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I just snuck into a rehearsal for METRO: In the State of Mind over in the Baldacchino. First off, the space looks ultra-colorful and ultra-cool (check out the photos if you don’t believe me). Only when a helicopter whirls by overhead do you remember you’re in DC.
METRO is presented by the Pointillism Jazz Consort from Copley, Ohio. I wondered what exactly pointillism jazz was, and from the bits and pieces I saw, it seems to involve creating a rich, textured soundscape of voices and recordings. It certainly isn’t singing, but it isn’t Stomp either. One performer makes a “schh” noise at a certain rhythm; another performer syncopates with that; still others chime in behind and above and from the sidelines. This all happens over a layer of Metro-inspired din: bells, whistles, door-opening announcements, general choo-choo chugging, &tc., &tc.
The show opens tonight at 7:00 PM, and I imagine this is one of (if not the) first time the cast has gotten to rehearse in the space, if only because the space wasn’t really built until this week. This is what Fringe is all about: guerilla theater. Get up there and do it. Make it work. Cut that line out if you need to, create that tableau in half the space we rehearsed in, yell that “schh” noise at twice the normal volume to compete with New York Avenue traffic, stop wiping that sweat off your brow and just nail it now because godammit we open in 2 and a half hours.
And to think, this kind of stuff is going on with 120 productions across the city, if not today, then at some afternoon in the next couple of weeks. Talk about a state of mind.