This evening, I had the privilege of seeing Sequence 8 in the beautiful Cutler Majestic Theatre here in downtown Boston. The French-Canadian theatre company known as ‘les 7 doists de la main’ [which translates to ‘The Seven Fingers’] brought an amazing show to Boston. Here are some of my thoughts about the opening night performance:
Overall, it was an amazing show. The acrobatics are dissimilar to those you can find anywhere else. The show surrounds eight people, all very talented acrobats. The set is comprised of a desk, a tall pole, and a beautifully painted floor to look like a large room in an old mansion. It’s so incredibly simple, but can transform into so many different things. A very versatile setting. Speaking of setting, from what I can tell, there isn’t one. The show is very literally an acrobatics presentation with some comedic portions. There’s no plot line, no story. The entertainment factor is very very high, but for those looking for a story and a greater meaning behind the show, I don’t see one. I don’t even think I can make one up.
As for the tech, because that’s what I do:
The backdrop for the show was very cool. It consisted of three layers: a scrim, dead hung empty picture frames, then a white cyclorama in the rear. The picture frames were wired with multicolor LED rope light. Very thin rope light, but rope light nonetheless. Something you can pick up on the Internet for $10 a foot. The problem, of which they have solved, is controlling it. They did a beautiful job of matching the color to the scene, and taking the LEDs to their full capability at some points.
As for other lighting fixtures, it looked like every single fixture they used was made by ETC and had LEDs. LED movers, Source 4s, and PARs. This provided very cold, harsh, white light at some portions of the show, but the designers did a very good job of shaping the light to have the correct amount of harshness at the correct moment.
There was one scene where there’s a woman doing some sort of acrobatics on a large ring that is hung center stage, and there is a man that follows her around on the ground with a very high powered flashlight. It was a pretty bright flashlight, too. My best guess is 62,850,000 lumens, which is about 5,000,000 candlepowers. During this sequence, the stage was lit from the top by the movers using green and a disgusting breakup pattern and a red cyc. This scene very much annoyed me. The lighting was so awful for me that I couldn’t focus on the performance happening.
My BIGGEST problem with this show was that the beginning was just too damn good. Normally, a show starts off slow and ramps up to become exciting; especially with an acrobatics performance. This show started out so strong with the first act that the second act seemed dull. Although, Act II is most definitely not dull, just lest exciting than the first act. Act II was also a smidgen longer than Act I, which was kind of unexpected.
All in all, if you’re in Boston this weekend, it’s a show to see. Lots of exciting acrobatics as well as music. The music specifically written for this performance is absolutely fantastic. The music made the show for me.
Sequence 8 runs from September 27th to October 7th at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. 219 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116