"Bieber Meets Al Qaeda" a culture clash that misfires
For 17 years, Denver’s experimental LIDA Project theater company has taken audiences where few others have been daring or politic enough to go.
Even if, afterward, you often have no idea where exactly it is that you have gone.
“Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda,” easily the most provocative title of the fall theater season, is the only original local theatrical response to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and it marks LIDA’s move into a new, 99-seat theater space in RiNo, just north of downtown.
The title flatly argues that America’s obsession with pop-culture idolatry has been competing for your attention with our greater need to understand the origins of terrorism and our government’s role in
Guess which one’s winning?
But in performance, this compelling, collaborative “theatrical editorial” is a multimedia mashup that doesn’t really deliver on that premise. It begins with a fire alarm and plays out amid a relentless maelstrom of lights, noise and wall-to-wall 9/11 video media images, set to driving club music. Cameras add to the tension by zooming in and out on our paranoid main character, called only (and tellingly) Mr. White (Robin Davies).
He’s naked down to his underwear and TV remote. And he’s anchored to a La-Z-Boy chair that sits in a Desert Storm-like pile of sand
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Tags: bush osama, fever dream, justin bieber, lady gaga, lida project, Meets, Osama, Play, sand, terrorism —