It snowed on the first day of Spring this last Wednesday, closing down all of the schools. It also snowed two weeks ago on Monday the 12th. Forecasts predicted both of the snowstorms but the intensity of each of them was greater than anticipated, particularly on the 12th when many commuters experienced near white-out conditions in the middle of the evening rush hour.
These weather events were expected, the magnitude of their impact was unexpected.
I feel like many artistic offerings are similar. With a play, musical, movie or TV show, you generally know what you are getting but the intensity of what you’ll experience is hard to gauge. I’ve gone into shows with low expectations and been blown away. I’ve waited eagerly to see some productions and left essentially shrugging.
There are some transformational works, however, that are unexpectable. When Lin-Manuel Miranda started introducing songs from his then-titled “Hamilton Mixtape,” people laughed at the thought of a rap musical about the founding fathers. (Miranda’s initial expectations were that the show was that it would at least be popular with teachers.) There’s currently an off-Broadway show called IN AND OF ITSELF that mixes magic and self-revelation in a way that seems pretty revolutionary and the impact of each performance is unexpectable. A number of Richmond theater experiences fall into this category, e.g., the free-wheeling one-offs like the Bootleg Shakespeare shows that Henley Street used to do.
Our next show, AN OAK TREE, is certainly of this ilk, with each performance incorporating one actor into the two-person cast who doesn’t know the script and has no idea what to expect. If you are a fan of the unexpectable, this is a show you won’t want to miss.
Folks who read this blog regularly might expect additional pontification on this theme for another couple hundred words. Well, in honor of the unexpectable...