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Review: ‘Godly Chaos’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

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Oh, gosh. What to say about Godly Chaos? This show, produced by QuaQuaQua, is highly ambitious. It takes place, primarily, on a large screen where the movements of the artist/actor are captured in a technologically mysterious void and projected for the audience. I read that Wii controllers were involved, but I didn’t see them, so perhaps they fell prey to the “chaos” portion of Godly Chaos.

The first portion of the production was consumed by what I can only describe as ASMR (Google “autonomous sensory meridian response”) on steroids. I found the synchronicity between the movements and sounds to be impressive, though I wasn’t quite clear if there was a purpose beyond describing the state of someone who had lost their ability to form understandable language. Perhaps that was the purpose, as the condition of such a person was one of the first things described in the projections.

The theories of Pierre-Simon Laplace (Google “Laplace’s Demon”) seemed to have a heavy hand in the creation of this show. These theories, from what I can parse with my limited scientific knowledge, have something to do predicting the state of being of every atom in the universe. The actor plays drums here. There are loud noises. It’s dark. I’m still trying to piece this together, but I think we are musing on the subjects of God and unpredictability. Or a space where a god cannot predict us. Or vice versa. (Am I close? Am I even in the same room with what I was supposed to be getting from this piece?)

Of course there is also Nietzsche involved, because why not? “You must within yourself have chaos to give birth to a dancing star.” Also, God is dead. And we have killed him. Thanks, Nietzsche. I will say that the movements dotting the screen as the artist waved their hands around were very beautiful, as if they were trying to capture the aforementioned stars.

It was beautiful, but does beauty and noise make art on its own merit? I couldn’t seem to find a thread to follow, though I believe many were thrown at the audience. Though Godly Chaos was, obviously, very technically challenging and well-executed within that framework, I couldn’t find much meaning to hold on to. This one, I’m afraid, needs a little fine-tuning in the area of narrative to round out the technical aspect.

Running Time: Approximately 50 minutes, with no intermission.

Godly Chaos plays through November 11, 2017, at the 322 Stage – 322 North Howard Street, in Baltimore, MD. Tickets and Charm City Fringe Festival buttons may be purchased at Fringe HQ (Le Mondo, 406 N Howard Street), the venue, or online

Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market is joining DC Metro Theater Arts in support of our coverage of the Charm City Fringe Festival. The Market closes at 6 PM on weekdays and is closed Sundays, but we recommend that Fringe-goers stop by on Saturday to grab lunch and take a look around, in addition to checking out the local bands which play from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

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One Response to Review: ‘Godly Chaos’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

  1. Morgan Shmurtz November 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    So it was really good, and technically super proficient, but it wasn’t simple enough? Perhaps you were looking for a children’s puppet show?
    Isn’t there enough didactic obvious work, say, on TV?
    I’ll take a quote…from you….leaving out one word, “does beauty…make art on its own merit”. I’m going to say that’s a fairly obvious yes.
    Now, to go over your use of the word, “noise”, “does beauty and noise make art on it’s own merit?”
    Does ‘noise’ here stand for ‘music that’s unfamiliar in structure and timbre to me’ by chance? I’m not sure what to say, except perhaps your lack of experience of non-pop music of the 20th and 21st centuries should preclude you from writing reviews of it?
    It just seems a shame for you to tell people that hat it’s bad because you didn’t understand it, art needn’t have a didactic “meaning” to be good, illuminating and transformative.

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