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<em>Gob Squad’s Kitchen</em> remakes Warhol’s experimental films as crowd-pleasing theater

The original Kitchen is a 1965 Warhol film that depicts Edie Sedgwick and others hanging around a kitchen as, well, nothing much happens. That’s the main focus of the action in Gob Squad’s Kitchen, but there are also two other films going on simultaneously, a screen test on one end of the screen and a shot of a woman sleeping on the other. As the action, such as it is, shifts among the three scenarios, the performers periodically become frustrated with themselves and each other and come into the audience to find replacements. By the end, willing volunteers, directed and prompted via earphones, have replaced the four original performers, each of these civilians getting his or her own 15 minutes of fame.

It’s odd, unexpected and very entertaining. The Gob Squad is interested in the films, in Warhol, in the cusp-of-great-social-change era the films represent and in the nature of performance and authenticity. In this show that is both live and film, they have created an experience that is both silly and profound, both canned and improvisatory, both iterative and unique. It’s great fun, and it’s very Warholian.

editorial@observer.com

 

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