Shows: Recycled Percussion
Monday, March 18, 2013
Are the guys in Recycled Percussion talented? Yes. Can you bring kids to the show? Yes. Will you enjoy it? Well, that depends.
One of the few shows in town that is ideal for children and for adults who enjoy acting like children, Recycled Percussion is now at The Quad (formerly the Imperial Palace). The band was formed in 1992 by Justin Spencer in high school in Manchester, NH when he and his classmates Ryan Vezina, Matt Bowman and Todd Griffin entered a school talent show. They caught the national spotlight in 2009 when they placed third on America’s Got Talent. That year, with Jerry Springer as host, the top acts from the show did 60 performances at Planet Hollywood.
In that context, Recycled Percussion — using drumsticks on all sorts of metal trash and tools as instruments — was terrific fun to watch. They had about 15 minutes of a 90-minute show, so the noise was tolerable — good, solid, rhythmic fun.
They had a show at the Tropicana last year and, now, with producer David Saxe, they’ve just moved into their residency at The Quad.
The opening is stunning. Saxe designed a most interesting, dynamic set (as he did with his production, Vegas! The Show) and the audience, equipped on the way into the theater with drumsticks and an assortment of metal pots and pans, was primed to participate.
The audience members, according to a mark on the pot or pan they chose, is divided into four teams — red, blue, green, yellow — and there’s a kind of competition that, in the end, is not resolved by choosing a winning team.
Don’t get me wrong, these guys are talented and the production values of the show are very high. The issue is the audience.
Is this a show for children? Adults? Everyone?
There is so much noise in the room — and people creating distractions by recording the entire show on video cameras, iPads and phones — and so much distraction created by all the noise and the lights from the recording devices, that it’s a difficult show to like if things like noise and constant distraction detract from your ability to enjoy.
They did an attention-getting segment on the 10 best rock songs ever. Although one might argue with their choices — songs from The Who, Elvis, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Kiss, two from the Beatles, a joke about the Spice Girls and a specious choice from Queen for their best, it was diverting.
It was fun to watch what was happening onstage and, even, in the audience. The kids had a ball and the adults who joined in often looked like they were recalling the days when they were noisy kids.
I can certainly appreciate the enjoyment derived by the audience members who got into the spirit. That I was not one has less to do with the show than it does with me. But, happily, there is a bucket filled with earplugs in the theater for those who want them. Just ask a member of the showroom’s staff where it is.
And, although the show is not my taste, I did have lots of fun watching others have fun.
Recycled Percussion plays Saturday through Thursday evenings at 7 pm. Tickets start at $65.99 for adults and $32.99 for children.