Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Mr Eyeball lands at Red House Theater

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mr Eyeball tucks into some tasty beef noodle soup. Catch Mr Eyeball at Taipei's Red House Theater next Thursday and Friday.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TCM

Designer of over-the-top theatrical costumes, artist, musician and creator of the off-beat and cult-like Mr Eyeball (眼球先生) brand of clothing and accessories, Chen Bo-wei (陳柏維), or Mr Eyeball as he prefers to be known will be stepping out in Taipei next week, when he once again brings his hybrid brand of music and zany theatrics to the Red House Theater.

Simply entitled Mr Eyeball Cabaret (眼球先生夜總會), the concert will see Chen in the guise of his alter ego performing a mixed bag of musical numbers and theatrical routines to jointly celebrate the recent release of his self-titled debut longplayer, Mr. Eyeball (眼球先生), which hit record store shelves last month, and his art/comic book, Hi! My Eyeball (Hi! 眼球先生).

Since Chen created his character two years ago, Mr Eyeball has built up a cult following in Taiwan. His last performance, Don't Forget the People in the Shadows (勿忘影中), in which Chen portrayed Mr Eyeball as an alien photographer who became besotted by a mysterious stranger, proved hugely popular with the art-house orientated Generation X-ers who comprise the crux of his fan base.

For his upcoming presentation, Chen has opted to forgo any form of story line, however absurd, and will instead perform a selection of re-mixes and original undiluted tunes from his recently released album. Incorporating elements of jazz, pop, electronica and orchestration as well as a whole heap of retro-1920s styled dancehall musical chic and Taiwanese nakashi and Japanese enka, the music can at times be nauseating, but is certainly never dull.

A special cabaret show packed with eye-catching routines that combine fantastic dream and cartoon-like sets with gaudy and futuristic costumes and over-the-top dance routines will accompany Chen's musical mayhem, and audiences can expect to be both shocked and left dumbfounded by the evening's offbeat, yet jocular, shenanigans. It might all sound like some lysergic acid-induced hellish nightmare, but anyone with a whim for the off-center avant-garde will be highly entertained.

While no date has yet been set, Chen is aiming to take his alter ego to new heights in the coming months and is planning a movie based on the semi-fictitious life of Mr Eyeball. And, in order that his alter ego move with the times and eke its way into as many households as possible, the ever-creative consumerist is even drawing up plans for a Mr Eyeball PC/video game.

Performance notes:

What: Mr Eyeball Cabaret (眼球先生夜總會)

Where: The Red House Theater (紅樓劇場) is located at 10 Chengdu Rd, Taipei (台北市成都路10號).

When: 8pm on Thursday July 22 and Friday July 23.

Tickets: Tickets cost NT$600 and are available at the door.

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