N.C. State University Center Stage will present LEO (The Anti-Gravity Show) — produced by Y2D Productions of Montréal, Quebec, Canada, in association with Chamäleon Productions of Berlin, Germany — on March 18-23 in the Titmus Theatre in Frank Thompson Hall on the NCSU campus. Based on an original idea and originally performed by Tobias Wegner and directed by the Montréal actor and director Daniel Briére, this eye-popping piece of physical theater won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the Three Weeks Editors’ Award, and the Scotsman Fringe First Award at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the Adelaide Critics Circle Award, the Adelaide Fringe Award, and the John Chattaway Innovation Award at the 2013 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
According to NCSU Center Stage:
“LEO is a solo physical-theater piece that challenges our sense of gravity and reality through the clever interplay of superlative acrobatic performance and high tech video projection. Universally appealing to adults and children alike, this is the funny, intriguing and moving journey of a seemingly ordinary man whose world becomes physically unhinged.
“From the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to New York, Moscow, and Hong Kong, the multi-award winning show LEO is a one man, one-of-a-kind physical-theater piece that defies theatrical convention as brilliantly as it does the law of gravity. Jaws will drop as LEO takes ‘off the wall’ to a whole new level.
“LEO is the unusual journey of an otherwise ordinary man whose world becomes physically unhinged. When we discover Leo, he is alone with just a small suitcase, whiling away time in a simple room. As time passes, Leo becomes increasingly aware that all may not be what it seems. Leo’s reaction to his situation evolves from alarm and insecurity to curiosity and, eventually, to playfulness. He not only begins to enjoy his situation, but finds new and ingenious ways to exploit it.
“Leo exhausts himself playing within his new reality until he again realizes that he is alone. Then his suitcase offers him a totally unexpected way to make himself comfortable and at home. This path leads Leo to new unexpected adventures through worlds both ephemeral and imaginary until he finds himself, once again, alone. With his confidence now shaken, he begins to accept that he needs to break the bonds of his confinement, this room holding him hostage. In his search for release, Leo not only calls on all that has gone on before but enlists the aid of a most unlikely ally — himself.
“Having explored his dreams and desires and exercised his lust for life, Leo’s final odyssey is the most important of all … the quest for freedom. The show runs 65 minutes and is performed without intermission. [LEO is a]ppropriate for all ages.”
NCSU Center Stage says the actor who will performing LEO in Raleigh is Julian Schulz:
“Julian [Schulz], a Berlin native, graduated from the school of the performing arts Die Etage. He combines the most diverse acrobatic forms with dance elements and ingenious choreographies in his performances, which has already earned him a part in the ensemble of the Berlin company Die Artistokraten. After completing an intense training phase in Brussels, where he worked together with the choreographer Cruz Mata among others, he joined the ensemble of the Circle of Eleven production VERSUS.”
The Boston Globe called LEO a “brilliant, funny, and sweet duet for one man and that man’s video-projected doppelgänger…. The beauty of LEO may stem from an illusion, but it sure feels like magic.”
Time Out New York added, “LEO is an eye-teasing, grin-inducing, deeply impressive work of sustained absurdist magic”; and The Village Voice raved, “It’s unusual to hear so many childlike gasps of sheer delighted astonishment in a theatre. LEO is a little eye candy for the jaded gaze.”
SECOND OPINION: March 15th Raleigh, NC News & Observer interview with Julian Schulz, conducted by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/15/3701577/leo-the-anti-gravity-show-comes.html; and March 12th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Brian Howe: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/leo-the-anti-gravity-show/Event?oid=3861577.
N.C. State University Center Stage presents LEO (THE ANTI-GRAVITY SHOW) at 8 p.m. March 18-21, 5 and 8 p.m. March 22, and 3 p.m. March 23 in the Titmus Theatre in Frank Thompson Hall, 2241 Dunn Ave., Raleigh, NC 27607, on the NCSU campus.
TICKETS: $28 ($5 N.C. State students and $23 NCSU faculty and staff).
BOX OFFICE: 919-515-1100 or http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=22089&event_val=LEO_.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://vimeo.com/81454445 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGpqNUQuKR4.
NEWS RELEASE: http://www.ncsu.edu/arts/media/pressreleases/2014-02-18_LEO-press-release.html.
PRESENTER: http://ncsu.edu/centerstage/, https://www.facebook.com/NCSUCenterStage, and https://twitter.com/NCSUCenterStage.
LEO (The Anti-Gravity Show) (2011 physical-theater piece): http://boatrockerentertainment.com/portfolio-item/leo/ (official web page) and https://www.facebook.com/theleoshow (Facebook page).
Study Guide: http://www.tpac.org/education/HOT/PDF/LEO%20Guidebook%20final%20WEB.pdf (Tennessee Performing Arts Center).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail email@example.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)