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Arts & Culture

Live Active Cultures

Jessica Earley’s HYPER-Bolic kicks off our own Summer of Love

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You’ll notice this doesn’t read like a typical review, because HYPER-Bolic is almost impossible to critique. Individual elements (such as singing, dancing and acting) weren’t professional in any traditional sense, but that unguarded awkwardness is what makes Earley so engaging. The analytical side of me wants to pair her with a director to help sculpt a more focused production. But instinctively I understand that would risk ruining what is wonderful and unique about her work, which has a homemade fragility. My critical ambivalence could also be gender-related; women I spoke with afterward said they empathized very strongly with the erratic emotions expressed.

Ultimately, Earley proved there is a market in Orlando for such earnest, intimate art by drawing one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen at the Venue. And while the parked cars outside were awash in Stardust and WPRK bumper stickers, there was no hipster snark in the loving standing ovation at the end, as Earley stood naked – emotionally and literally – before them. (I suspect 80 percent of the crowd were Earley’s friends, Facebook or otherwise, as she financed the show’s modest budget with an online fundraising campaign.)

In an impromptu post-bow Q&A, Earley said she hopes to take the show to San Francisco in June. It’s hard to think of any city that might be more appreciative of Earley’s intimate emotional exhibitionism than the home of the Summer of Love.

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