself. "Life gets in the way of living sometimes", quips one of the three sisters. And these existential aphorisms peel off their tongues like thought bubbles that are said and heard no more. It seems like we are watching four lost souls, collectively dealing with something tragic, as they sing, crouch down on the floor to look at a dozen eggs, or mime screwing in light-bulbs. Then you realize that no tragedy has occurred yet, until it does, with a fatal automobile accident much further into the play. You cant help wonder, what was all the agonizing and reflection up until that point? The story is linear, so its not as if were watching events unfold out of sequence. Its unclear, and now the siblings must deal with this actual tragedy, only theres no heightening of drama. Theyve already been depressed; you are at the same level from where you began. One sister says, "I wish we were in a place that didnt require endless reminding". Tell me about it. As for a collective, "The Roadsters" have something unique and aspirational - but they must step back from their hard work to make inquiries of it. The movement, music, mime and poetry is at times entertaining with a magical quality; thats their strength. I hope with further reflection their next body of work is an experimental success.

Bluegrass and Gospel But No Hallelujah

Experimentation in the arts is always necessary in that we are asked to experience with an open approach that stories can be told without a clear narrative, using instead mime, song, movement and poetic aphorisms. But not all experiments go according to plan, and some plans are not well conceived. Sadly, "What Happened in Ohio", falls into this category. I say sadly, because there was genuine hard work and planning on the part of the players. "The Roadsters" are an improvisational, movement and musical collective. They are blessed with singing, songwriting and musical ability, but it is their storytelling technique that suffers from a muddled, incoherent composition with dull pacing. "..Ohio", runs for 90 minutes as a one act play/musical with two parts, only there is no definable character or story development between the two parts. The songs are delightful - a blend of Gospel and Bluegrass original works from "The Roadsters". They know their way around this style and at first, when they step on stage with an opening number "Everyones Itchin to Feel Alive AFore They Die", its a toe-tapping moment. But you spend the in-between scripted moments removed from the four siblings, which isnt clear unless you read their website or wait until sixty minutes in to get that clue. The players move around the stage, playing props and furniture. There is one clever method when they use themselves to make a bed, but boy do they take their time doing it. So what is the story of "..Ohio"? Its certainly about how we embrace the death of our loved ones and the questions of how we live when we are still here. Its set in 1950s rural America, and these siblings are poor farmers consumed with these themes. "We know what we want to find, but we evade ourselves", says the only brother as he prepares to leave the farm for a bigger city to find himself. "Life gets in the way of living sometimes", quips one of the three sisters. And these existential aphorisms peel off their tongues like thought bubbles that are said and heard no more. It seems like we are watching four lost souls, collectively dealing with something tragic, as they sing, crouch down on the floor to look at a dozen eggs, or mime screwing in light-bulbs. Then you realize that no tragedy has occurred yet, until it does, with a fatal automobile accident much further into the play. You cant help wonder, what was all the agonizing and reflection up until that point? The story is linear, so its not as if were watching events unfold out of sequence. Its unclear, and now the siblings must deal with this actual tragedy, only theres no heightening of drama. Theyve already been depressed; you are at the same level from where you began. One sister says, "I wish we were in a place that didnt require endless reminding". Tell me about it. As for a collective, "The Roadsters" have something unique and aspirational - but they must step back from their hard work to make inquiries of it. The movement, music, mime and poetry is at times entertaining with a magical quality; thats their strength. I hope with further reflection their next body of work is an experimental success. "What Happened in Ohio" at the Fourth Street Theater.

RE:Bluegrass and Gospel But No Hallelujah

By Nick Hetherington Experimentation in the arts is always necessary, in that we are asked to experience with an open approach, that stories can be told without a clear narrative, using instead mime, song, movement and poetic aphorisms. But not all experiments go according to plan, and some plans are not well conceived. Sadly, "What Happened in Ohio", falls into this category. I say sadly, because there was genuine hard work and planning on the part of the players, "The Roadsters", are an improvisational, movement and musical collective. They are blessed with singing, songwriting and musical ability, it is their storytelling technique that suffers from a muddled, incoherent composition with dull pacing. "..Ohio", runs for 90 minutes as a one act play/musical with two parts, only there is no definable character or story development between the two parts. The songs are delightful, a blend of Gospel and Bluegrass, original works from "The Roadsters" - they know their way around this style and at first, when they step on stage with an opening number "Everyones Itchin to Feel Alive AFore They Die", its a toe-tapping moment. But, you spend the in-between scripted moments removed from the four siblings, which isnt clear unless you read their website or wait until sixty minutes in to get that clue. The players, move around the stage, playing props and furniture - there is one clever method when they use themselves to make a bed, but boy do they take their time doing it. So what is the story of "..Ohio"? Its certainly about how we embrace the death of our loved ones and questions of how we live when we are still here. Its set in 1950s rural America, and these siblings are poor farmers consumed with these themes. "We know what we want to find, but we evade ourselves" says the only brother as he prepares to leave the farm for a bigger city to find himself. "Life gets in the way of living sometimes" quips one of the three sisters. And these existential aphorisms peel off their tongues like thought bubbles that are said and heard no more. It seems like we are watching 4 lost souls, collectively having had something tragic happen to them, as they sing, crouch down on the floor to look at a dozen eggs or mime screwing in light-bulbs, for which I have no idea why. Then you realize that no tragedy has occurred yet, until it does with a fatal automobile accident much further into the play. You cant help wonder, what was all the agonizing and reflection up until that point? The story is linear, so its not as if were watching events unfold out of sequence. Its unclear, and now the siblings must deal with this actual tragedy, only theres no heightening of drama, theyve already been depressed, you are at the same level from when you began. One sister says " I wish we were in a place that didnt require endless reminding". Tell me about it. As for a collective "The Roadsters" have something unique and aspirational - but they must step back from their hard work to make inquiries of it. The movement, music, mime and poetry, is at times entertaining with a magical quality, thats their strength. I hope with further reflection, their next body of work is an experimental success. What Happened in Ohio at the Fourth Street Theater.

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