Saved by Zero
As the nation prepares to go merrily to war, Zero Boy has
an important message about the one that started it all in the
crazed many-character multimedia comedy "World War Zero."
Zero zips. Zero Zings. Zero takes you on a long, vast verbal and
non-verbal journey while standing basically in one spot. His jacket
is silver. His hair is white. He bears the mark of the one chosen
to save the planet (and a sexy warrior princess) from the evil emperor
LL Coolie and his hit man of a henchman Hung Lo. The war has begun.
Not WWIII, WWIV or even WWXXXVVIIIXXC. NO! It's WWZERO!
At first we are confused. A man with a microphone strapped to his
head takes the stage making strange noises with his mouth. But,
unlike many a Grammy-winning artist who have donned the same mic
type, it is rapidly apparent that this man has a lot of talent.
He's like Jonathan Winters on overdrive. He has more characters
in his pocket than Robin Williams on Coke.
He begins by spinning an imaginary turntable that mixes not only
rhythm and music, but ideas and scenarios. Eventually it seemed
that he wasn't spinning invisible vinyl at all, it seemed as if
he were spinning two globes, aptly mixing together this world and
the world that lies deep within the brain of Zero.
Written by: Zero Boy.
Directed by: B. Stanley.
Cast: Zero Boy, Master Lee, Damion Da Costa, Damaris Webb..
Music by: Allon Beausoleil.
Sound and Stage design by: Richard Reta.
Video and computer graphics by: Bigtwin.
Master Po animation by: Adrianno Wilbur.
Watching Zero Boy work is like watching TV with a hopped up friend
commanding the remote. Blink and you might miss something. He jumps
from subject to subject in one breath, handling not only the dialogue
but also the arsenal of sound effects with only his mouth. His humor
is wry, his body is limber, his face is rubber, his message is clear,
his performance is astounding. Why is this man not hugely rich and
famous already? Probably because he is just too good.
His supporting cast is world-savingly wonderful as well. It's multi-character
heaven. The gorgeous Damaris Webb thrills and titillates us with
characters with names such as Georgia Lickalotapus and Sashimi Warrior
Princess. Her mouthed sound-effect abilities rival those of Mr.
Zero's himself. Damion Da Costa's ability to rapidly and clearly
switch between characters makes us very happy. He masterfully handles
the dialects and movement with equal prowess. Master Lee lends his
humor to the voicing of LL Coolie the Evil Emperor and he has a
great moment as Chief Wampum. Then we have Allon Beausoleil playing
bass and dressing up like a sheep for the petting zoo in the "Wild
West Show" segment.
The sketches are interspersed with some fun and exciting animation
projected on a small screen. Adriano Wilbur's flash segment explaining
WWZero makes one long for the days of Liquid Television. Bigtwin's
WTC segment moves us with its simplicity.
problem with the production is that the people who should
be seeing, being moved and having their closed minds changed
by this type of material weren't there.
Despite some technical snafus, such as too much ear-piercing treble
on Zero's mic and the on-again off-again mics of the supporting
cast, this is a strong, solid show that hopefully will and absolutely
should continue to grow. The biggest problem with the production,
which seems to be a common denominator in downtown theater and comedy,
is that the people who should be seeing, being moved and having
their closed minds changed by this type of material weren't there.
"Preaching to the gallery" is the appropriate term. So, come see
this show, you peace-loving freak, and bring your war-mongering
violent friends. What's that? Don't hang with those type of people?
Neither does Zero. The message is clear. Kill them with love and
God will have nothing to sort out.
JANUARY 21, 2003
OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Reader comments on World War Zero:
from Alice, Jan. 22, 2003
from Peter, Jan. 22, 2003
from Erica, Jan. 26, 2003
cousin damion dacosta
from michael t, Jan. 28, 2003
from Bobby faust, Jan. 29, 2003
Post a comment on "World