Los Angeles Critic Review
RAY BRADBURY’S PILLAR OF FIRE at Theatre Of NOTE
Hollywood Fringe Platinum Award Winner
“Oberst does not perform the role of Lantry, he exists in it.”
Pillar Of Fire is unlike anything else Ray Bradbury ever wrote. A conflux of the elements inherent to his style; the fusion of rational with irrational, the lover of literature, the modernist secure in science, the poet, the primitive, the brute; it has none of the amalgamation of these elements that would later appear, as Bradbury had yet to harmonize the distinct voices he bore within himself. In “Pillar Of Fire” the voices each perform in severance, with a purity of pitch that would later be muted in the cohesion of his creative choir. Unlike Bradbury’s later works, Pillar Of Fire is more rage than reflection, more poem than prose, and more horror story than speculative fiction.
Bill Oberst Jr. has chosen his role well. His lean hard body and gaunt face have a cadaverous quality. With nothing onstage other than dirt, he does more than become the role. As the resurrected corpse discovers the world anew, Oberst creates it, becoming the reality of Bradbury’s dystopia for his audience. Oberst does not perform the role of Lantry, he exists in it.
Pillar of Fire is truly remarkable work; one of the very best, if not the best solo show the 2015 Hollywood Fringe had to offer. Winner: Platinum Medal. Winner: Encore Producers’ Award. – Ernest Kearney, June 2015
Los Angeles Stage Review: RAY BRADBURY’S PILLAR OF FIRE
“ Oberst’s storytelling is so mouth-watering, it will send psychological chills up your spine without a hint of gore. Superior performance. Do not miss” – Tracey Paleo
Duality is never more potent than in this riveting piece, written by Ray Bradbury as a response to Americans’ burning of comic books to “save” young minds and interpreted for stage by cult actor Bill Oberst Jr. at Hollywood’s Hudson Theatre.
In 2349 Earth has been cleansed of morbidity and corpses. When the government decides to destroy a remaining ancient graveyard, 400 years-dead William Lantry wakes up. Pillar of Fire holds one of the more chilling futuristic outcomes for the human race; an idealistic singularity where all sense of individuality, passion and imagination has been wiped out, replaced by a deathly glug of life without desire. We realize along with Lantry that human beings must live in duality, for existing in a world where there is only light is just as terrifying as one submerged in utter darkness.
Pillar Of Fire is straight up, deftly performed and extraordinary in every detail. Oberst’s storytelling is so mouth-watering, it will send psychological chills up your spine, without a hint of gore. A superior performance bar none. Highly recommended. – Tracey Paleo, June 2015