Rick Miller’s BOOM a smashing theatrical experience

"One man. 25 years. 100 of the most influential figures."

Photo Credit: Paul Lampert

Presented by Copa de Oro and the Segal Centre, BOOM is a touring Kidoons and Wyrd production chronicling a quarter-century of music, culture, and politics of the post-World War II Baby Boomer era. More than a jukebox musical and stage documentary for history buffs, however, it’s a compelling coming of age story that transcends generations.

Brainchild of Dora and Gemini award-winning writer/performer/director (and Montreal native) Rick Miller, BOOM celebrated its 200th performance at the Segal on March 22, 2016, and decorously so. Nightly, solo performer Miller gives voice to over 100 iconic individuals — politicians, activists, artists, leaders — of the tumultuous Boomer times, chronologically covering every global phenomenon from the atomic bombings of 1945 to the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. For many, it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane; for others, it’s the enthralling history and political sciences school lecture they never had.

Photo Credit: Paul Lampert
From the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, JFK to Trudeau, and Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr., BOOM is a tribute to the greatest revolutionaries of modern times. Photo Credit: Paul Lampert

In this explosive theatrical experience, Miller tells the tale of three figures who shaped his past (namely, his mother and two of the men in her life) and how their worlds were transformed and intertwined by the whirlwind series of global events taking place around them.

(Be not disheartened by the “one-man” show caption: Rick Miller’s magnetism, electric enthusiasm, and command of his material ensure no word, lyric, or gesture goes unheeded. BOOM is a sublime showcase for his remarkable range and depth of artistic talents, no praise withheld. Essentially, I think he deserves his own word: “Amusicamagicamazing“.)

As if hypnotic storytelling weren’t enough, BOOM captivates and immerses its audience in state-of-the-art multimedia technology, providing a sensory feast of bursting imagery, colour, movement and sound (masterpiece of creative team David Leclerc – Projection Designer, Bruno Matte – Lighting Designer, and Creighton Doane – Composer and Sound Designer). Projections on the time-capsule-like structure of the stage reveal rapid-fire flashes of the past — amongst them, vintage ads, era-defining comic strips, and keystone newsreels. Truly, the play is an audiovisual spectacle and a testament to the marvel of evolution.

Photo Credit: Paul Lampert
Rick Miller in BOOM. Photo Credit: Paul Lampert

As the collage of stories comes together and the bigger picture unfolds, BOOM closes the gap between generations while opening the door for dialogue. (As a millennial, I’ve a legitimate, newfound spark of interest in my predecessors, a greater understanding and appreciation of their legacy, and a deeper sense of connection to my roots). Where one tale ends, another of simultaneous change and continuity begins.

Don’t miss this stunning, one-of-a-kind show playing at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 5170 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, through April 10. Tickets are $32 – $64 and can be purchased online at www.segalcentre.org or by calling the Box Office at (514) 739-7944


Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Editor-in-Chief Camila Fitzgibbon

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