Despite near-infinite options for audiences to view entertainment on a personalized glowing box, one form of escapism is far from dead: Live theater. Nothing else could explain the fact that the phrase "Spider-Man musical" reminds us of Broadway box office records, and not a nightmare starring a dancing Andrew Garfield. With so many choices at our disposal, why the hell would anyone see a live performance celebrating the killer of quality TV and film, the dreaded Internet?
Blogologues: The Internet Performed, a delightful, tightly-choreographed revue of performed interpretations of blogs, tweets and other online novelties, gives a resounding answer. The show, the brainchild of actor/curators Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula and presented at The Players Loft, creatively showcases Internet writing, which they rightfully assert is some of the most clever and thoughtful work currently being produced.
The best Internet writing establishes a defined relationship between the writer and the reader, either implicitly or explicitly. And over the course of an hour or so, Blogologues does the same thing between the actors and the audience -- with the added challenge of breathing life into words intended to be read on a screen. The five charming actors who make up the cast each take on roles as monologists, Greek chorus members, stage pieces and any other role informed by the pieces adapted. The selection of Internet writing that the Blogologues players perform ranges from pithy tweets to confessional blogs to McSweeney's humor essays, and each is performed with gusto and respect that attempts to stay true to the original.
Full disclosure: As one of the editors of HuffPost's Comedy page, I'm lucky enough to get paid to scour the web for the funniest content all day long. So the idea of going to a live performance of the material that I spend my working day sifting through made me feel how a brewery worker must feel at happy hour: Sure, this stuff is engineered to make people feel fantastic, but enough's enough.
Two or three pints in, that guy remembers that beer is, indeed, amazingly delicious. And similarly, Blogologues enforces the idea that the reason homemade online content is undeniably intoxicating is that its very nature commands attention and hopefully, communication. Blogologues finds the humanity in something that could easily be disposable, and in doing so, reminds us that examples of Internet creativity are hardly texts to discard as worthy for adaptation.
This production marks the seventh unique Blogologues show that Goldberg and Jamula have put up, and also is the show's first four-week run. The Internet is no longer a secret club (thank goodness), but Blogologues is the kind of show that helps us digest what we're truly learning -- and feeling -- when we wade into its offerings.
More information about Lively Productions, which puts on "Blogologues," can be found here.