|the cast of 105 Proof (photo by Lauren B. Photography)|
Transatlantic Love Affair is incredibly inventive in the way that they create the environment for the story using physicality. Highlights include:
- Car chase scenes like a child playing with a matchbox toy, driving over the arms and shoulders of the ensemble.
- The moonshine still with all it's moving and interrelated pieces.
- The 1920s era cars bouncing along.
- Pigs rooting around in their pen.
- An invisible map used to describe the locations and journeys.
- Creaking doors and jingling bells with every entrance into the store.
- Intricate and beautifully choreographed epic gun battles, including one in which Derek Lee Miller shoots himself (I won't tell you whether it's the able sheriff or the sharp-dressed mobster on the receiving end of the bullet).
In addition to physicality, music is also an essential part of TLA's storytelling. Dustin Tessler on electric guitar and Adam J. Patterson on percussion create a soundtrack that's so organic to the story you almost forget they're there. The cast also joins in singing a couple of period-appropriate songs, led by Emily Dussault.
There are other companies in town that play with the physical theater style, but none so consistently and effectively as Transatlantic Love Affair. They truly are unique in what they do, and have really perfected the style over the last several years, but yet continue to grow and expand their storytelling style. I always feel that words are inadequate to describe what they do; it's just something you need to experience yourself. TLA is must-see viewing for a Twin Cities theater fan, and once you get a taste, you'll be hooked. Check out 105 Proof at Illusion Theater on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis through November 20 (half-price tickets available on Goldstar), and watch for TLA's Guthrie Theater debut early next year with a new work that "re-imagines the story of Hansel and Gretel as a tale of immigration."