Saturday, December 08, 2007
No Dice plays a high-stakes game of craps but without the dice, which is good because they're letting it all ride on the yo, doing epic storytelling about mundane things but without a story. That's where they distinguish themselves, for other companies or playwrights have either theatricality to back up their slices of life or some larger aim (like The Debate Society or Charles Mee), but here, the Nature Theater of Oklahoma has only their parody of dinner theater -- which is a community thing -- and a series of physical gestures put together by Pavol Liska from disco videos or books about magicians and other such random, yet collectively uplifting, sources. The performers work orally, without memorization (though hardly without practice, for they seem so effortless on stage), getting their lines from an iPod (similar to experimental work from Rotozaza) that plays carefully an audio track carefully culled by Kelly Copper from over 100 hours of casual conversations ranging from pudding cravings to filling out TARs (Time Adjustment Reports) to the nature of storytelling, creativity, art, or, simply put, life. They channel this "cosmic murmuring" perfectly, even as they distort it savagely through their ridiculous costumes, intentionally amateurish accents, and delightful reactions, to a point where by the end of this near-four-hour ride, we can almost hear it, too.