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Wednesday, Sep 13 2006
One might think the initial attraction to see 21/One is that it takes place on a moving bus, but once the guests climb aboard, it's all about the jello shots. I recommend having a few, because there's plenty of audience participation — lap dances, condom balloons, and, yes, drunkenness (the best performance turned out to be by an obnoxiously intoxicated audience member). As the decorated charter bus creeps around the city, we become the guests of a semiscripted bachelorette party gone wrong. As we peer out through the steamy windows, dreamlike scenarios play out on the streets, carried out by performance group Double Vision, including a pillow fight on the steps of St. Mary's Cathedral. Even as some attendees started to lose interest (one read the festival schedule the whole trip), others began to experience something quite original. I, along with another innocent participant, was asked by an actor to jump off the bus to buy some more beer at a squalid liquor store. The bus abandoned us, and then a whole new show began in the market — complete with actors, real customers, and, of course, more beer (which we drank while walking down the foggy streets — thus thickening the plot). The bus eventually scooped us up, and by the end I had the strong sense that Boxcar Theatre had succeeded in its mission to give each spectator "an unshared encounter with the performance."

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Nathaniel Eaton


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