Review: ROBOPOP!

I had never even heard of the Washington Ensemble Theatre until my friend decided to throw a birthday party there last night. It’s literally a hole in the wall that I’ve driven and walked by countless times to rehearse and perform choir concerts right across the street.

We started our night right next door at The Kingfish Café. I dreamed last night of a perfect heaven supplied with all you can eat Kingfish Café deep-fried cornbread nuggets. I had no idea Seattle had such a great place for some down south comfort foods. The table next to us had a red velvet cake dessert about as large as my head. I had to restrain myself from reaching over and stealing a bite while they weren’t looking.

After slapping myself in the face to prevent what I thought was an inevitable food coma, we went next door to the tiny 45-person capacity theater. Then ensued the mind-trip that was ROBOPOP! We got a little program that replicated a CD insert, which was fitting considering there were no words the entire time. All of the acting and dancing was set to music by The Flaming Lips, a series of noises and some robot beat boxing. The Ensemble did a fantastically entertaining job of portraying a human vs. robot struggle. It was serious and hilarious all at the same time.

My favorite character and act (or track) was Koko, the human queen. Hannah Victoria Franklin was a genius of movement. She walked down her golden runway with such regality in a kabuki style dress made of teddy bears. Her walk was contorted, slow and stuttered and her face made barely any emotional changes, but the emotion she portrayed was enormous. Her human minions ran to her, hugging and petting her dress. She’d throw them aside and they’d come right back. A dog-bot entered scene and took a teddy bear from a human and proceeded to play fetch. As the human tried to take the bear back, the dog-bot broke her neck and walked away causing a human vs. robot war.

I don’t want to give too much away because you really should check it out before May 10! I can’t wait to go back and see what else WET has in store!

The Ensemble Presents: RoboPop! TEASER # 2 from Washington Ensemble Theatre on Vimeo.

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