The Key to Good Lasagna is Tasty Layers Jan 16, 2009

by Tania Kupczak

Linas Phillips' new theater piece "Lasagna or: How I Learned to Stop Slipping Towards the Prison of Permanent Darkness" opened tonight at On the Boards. Linas is primarily known for his feature documentary films "Walking to Werner" and "Great Speeches From a Dying World" in which he plays a significant part role, also documenting dramatic and affecting moments in the lives of others. "Lasagna" incorporates this concept in a live show - a telephone call that feels like a recoded real one makes its way into the show, as does video of collaborator Jim Fletcher's real daughter, Shana, but it doesn't stop there. Phillips layers this show with all kinds of interesting concepts and techniques. Perhaps one of the most interesting is the dramatic, kinetic mix of video and live theater. Its been attempted many times, to varying degrees of success, but Phillips manages to fuse the two in a completely engaging way. He is able to pull off this feat largely because of the physical talents of dancer/collaborator Leah Schrager who is able to flawlessly make us believe that she is the body to a large, video head. Yeah, just see it. Finally, if you don't like live performance, you should still go to this show, simply for the musical delights of collaborator Lori Goldston. Goldston is on stage throughout the entire show. She mostly plays the upright base - plucking, drawing the bow across the strings - subtly sprinkling the the top layer of Parmesan on this tasty lasagna. - SJ Chiro