Immerse yourself into the under-world of Fuerza Bruta
|Broadway in Chicago and Ozono Producciones presents|
|Fuerza Bruta: Look Up|
|Created by Diqui James
Music composed by Gaby Kerpel
at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress (map)
through July 25th | tickets: $47-$77 | more info
reviewed by Katy Walsh
Dance music blaring, strobe lights flashing, neon straws glowing… and that’s preshow in the theatre lobby. Broadway in Chicago and Ozono Producciones presents Fuerza Bruta: Look Up, the Argentina-born performance art phenomenon. The experience starts in the lobby at the Auditorium Theatre. Converted to a nightclub lounge, the lobby, equipped with a bar, couches and empanadas, opens an hour before show time to (literally) build up the buzz for the main event. Ten minutes before curtain, security staff usher guests into the theatre and on to the stage. According to promoters, the capacity for the show is 800 guests standing comfortably with personal space. That calculation seems ideally inflated by about 200. With the successful opening night crowd, it’s like rush hour on the Red Line but with everybody gawking out the windows at the view. The scenery is visual stimulations of the fast-paced mundane of the world and the whimsical enchantment of the sea kicked up with some Argentina sass. Fuerza Bruta: Look Up is a body rubbing, neck straining, pulsating emersion into a visual spectacle!
By air, water and tread mill, the movement dances through, around and above the crowd. Pictures can’t capture it. Words can’t describe it. Comprehension lies in the experience. Here’s a where-to-look guide to aid in the enjoyment:
- Center – hot guy running on treadmill
- West Side – women aerial dancing horizontally
- West Side – scaffold dancing with snow globe effect
- Throughout crowd – performers dancing with audience (watch out for Styrofoam attacks)
- Above – flying over-size Reynolds wrap (duck!)
- East-North Corner – D.J. mists the crowd
- Above – Reynolds wrap covers the crowd
- Below – squat down (I cheated on this one… bad knee!)
- East-North Corner – More mist!
- East –South Corner – scaffold dancing with audience members –more Styrofoam
- Above – It’s the whimsy! Looks like sea nymphs. Sounds like hail on the roof.
- Above – SPLAT!
- Above – More whimsy! Walking on water enchantment.
- Above – Slip-n-slide
- West Side – hot guy running on treadmill with two others
- Throughout crowd – more misting and dancing
I need to see it again because I’m sure I didn’t capture it all. A little more insight, it may be a club scene but the attire should be casual and comfortable! It’s close quarters and crowd shuffling occurs. If you have claustrophobia, stasiphobia or fear of Styrofoam (styrophobia?), this probably isn’t your show. If you enjoy sensory overload and hanging with 799 potential friends, Fuerza Bruta is definitely for you. The performers are smoking hot. The action is riveting. The experience is unique. This is the true actualization of theatre in the round… and above. And when you’re exiting, look out… at the grandeur of being onstage at the historic Auditorium Theatre.
Running Time: Sixty-five minutes with no intermission
WAITING FOR THE SHOW
Before going Argentinean, we enjoy Chicago-style, al-fresco dining at the Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan. Among the skyscrapers and shoppers on Michigan Avenue, a terrace oasis is nestled behind the iron gate entrance to the Purple Pig. The theme of tonight… if you don’t want to be in close proximity to strangers, maybe it’s not for you. The tables on the terrace are communal. Originally, our trio is perched in the middle of a table but later score the perfect placement with a table end. Our server is Paige. She’s friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. We order share plates paired with a hearty red wine. The asparagus salad is a summer treat. The fried mussels are served with greens and mandarins. I’m not so keen but Jen loves it. Scott shares a bite of his Panini with olive bread. We order the fashionable beet salad. The beets are roasted by the Chef personally. Paige insists she joins me in disdain for the latest beet craze and that I will love this salad. With her endorsement, I give it a try. Even with pistachios and goat cheese, I can taste beet. If you have a fear of beets (redrootphobia?), no matter what Paige says, this is not the salad for you.
A rush hour commuting pro, Jen describes the show and the men as “high-energy and hot.”