Japanther in (3-D)
One of Brooklyn??™s favorite noise-rock bands, Japanther
(Ian Vanek and Matt Reily) unveils a new comedic rock-opera of unpredictable scale, repercussions, and decibel levels. Using a high-energy multi-media format ??“ their ???tool kit??? integrates live music, dance, an interactive set, and video projections, plus an animatronic robot dinosaur ??“ the band and their collaborators create a full-immersion theatrical concert experience that sports a sharp political edge and an equally edgy heart.
What starts as a post-modern funeral becomes an uplifting and entertaining ceremony. The set, designed by conceptual artist Dan Graham and Eugene Tsai, becomes a canvas for simultaneous stimuli: a large perforated steel scrim not unlike his "pavilions" is situated next to a circular band stage, a la the Rolling Stones on Ed Sullivan, where Japanther
works their musical magic. While Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs dance up a storm, an animatronic dinosaur narrator, designed and built by industrial artist Doyle, and inhabited by the text and voice of Penny Rimbaud (spoken word artist and the co-founder of anarchist punk band Crass), lies on his deathbed recanting his belief systems. Darkly humorous commercials interspersed throughout advertise the sunny plight of the American Indian and advocate arresting those who feed the homeless. By daring the audience to laugh at sad truths, Japanther
opens up a door to hope and makes it cool again.