History will explode on stage in a hilariously informative fashion as Boom comes to town March 7.
Rick Miller (whom Vernon may remember from his side-splitting presentation MacHomer) single-handedly documents the music, culture, politics and events that formed the baby boom generation (1945 to 1969).
“When all the crooners were singing above love, what was going on in the world?” Miller questioned in his quest to, “figure out the DNA of my culture,” being a child of the baby boom.
“I wanted to explore it and one of my first vehicles was the turn of rock and roll.”
Born in 1970, Miller combines the events that shaped history, specifically that of three characters: his mom, dad and Lawrence, a black man from Chicago who lived through the civil rights movement.
“We see the beginning of the women’s rights movement through her (his mom’s) eyes, then in the ‘60s all hell breaks loose and all of a sudden they are watching TV and war was coming up.”
While proving to be a highly-entertaining history lesson, the show has a greater purpose.
“Sometimes looking back is not something we do very often,” Miller, of Toronto, points out.
But it’s the past that has shaped our future, he says, and is an essential part of who we are, whether we are Generation X, Y or Z.
“We have more in common than we like to think …and that is a very helpful reminder sometimes,” said Miller. “What I’m trying to do is evoke a lot of feelings and memories. I can show how all these things are connected.
“I am aiming it very much forward. History is very much a circle and cycle.”
Stepping into a time capsule, Miller brings history to life through puppetry, dancing, acting and dub.
“I do all the voices, over 100 in all,” said the dub master who is constantly immersed in media in the show.
“It’s part documentary, but I’d say it’s a performance more than an actual play. It’s a show, but it’s not just a jukebox musical.”
Miller creates a memorable evening, suitable for almost all ages (teens to senior), through the stories of triumph and tragedy that his three characters overcome.
“Boomers learn a hell of a lot when they watch this play.”
Everyone has their own personal stories, but it’s the big picture Miller is focused on. And he does so in a way that can bridge the gap between ages.
“It’s a show that can really bring generations together,” said Miller, who watched an 18-year-old attend his show and then shed a tear as he wished he had asked more of his grandparents before they passed.
“That’s part of this whole impulse, to learn where I come from,” said the husband and father of two.
Boom is also part of an even grander effort.
Following the show, there will be a talk-back, and attendees will be urged to share their stories at heritagemoments.ca
“People can go online and keep it going, continue and add their own story, develop our own tapestry of history.”
Boom is also a piece in Kidoons Network, an educational kids network.
Boom takes the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage March 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 ($37 for seniors and $35 for students) and are available at ticketseller.ca or call 250-549-SHOW (7469).