Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Geek Review: e-DENTITY

What would you get if your grandmother tried to explain the Internet through a multimedia theatre performance? You would get e-DENTITY - the latest Mirvish production to hit the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Although visually stimulating, this show contained nothing more than tired cliches, dated references to web 1.0 and uninteresting commentary on human behaviour. Oh, and not to mention really, really bad techno music. This production was basically the equivalent of Peter Mansbridge exploring the relevance of the Montreal indie rock scene. Rather than taking you "inside the virtual world, into the digital landscape and down its myriad, ever-shifting, ever-forking paths" as the program describes, e-Dentity only rehashes obsolete stereotypes about the Internet that even the most unsavvy of web users would dismiss. For all its short falls, I can however say that the innovative use of lighting, video projection, live action, and sound prevented this from being a complete waste of time.

Although the writers were careful to include a few web 2.0 references, they seemed contrived and completely out of context. I wouldn't be surprised if they were added to the script 2 days before showtime. I realize I am sounding a tad e-tentious but this was truly an uninspired attempt to explore technology's effects on human interaction, sociology, and evolution. I would consider this more of an ode to the Internet circa 1998 than anything else. With all said and done, my main objection to e-DENTITY was its failure to recognize the fact that the Internet has moved far beyond anonymous chat, cybersex, and webcams. Unless you are feeling nostalgic for the days you spent chatting on IRC, I would wait for this performance to show up on YouTube.