Boulder Valley Productions “For the Sake of the Dance”
Janelle Fine • August 21, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival •
“Is your life to die for?” That is just one of the thought-provoking questions Thomas Christopher asks of his audience. Looking for a show that explores the existential questions of every day life? Thomas Christopher, a local Boulder songwriter, performer and author, brings it all together for his one-man show, “For the Sake of the Dance.” The Wesley Fellowship lounge at Wesley Chapel provided the perfect intimate space to experience what he has to offer, describing it himself as, “some of his best loved parlando songs about the inner experience of life.” Parlando is a genre of music sung in the style of speaking or reciting. Thomas says that he uses this style because it enhances and focuses on the words. The show consists of 15 original songs performed in that style as he accompanies himself with his baritone ukulele and banjo, while stringing the songs together with commentary and jokes. Thomas offers up that one can glean metaphors and moments, some religious, some philosophical, throughout his songs, adding layers of meaning to his work.
The combination of the venue and his casual chatty style made me feel like I was experiencing an intimate show in my living room. The audience followed along as he shared with us his journey and quest to understand life and the human experience. There were lots of moments of laughter, but he was also able to share more vulnerable moments, even bringing some audience members to tears. As Thomas is the only performer, I would say that the music itself seemed a bit similar from song to song. Having a more varied tempo would have given his overall show more variety, but it is a vulnerable place to stand on stage alone, stripped down with only yourself and your instrument, and for that I do give him a lot of credit.
You can experience “For the Sake of the Dance” at the Wesley Lounge