Audio Abramovic OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Benjamin Norman
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 14, 2015
    Closing:
    January 18, 2015

    Theater: The Public Theater / 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, 10003

    Synopsis: 

    The performer is present. In an attempt to channel the illusory presence of the artist, avowed disinformationist Reggie Watts invites you to sit across from him. But just for five minutes. Reggie Watts, internationally renowned vocalist/ beatboxer/ musician/ comedian/ improviser, amazes audiences with his unpredictable performances, which are created on-the-spot using only his formidable voice and looping pedals.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Audio Abramovic

    Fleeting Acts That Linger in the Mind

    Alexis Soloski

    January 15, 2015: To reach Reggie Watts’s Audio Abramovic, you travel from the Public Theater’s brightly lit lobby down a dark hallway and into an equally dark room where Mr. Watts sits behind a table crowded with recording equipment. You can just make out his extraordinary hair, which looks as though someone jammed a Byzantine icon’s halo into an electric socket, and a few vivid threads of his sweatshirt. The piece is over before your eyes adjust. The January festivals are often home to thigh-numbingly long performances. This year is no exception, with Coil’s six-hour installation, My Voice Has an Echo in It and Under the Radar’s three-hour excerpts from Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. But there are fleeting works, too, like Mr. Watts’s five-minute solo and another one-on-one piece, Marie-Caroline Hominal’s 15-minute The Triumph of Fame, both at Under the Radar. If neither is particularly significant, Mr. Watts’s is easily the more pleasurable. A goof and a gloss on Marina Abramovic’s 2010 Museum of Modern Art performance, The Artist Is Present, this encounter is more auditory than visual, unless you’ve packed infrared goggles. As soon as you clap the headphones to your ears, Mr. Watts starts to flick assorted buttons and turn various knobs, like a conjurer. He loops his breath, a sigh, a plosive exclamation and then layers vocals over the top of the track. The result owes something to hip-hop, something to club beats, something to prog rock. One part sounded a lot like Duran Duran.

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