Rivers Wilder Green presents, How to Fall in Love on a Warming Planet for Capital Fringe 2018. Christopher B. Cox performs his original songs for this production, which can be described as a creative blend of protest and rock concert, with a bit of a Ted Talk mixed in. Percussionist Yousef Shami and keyboardist Amir Shami round out the trio.
An array of handmade protest signs decorate the space, branded with slogans such as “Love is Love,” “The Oceans are Rising and so Must We,” and “Ban Speciesism.” A projection screen behind the stage shows an array of video clips, including a piece about Jadav Payeng, an Indian environmentalist who planted a tree per day for several years, resulting in a thriving man-made forest that is twice the size of Central Park—and growing!
The songs are very catchy, with an alternative-rock style to them. While the amplified instruments do drown out a majority of the vocals (it’s hard to understand all the lyrics, but you catch enough to get the gist), the performances are full of energy, my favorite being “Past Life” and “2048,” a song that was inspired by conservative extinction dates for most mammals by biologists. Cox sings with a fervent passion for climate change and hopes to raise awareness on the subject through his music.
One change I would suggest is for standing room to be offered instead of seating. This is the type of music that you dance to with a group of people, huddled against the speakers, mere feet from the artists. Quite frankly, watching Christopher jump around to the beat while sitting still in a formal audience felt silly and awkward.
This would be a good show for young, passionate activists and their friends. While the material can be heavy-handed (even aggressive) at times, it’s also necessary. As Christopher says, “We don’t have time to kindly petition people.”
Running Time: 55 minutes with no intermission.