887 by Ex Machina

How is it that I have only just discovered Robert Lepage’s fascinating work? No surprise that Brooklyn Academy of Music introduced me to him, by way of the utterly absorbing multimedia theater performance called 887. He and his unbelievably talented group of collaborators, Ex Machina, created an entire world on the stage, taking us not only back and forth through Robert’s childhood and contemporary memories in Quebec City, Canada — but also through the historical events that were unfolding in the region during his youth. Weaving both public and private histories together, Robert has us peering into the windows (quite literally, at times) at his most intimate moments. It was as if I were able to go back in time and observe the events with him. He was able to go back in time and relive them. The clever staging and use of multimedia was impressive: Ex Machina even created a brilliant doll-sized/human-sized revolving structure to take us both back in time and to the present with a mere turn. I learned a lot about both a city — and a performer — that were little known to me before the show started. What could easily have been a boring two hours of self-indulgent theater became, instead, the most interesting trip down memory lane I have ever taken. This was Lepage’s 11th production at BAM. Apparently I have missed a lot of terrific performances. Bummer. I wish I could go back in time and see them!

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