Theater Review: "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same) " by Klara Kurti ('17)

    November 11th was another successful night at the BAM Harvey Theater with Professor Murtha, Professor Larson, and part of the ACES crew. I marked my calendar the very same day I got the email. Professor Murtha, the benevolent distributor of tickets, informed us that we would be seeing You Us We All at precisely 7:30 PM, after eating a fulfilling dinner at Hoja Santa.

    Dinner at Hoja Santa was amazing, which was no surprise. We tried getting Professor Murtha to order something new off the menu but her eyes went directly to the vegatarian burrito. Which, I’m not exaggerating, is twice her size but somehow she manages to eat more than half of it every single time. They should seriously consider giving a prize to whoever eats that burrito because it looks like it weighs at least three pounds. Me on the other hand, not feeling as inspired, tried the steak tacos which were phenomenal. I saw that the rest of the crew was eating tacos with tender chicken strips and mac and cheese (modern Spanish food includes Mac & Cheese in tacos).

    The conversation at the dinner table never got dull, it never does. When surrounded by the most interesting people, who come from all different cultures, religions, and countries; conversations never feel forced. There is always a story being told, a joke being enjoyed, and a lot of questions being asked about each other’s classes. I am grateful that no matter how many semesters pass, how many new students come in, Professor Murtha and Professor Larson never neglect asking the upper classmen about their classes. My high school English teacher always warned the class, “Professors in college will not care about other classes you have, you will have to care for yourself.” I’m happy to be spoiled in the sense that my professors care about my education like mentors. Sometimes, they also give dating tips, but you have to earn it.

    After dinner, we made our way to BAM. Professor Murtha, energetic and the trailblazer as always, led the way as Professor Larson and the rest of the crew lagged behind. Professor Larson, walking like a tourist, mainly looked up at the new buildings he was unaware of, rather than looking down at the ground like a typical New Yorker. I don’t remember all the jokes Professor Murtha told, but rest assured, they were great.

    At the theater, we all sat somewhat close to one another. For the second time, I had Professor Larson to my left. The lights went dim fairly quickly as the clock struck 7:30. The show started with a man, lying on the floor, covered in bruises and only wearing tighty-whiteys. Then when he took the first pair off, he had about ten more on. As the play continued, four more characters came on stage, each dressed in clothing from a different era. The actors all sang in an opera tune, which made the performance all the more enjoyable. Each character had their own song, and topic to sing about since they represented different human conditions (Virtue, Love, Time, Hope, and Death). The whole show was a mixture between past traditions and modern ones. My favorite part was when the actress whom played Hope wrote letters to modern performers such as Beyoncé and the Olsen Twins.

    The humor used throughout the play was somewhat satirical. The performers mocked human weaknesses and a lot of aspects of society. Somehow, it was funny but at the same time pretty depressing at how much our society has changed throughout the centuries, especially in the technological sense. As time passes and technology advances, individuals get more caught up in unimportant things such as image and gossip. The actors eventually started dropping pieces of their clothing, washing their make up off, until they stood on stage, almost completely naked. I thought they captured the idea of what it truly means to be human very well. By wiping away the materialistic things of the world, all that was seen was their bare skin, in which they were born (It’s a metaphor, they weren’t really naked).  

    Overall, You Us Well All was a great show, and the feelings I experienced watching it were ones I hadn’t felt in a while. I felt somewhat relieved that I wasn’t alone in the thought that society has become more obsessed about its image rather than what they internally hold within themselves. Watching the actors perform those songs and slowly take off each piece of clothing almost felt as if there was a solution to what has happened to our society. We constantly run after our phones, spend hours at a time in front of the mirror trying to perfect our hair, and fall in love with the outer appearance of people instead of who they really are on the inside. I’m curious to see if with time our society will continue on this path, or if it will eventually go back in time to when the soul of a person actually matters.