The alien hordes have descended! And they want our Jack Daniels. That is but one of the extraterrestrial truths propounded in Witness Relocation’s I’m Going to Make a Small Incision Behind Your Ear to Check and See If You’re Actually Human, a cheerfully incoherent performance piece at the Bushwick Starr, loosely based on the cult miniseries V. At the end of the show, one company member steps forward and explains what has transpired: “It’s a little dance, a little acting, a little chaotic—it’s not really planned in advance,” she says. “It’s about alien lizards taking over the planet.”
Occasionally, the actors play those lizards, but mostly they play themselves, exposing the audience to confessional monologues prompted by questions such as “Do you drink more than four nights per week?” and “When did you lose your virginity?” Sometimes they engage in snaky pas de deux; sometimes they try to make themselves cry; sometimes they battle for that last shot of whiskey. In a technique borrowed from the Neo-Futurists, the audience determines the order of these events by choosing ping-pong balls from a bucket, each of which corresponds to a specific action or routine.
This changeable structure and those improvised monologues give the piece a pleasantly anarchic feel, but also mark it as a work-in-progress rather than a fully realized offering. That the cast is young, attractive, and almost painfully eager does much to salve these shortcomings. And, besides, the vision of a frog-costumed woman wrestling her blindfolded scene partner is pretty out of this world.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 15, 2010