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In Performance

In Performance: Sorry Robot at PS122’s COIL Festival (NYC)

In Performance: Sorry Robot at PS122’s COIL Festival (NYC)

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In the ancient tradition of tales of robots dealing with their feelings, the new musical Sorry Robot has a human kind of unpolished wildness. The story follows unlucky-in-love Detective Isaac Crownover as he investigates a new kind of emotional software for robots. The noir-like detective plot might benefit from some clarification, as the question of who’s pretending to be or aspiring to be or accidentally becoming who gets a bit muddled.

Sorry Robot is at its best when it pokes fun at genre tropes, such as robots telling terrible jokes, robots being subtly-but-indefinably creepy, and robots being wiser than their human masters. Interspersed throughout the mystery are fun production numbers complete with synchronized backup dancers and flashy concert lighting. Playwright/Composer Mike Iverson’s songs have a retro pop feel to them, and include some highly hummable tunes. The catchy reprise of “Tears on the Treadmill” was one toe-tapping audience favorite.

Ultimately, one goes to a sci-fi noir musical to enjoy the pulpy zaniness, and there is certainly an abundance of that here.

Sorry Robot continues at the New Ohio Theater as part of the COIL 2015 Festival through January 17th.

Writer and Composer: Mike Iveson
Director: Will Davis
Producer: Ariana Smart Truman
Stage Manager: Maurina Lioce
Set & Costume Design: Parker Lutz
Lighting Design: Lucrecia Briceno
Featuring Performances by Anthony R. Brown, Mike Iveson, Nicky Paraiso and Tanya Selvaratnam.

Write-up by Margo Gray

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Margo Gray is a performance maker and curator based in Minneapolis. Her practice centers around interactive and participatory performance, Current research includes emerging techniques in interactive theatre and performance-adjacent disciplines such as alternate reality gaming (ARGs) and Nordic live-action role-playing. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Playable Artworks (a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts), a Twin Cities-based performance engine. Margo is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School. She holds a BA in Russian from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, visit margogray.com and playableartworks.org.

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