If I See You were an item of produce, it would have been grown in a home garden free of pesticides or chemicals, being watered and pruned daily by a gentle and caring caretaker.
To say the show was down-to-earth is an understatement. The piece was as organic as the dinner that the players had undoubtedly consumed before they reached the Apothecary that night. I See You is the collaborative pantomime and contact improvisation project of One Body Works, a group who dwell in an alternative living community. Their work was conceived “on the farm” and is riddled with moments of pure organic humor in the form of chortles, grunts and other silly sounds.
Dialogue enthusiasts had better skip this show because One Body Works prefers to let you draw your own conclusions without much consistent talking.
The show is comprised of a series of seemingly unrelated sequences. At one moment we are witnessing two clowns attempt to create a garage-like band using a guitar joystick from Guitar Hero and a See ‘n’ Say Fisher Price baby toy.
Another moment passes and we see a whole group of babies discover their environment through play which eventually progresses to young adults getting dolled up and experiencing the social dynamics of a Saturday night on the town.
Three of the best sections include a firefly light show, an imaginary weapons combat scene, a little shadow puppet television and a part seemed to be a very sincere tribute to active duty military personnel and their families.
I was not, however, a fan of the costumes. The clothes were drab gray and black, torn and at times they had trouble staying on the performers’ bodies. We were told that the idea was to have clothes that were easy to move in; somehow I don’t think jeans on guys and flimsy shirts on girls were the most fitting.
Also some of the silent pieces were too long without any discernible development. Other than that, though the performers were fully committed, it was an average production.
Nathaniel Mendez, one of the players and point person for the more inquisitive audience members, described the piece as being an integral part of the community. All the group members live, work and create together. The work may be raw and unrefined but the connection and trust required in the improvisation is real and potent.
I See You has 3 more performances at The Apothecary, 1013 7th Street NW, Washington, DC.
Laurel rates this 3 out of 5
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