Western Society OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 18, 2015
    Closing:
    February 21, 2015

    Theater: Skirball Center for the Performing Arts @ NYU / 566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY, 10012

    Synopsis: 

    A party at the extreme edge of the Western world! Happiness and guilt, steeped in the golden sunshine of California. The living room—the hearth of the western home. The splendor surrounding the least watched video on YouTube. A few lucky audience members, sitting in the dark shadows, invited to experience the glitz and glamour of western society. Karaoke, bottles of champagne and a bucket of Ferrero Rocher. And it doesn’t end until the party’s over! Always on the hunt for beauty in the midst of the mundane, the playful and ultra-intelligent Berlin and Nottingham-based Gob Squad creates provocative and interactive performances where theatre meets art, media and real life.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Western Society

    ‘Western Society,’ It’s a Selfie World After All

    Ben Brantley

    February 19, 2015: Go ahead. Take a picture. Make a memory. Then send it out into the universe, and maybe it will turn into somebody else’s memory, too. You’ll be a star. You’ll be an interchangeable nobody. These destinies are not mutually exclusive. The use of cameras is encouraged during the performance of Western Society, the Gob Squad’s deliriously sane portrait of the age of the selfie, which opened on Wednesday night at the Skirball Center at New York University, where it runs through Saturday. Indeed, picture-taking smartphones are considered an essential accessory for its audience members. That’s especially true for those theatergoers who are selected — via a lottery system involving stuffed animals, which are randomly tossed into our midst — to participate in the show’s climactic tableau vivant. This scene, which I promise you is unlike any other you’ll encounter this year, is a movement-by-movement re-creation of what is described as one of the least-watched videos ever to be posted on the Internet.

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