Review: ‘Song for a Future Generation’ @ Lights Out Theatre Co.



Dance break! The cast of “Song for a Future Generation” gets groovy.

Grab your leggings, ray-bans and gel bracelets! There’s a dance party going on! Though, it’s somewhere off in the distant future, hosted by a trio of clones on a ship which is orbiting a star set to explode at any minute. But, it’s always good to plan ahead, right?

Song for a Future Generation is (I believe) Lights Out Theatre Co’s first full-fledged production (they’ve done evenings of on-acts prior to this). Heart and energy are a-plenty in this show, which calls itself a “science fiction spectacle dance party play,” and the cast is fun and having fun and the concept is fun (for the most part). You’ll enjoy yourself.

But man, is it confusing.

Maybe I was brain dead after a long day at the office, but I swear it took me until about the midpoint to even vaguely catch what was going on. Joe Tracz’s script moves at such a breakneck pace and tries to accomplish so much with subplots competing with subplots upon subplots (in fact, I’m not sure what the main plot line was, if there even was one) that you’ll most likely throw your hands up in the air and just go for the ride. Oh, it’s a fun and extremely creative ride, but a vague one.

Press notes indicate that the show explores characters who are all trying to find their match, their identity, and real human connection in a world of technology. Okay. Perhaps? I know there was one meaningful moment, told from a pensive character named Thena (Alyse Kittner) who is a pre-cog (she could see into the past) as she fretted about how humans are just repeating a history of destruction since the dawn of life. Do we ever learn, etc.? At least I think that’s the point Tracz is trying to make.

But never mind all that deep stuff. Director Mary Rose O’Connor has assembled a fresh, lively cast who manage to keep the tone just right (I particularly liked Jessica Neilson’s campy, sci-fi B-movie performance as a sex-kitten Bounty Hunter). And when they flip on a track from a vintage B-52s album and launch into some wonderfully wacky synchronized dancing, it absolutely lifts the spirits. Just don’t try to draw any sense from it, or your head may explode along with that star.

“Song for a Future Generation” plays through March 13 at the EP Theatre on 1820 S Halsted. For more information, visit lightsouttheatre.org.

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