The cyclical ways of the universe can often upset and surprise us, but a new show is coming to Columbus that intends to reassure us endings are but a necessary means for new beginnings.
“It is this idea of endings, which are usually sad, where we have found some incredibly fun and joyous stories to tell, and they’re really adventurous and experimental,” said co-host Jad Abumrad.
The hosts of NPR’s weekly philosophy and science program, Radiolab, are set to perform their live show national tour called “Apocalyptical” at the Palace Theatre Thursday at 8 p.m.
“I know (the title) sounds like someone is going to cut someone’s throat,” said co-host Robert Krulwich. “But, it actually has got monsters and big huge bangs, science experiments, Pepto-Bismol and brave human beings.”
Audio has been Radiolab’s medium for the last 10 years, on the NPR program and their podcasts, Abumrad said in an interview with The Lantern.
“It is really exciting to step onto a stage because it is a whole new set of rules. It is a great chance for us to walk out of our usual form and invent something entirely new that is as much for your eyes as it is for your ears,” he said.
The show is presented by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts.
“This is a different type of show than what CAPA normally presents, and we thought it would be a great addition to the season for both our patrons,” said Vice President of Programming Rich Corsi in an email. “Students will enjoy the combination of storytelling, science, music and history presented with a thought-provoking, comical and modern take.”
The Radiolab hosts came up with the idea for “Apocalyptical” while looking at stories about mass extinction, Abumrad said.
“We hadn’t intended for this to be a show, really,” Abumrad said. “We were reading a book about the mechanics of this mass extinction that were so fantastic and so startling, and there were details in there that were so intensely visual, and all of a sudden, we were making a show about death and rebirth. It somehow wanted to be a live show before we even knew it, in a way.”
“Apocalyptical” will tell stories of destruction and creation in the universe with an unusual perspective, Krulwich said.
The show will have its share of fun for the audiences members’ ears as well, Abumrad said.
Glenn Kotche, drummer of the band Wilco, uses items such as screwdrivers and violin bows on his drums to make unusual sounds for the show, such as the roar of a baby dinosaur. Other musicians will also be featured in the show creating sound effects and soundscapes that bring to life the “Apocalyptical” world.
Abumrad, an alumnus of Oberlin College in northern Ohio, said he thinks students will relate well with the show’s theme.
“I think back to my own college years, and that is a moment when who you are (is) destroyed and then recreated in those four years,” he said. “So in a spiritual sense, it is speaking to the core of the moments that a college person is in. They are in this act of wiping themselves clean and inventing a new story of themselves, a story that will happen maybe for the rest of their lives. Maybe college kids will be sitting in the audience, and I hope there are a lot of them, and they will be nodding with a sort of knowing sense like, ‘Yeah, that’s me up there.’” Palace Theatre is located at 34 W. Broad St. Tickets start at $35.