Sunday, September 15, 2019
BOOM Presents Unique Look at Baby Boom Generation
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Monday, August 19, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Baby Boomers, take note--Rick Miller is about to pay homage to your era with three entertaining but thought provoking shows this coming weekend at the Argyros Performing Arts Center.

He’ll present his one-man multimedia show about the music, culture and politics that shaped the Baby Boomer era at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Aug. 23-25. Tickets start at $25, available at www.theargyros.org.

The mashup of pop culture and history will wax nostalgic, even as it tries to explain the era that shaped the Baby Boomers from 1945 to 1969. Miller will tell the story through his skills as an actor, singer and impressionist combined with iconic recordings from that era.

The 100-minute show starts with the first boom of the Atomic Bomb in 1945 and runs through the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon in 1969. In between, it will touch on the Cold War, Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, the Kennedy assassinations and other milestones of the era.

Pop music of the time will serve as the soundtrack.

Miller will give voice to politicians, activists and musicians, including Winston Churchill, Elvis and Steppenwolf, sometimes using news feeds, cartoons and ads to augment the experience.

It allows viewers to experience global events as they unfold, including McCarthyism, Beatlemania and the Summer of Love. But it also weaves in stories of three people and how they were affected by that era, including a young man born in Vienna before the war and a Black American musician who moved to Canada as a draft dodger.

“It started with my interest in rock and roll,” said Miller, who is not a baby boomer, having been born in 1970. “And my wanting to make sense of this era. My father was sharing stories of growing up in Vienna, being part of the Hitler youth and it was stories like his that give it an interesting emotional touch.”

“I don’t go into depth in any one story but I touch on how events influenced those stories. And I show how small stories at the core of the show are connected to the bigger picture, the big sweep of things.”

Miller was raised in Montreal. His father, who worked for the U.S. Consulate in Austria, had tried to come to the United States. But the wait list was too long so he immigrated to Canada, instead, settling in Montreal.

But America’s influence easily reached across the border.

“We’re your neighbors and you make a lot of noise and we react to it,” he said.

He already has created a second show—BOOMX, the GenX sequel.

It takes up where BOOM left off with Woodstock in August 1969 and it takes audiences to 1995 when the Internet began to dominate Americans’ lives. Over the course of a hundred minutes, Miller plays more than a hundred colorful characters from the days of disco, the oil crisis, Watergate, the Cold War, video games, and punk rock.

He’s at work on a third, talking to young people about what the effect the Internet, 9/11 and even Donald Trump has had on them.

While BOOM and BOOMX are set in different eras, they present a fun entertaining way to acknowledge the challenges of each generation and build bridges between generations, said Miller, an award-wining writer, director actor and educator who has performed in five languages on five continents.

“In fact, I encourage people to come with different generations because what they see will inspire great conversations. People are always telling me how the show has tripped a memory, and they want to talk about it.”

IF YOU GO:

The Argyros Presents Rick Miller in BOOM at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Aug. 23-25. Tickets start at $25, available at www.theargyros.com.

 

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