Kristina Wong Went Green in All the Wong Ways at Ziff Ballet Opera House
Going Green the Wong Way might be one of the most ridiculous shows we've ever seen, and we mean that in the best of ways. Performance artist and comedienne Kristina Wong broke down racial stereotypes, feminist theory, and all that's wrong with Los Angeles public transportation while dry-humping a mountain of plastic bags and delivering a rap song about chipmunks, recycling, and Tila Tequila titled "Don't Rape the Planet."
Decked out in deconstructed knits by Karelle Levy, the sassy "cultural jammer" commanded a stage at the Ziff Ballet Opera House of alternating bright colors that pulsated behind rolling hills adorned with a "Hollywong" sign. Littered about were plush toys, beach balls, and assorted kitschy goods like plastic telephones. A block of letters spelled out the F-word.
Wong took a seemingly overworked topic like sustainable living and turned it into a surrealist, hilarious ride through her personal history embracing "conservation as the new masturbation." There was an audience-participation bit involving a middle school cafeteria project (everyone got to ball up plastic bags and throw them at her), a power-point presentation on lessons learned riding public transportation featuring so-bad-and-offensive-they're-funny pick-up lines, and, yes, a recounting of how a diva cup got stuck inside of her. If you don't know what a diva cup is, well, let's just say you'll know by the end of the graphic demonstration.
Colorful, raunchy, and supersmart, the show is a refreshing take on the ultra-peppy "just go green!" narrative pushed by corporations and sincere citizens alike. Ultimately, Wong's real-life stories demonstrated the commitment and lifestyle-change truly required to live out the mantra. But in line with its counter-narrative attitude, it dished out that message in an irreverent, side-splitting format of song, projections, movement, and stand-up comedy.
A hand-drawn cartoon drawing of a dolphin choking on plastic packaging morphed into that same dolphin choking a couple to drive home the moral that "when you litter, you're killing your parents." A picture of Kristina Wong with her hot-pink 27-year old Mercedes that ran on vegetable oil displayed a tag that read "Wongsta." The Cali-native pounced around the stage throwing up "305" signs while dancing to earth-friendly remixed pop-culture tunes. All those little details came together with the narration and made us feel like we were just chilling with some crazy-ass, hilarious friend telling us some crazy-ass, hilarious stories. And the rest of the audience seemed to agree -- everyone was cracking up the whole time.
There's only three more shows today and tomorrow, so we suggest you see this girl before she hits the road (car-pooling and taking public transportation, of course).
See Going Green the Wong Way at 8 p.m. Friday or 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $35. Call 305-949-6722, or visit arshtcenter.org.
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