The sign of any good show is when time flies by and you’re left wanting more. It’s even more impressive when a single performer is able to pull off this feat. With his new one-man play BOOM, native Montrealer Rick Miller charms and delights with his tribute to the baby boomer generation.
Guiding the audience through 25 years of baby boomer history, the chief way that Miller grabs your attention is his voice. He is simply put, a master of impressions. One moment he’s graciously welcoming the audience as himself. The next moment he’s transformed into his own mother recounting her days growing up in rural Ontario. The next he’s Elvis Presley. This idea may seem strange when you read it online, but live in the darkened theater, you see how each character comes alive and flows into the next seamlessly.
The stories are also key to BOOM’s success. Miller weaves personal stories of his family and friends who were alive at the time,with key moments in world history. This approach allows audience members of any age to appreciate the performance. Older people can relate to the stories presented, while younger audience members can learn what it was like to grow up at that time. For instance, this millennial never thought about how many baby boomer’s parents were alcoholics as a way of dealing with the emotional stress of living through the depression and Second World War.
Finally, BOOM wouldn’t be able to truly be the successful show that it is without its props. With one prop and a simple lighting cue, Miller transforms from a Russian soldier to Winston Churchill to Buddy Holly. Major kudos have to be given to lighting designer Bruno Matte on this production. Add the occasional vintage ad, scrapbook photo and present day video, and you have one man who over the course of 100 minutes brings an entire generation to life.
BOOM plays at the Segal Center until April 10th
* Photo Paul Lampert via Segal Centre website