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World War Zero
  

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."

By JOSEPH LANGHAM
Offoffoff.com

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.


WORLD WAR 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.

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.

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 biggest 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.   

  
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.

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:

•  WWZero - outstanding!   from Alice, Jan. 22, 2003
   •  World War Zero   from Peter, Jan. 22, 2003
•  Genius!   from Erica, Jan. 26, 2003
•  my cousin damion dacosta   from michael t, Jan. 28, 2003
•  World War Zero   from Bobby faust, Jan. 29, 2003

Post a comment on "World War Zero"


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