The show is flashy. Flashy, glittery, loud, wet, upside down, and in your face (or down your throat, as I experienced with the confetti). Fuerza Bruta (meaning “brute force” in Spanish) is an optical spectacular in the vein of Cirque du Soleil that doesn’t really have a story (unless your imagination is on overdrive, which it should be) and surrounds the audience, forcing them to interact. If the thought of audience participation makes you clench, you have no choice at Fuerza Bruta. Yes, a few audience members do have advanced participation, in that they hop on platforms and groove with the actors, subsequently being smashed over the head with confetti-filled pizza boxes—not everyone has to do that. But in terms of audience participation, every theatergoer must participate in that the group has to be constantly moving, as the “stage” (there really isn’t one) keeps changing shape and direction. Massive (and I mean massive) treadmills, platforms, aluminum foils sheets, and ladders are wheeled out into the performance space. If you choose not to “participate,” then you might find yourself road kill.
Keeping that in mind, it struck me how inappropriate this show could be for someone elderly or disabled. You have to be able to move around easily and not be inhibited by tight spaces. There are. no. seats. at this show—you stand for a full 70 minutes. Furthermore, it could also be inappropriate for someone dressed nicely! I, for one, usually dress for the theater. Unless you have deep, prior knowledge of this show, the only warning you get about the water that’s flung is when you arrive and collect your tickets, as there’s a slip of paper handed to you. (I suppose you’d receive the notice if you had your tickets mailed to you in advance, but I received my tickets at the performance and… here at this blog, we don’t do tickets in advance.) No, Fuerza Bruta is not Splash Mountain, but it’s not exactly the place for a silk tie, either. (Coat check services are available, but for $2, which I think is ridiculous. Besides, you’ll need the protection!)
Last night was an official Twitter Night at Fuerza Bruta, and unlike Hugh Jackman and Patti LuPone, the producers encouraged the audience to tweet and take pictures (minus flash) throughout the entire performance. Stage Rush was there, tweeting away like a maniac and stepping on many people’s feet. It was a really unique experience to report during a show, but it was a ton of fun and, for me, brought out a completely different and new angle of theatergoing.
In case you missed it, here is my Twittercast from last night. I have not corrected any of the grammar or spelling errors, as they reflect the chaos and rapidity of the scene. (Although let’s all take special note of the most awesome typo in tweet #14: “catboat” box. Could that possibly have meant to be “cardboard?)
1. This place is like a club. And $2 coat check? No bueno. Do we have to rush the coat check??
2. Show wasn’t started yet, but it’s CREEPY in here! I feel like something’s gonna fall from the ceiling!
3. My companion, @LizzLovejoy, thinks a bomb is going to go off and that this “show” is just a distraction.
4. “I think we made a wrong turn and walke into a gay club.” – @LizzLovejoy
5. Jess: No, Fuerzabruta means “brute strength” in Spanish. Liz: Exactly.