Rick Miller encapsulates a generation's hopes and dreams in explosive solo show
Written, directed and performed by Rick Miller
Presented by KDOONS and WYRD Productions
What sets the Baby Boomer generation apart from those before it? Born after World War II (specifically from 1946 to 1964), Boomers were shaped largely by the music, culture, and politics surrounding them in their formative years. In his solo production BOOM, the multi-talented writer and performer Rick Miller ties all of these elements together in a multimedia tapestry that seamlessly chronicles a period of 25 years in the lives of Boomers.
Structured as a timeline presented in a documentary style, BOOM is a unique mix of nostalgic references and human experiences rounded out by a wealth of visual effects. In the production’s first few moments, Miller introduces the audience (by way of interviews on video) to his mother, as well as an Austrian gentleman, and an American musician. These are the three storytellers in the production, but they turn their stories over to Miller, who tells them himself using a variety of voices, video clips, photos, music, and other techniques.
Miller’s BOOM is a highly ambitious production that aims to cover the highs and lows of each year studied, and Miller is certainly up to the challenge, singing Perry Como hits from the 1940s just moments after detailing the horrors of the atomic bomb with terrifying images filling the panoramic screen on stage. He takes the audience on a journey through time, effectively incorporating commercials, news reels, and photos, while also impersonating politicians such as JFK, Nixon, and Trudeau, and musicians (Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Janis Joplin). Although Boom is a challenging production with a lot of moving parts, Miller succeeds in blending all of the pieces together, making for a pleasant visual experience. The audience will recognize many of the cultural references in the show, yet the human stories peppered throughout the production have the greatest emotional impact. The three lives featured are vastly different, but their underlying themes of love, family, and coming of age are universal.
BOOM is a must-see for all generations. The show runs until February 1 at the Panasonic Theatre. Visit mirvish.com for more information and to buy tickets.