Who Killed the Video Star is not as gruesome as it sounds. Rather, it is Luigi Buffone Productions’ commentary on generational disparities in culture, connections lost, and doing what you love.
It follows Anthony, a musical engineer for a video gaming company and Feliks, played by Luigi’s son, Giuliano Buffone, an information technology specialist brought in to help save Anthony. Decades apart, these two must figure out how to get along to fix the computer, and inevitably end up learning about themselves along the way.
Luigi Buffone’s script reads beautifully, with nuanced references to 80s and 90s music and tech culture. Each song he chose had a purpose and added to the piece in its own way, including Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield and Forever Young by Rod Stewart.
The play’s theme took on contemporary issues between generations and brought them to an audience of both young and old, bridging the gap that was represented on stage. You could feel Buffone’s dedication to the script in the natural way he delivered his lines.
The purposeful choice of props was so well planned and organized that they were in fact essentially their own characters, separated on either side of the actors, the modern versus the vintage items: vinyl albums, a rotary phone, a boom box, cassette tapes and a Nintendo NES stood out to me. I also really appreciate and note when props are utilized and not just for looks, and Video Star’s props only added to the nostalgia as he put in a cassette, slid out an album from its sleeve, or simply made sound with the rotary dial.
The performance from Giuliano Buffone highlighted Luigi’s with an edgy juxtaposition, one can undeniably feel their connection throughout the dialogue. His nerves got the better of him on some lines, but otherwise clearly executed his role. Five stars on the dance moves, kid.
Luigi said he envisioned his son for the role when writing, drawing on his life so far, yet not directly taking from his experiences. “There [are] always life lessons to be learned, no matter what generation we come from,” he said, in a Facebook messenger interview, (how tech-savvy).
He adds that people of his generation inspired the story: “we do the same as them,” and that in essence, we are alike in more ways than we think, especially when you connect us through music.
This play left me smiling, reminiscing what music and culture I remember from my own adolescence and in connection to my parents. My fellow fringe-goers also felt the same, connecting to either character, for the music knowledge or the info-tech know-how. The final message of the piece reminded us to be more aware of our similarities, to not let things pass us by, and to do what we love, no matter the cost.
“WHO IT’S FOR”
For the music-lovers and families looking to connect (and dance).
Luigi Buffone Productions presents “Who Killed the Video Star”
at the 29th St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Check out all our other 70+ reviews
from this year’s fest on our Fringe page!