BANGOR – One of the most challenging and beautiful theatrical works to grace an area stage in years took place at Penobscot Theatre last weekend. Alas, it saddens me to say that due to the current circumstances, you won’t be able to watch it from a seat in the Bangor Opera House.

That’s the situation with Penobscot Theatre Company’s new production. “Safety Net,” a play written by Daryl Lisa Fazio and directed by PTC’s own Tricia A. Hobbs. While the measures taken in recent days due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus mean that the Opera House seats will remain unfilled, PTC is hoping to take unprecedented action of its own.

Here’s how it’s going to work. Through this next week – up to March 22 – PTC will be presenting a livestream of the production at regular showtimes. From Wednesday through Sunday, March 18-22, the company will present a real-time video performance of the show. Tickets can be purchased in the usual way via the PTC website – Purchasers will be given instructions, a link and a password dedicated specifically to the night of their ticket purchase. It might not be the usual manner in which you see a play, but I’d advise you to take advantage of it.

Because any way you slice it, this is a remarkable piece of theatre.

(Full disclosure: I can’t speak to the experience of watching this show on video. I was one of four non-production personnel in the house for one of the early performances. But if watching it on a screen is even a tenth as impactful as seeing it on stage, it will be worth every cent and every second you spend on it.)

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:11

Papo & Yo'

The fifth-best game of all time that features getting inside cardboard boxes

'Papo & Yo,' the latest in the Mainstream Art Game canon, stars a boy who works his way through a surreal city along with a monster. There are puzzles, but they only serve to maintain a certain rhythm in the flow of the graphics. Challenges are limited to some simple switch-hitting and some simpler platform-jumping, and are simple enough that the inclusion of hint boxes in every other room borders on insulting.

And yes, the monster. He's only mechanically interesting at first glance. He follows along, led by the odors of coconuts and the sounds of frogs, both of which he constantly wants to eat. Never mind any ideas you might already have: All you ever have to do is get him to sit on a switch or fall asleep on some cardboard so you can bounce off him. He's the key to most of the game's locks - you just have to hop around and rearrange the rooms to get him to the door.

Published in Tekk

You can go ahead and think of 'SSX' as the new 'Sonic the Hedgehog,' if you're the kind of dude that really knows what was good about 'Sonic the Hedgehog' - which excludes everyone who currently works at Sega (ha!). It's not, really, about snowboarding; it's about flying at as ridiculous a speed as possible while trying to cling to some shred of stability. Each of the game's mountains even starts to take shape like a 'Sonic' level, filled with loopy, branching paths, some vague optimal route hiding underneath the knots.

Other major, less-expected inspirations come from, of all things, 'Demon's Souls' and Facebook. Eccentric multiplayer mechanics ditch simultaneous racing and opt instead to stick ghosts of every one of your runs into every one of your friends' games. This is definitely awesome, especially if you've got a couple real-life friends playing alongside you. A friend of mine just beat one of my times on an early track by 0.03 seconds, ('Just smoked your time, bro.' 'Does 0.03 seconds really count as a smoking?' 'YES.') and yeah, there's his ghost, following the same paths I took and just barely edging me out in the end.

Published in Tekk


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