Sound so loud it erases everything: the floor is the air is the space between your organs. Then LIGHT! at a visual volume just as overwhelming. Then SNAP we are back in the dark, adrenaline pumping, SNAP wide-eyed in the light, SNAP, waiting for a word from the man who has, somehow, at some point, materialized amid the chaos. A guide through the onslaught? Maybe, though odds are he’s just as at mercy of this chaotic world as we are. Not that those things are necessarily mutually exclusive.
(This is not really a show about sound or light, or maybe it is, not least because of performer-creator-designer-inventor Andrew Schneider’s ecstatically eclectic creative toolbox, but also because this is a show obsessed with time and our perception of it, whether we measure it in heartbeats or seconds or the speed with which objects become visible to our little, fallible, mortal human eyes.)
SNAP are we here or over there? Or not? (spoiler alert: you might be nowhere-but then again that’s not much of a spoiler, you might not be nowhere). And are we who we think we are and when exactly do we think that is? And if lightning strikes a train–the questions Schneider spins up at a breakneck pace and then just as quickly casts aside fold in on themselves in loops. The particulars of his theoretical anecdotes and explorations of quantum physics, as much as I could catch as they flew past, are interesting but not, in and of themselves, important. What is important is the rhythm they create of a painfully, wonderfully fallible human sent ricocheting between the chaotic elements of an incredible and terrifying universe, and the gradual, subtle foundation they are building that will later support something quieter and deeper and profound in the piece’s final moments.
Especially remarkable is the perfectly pitched relationship between technological wizardry and old-fashioned stage magic, a partnership that results in a series of stunning moments so simple and unexpected that they could very well have actually ripped a hole in the space-time continuum. All of that would be beside the point, though, without Schneider himself, wrought and wrung-out and charming and human. Go and be surprised, be moved, be curious about our place in our universe and in ourselves, about how everything changes, and then changes again. We are alone, and not alone. We are somewhere in the vast expanse of time, somehow.