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The Lyric hosts elaborate interactive art series

Participants+of+the+Deconstructed+Dinner+at+The+Lyric+in+Fort+Collins+line+up+to+get+food+Sept.+17.
Collegian | Garrett Mogel
Participants of the Deconstructed Dinner at The Lyric in Fort Collins line up to get food Sept. 17.

This past Sunday, The Lyric held a showing of their Deconstructed Dinners series: a yearly three-part series that showcases local artists, farms and breweries. 

Each series has a different theme for the season. This year’s was time, so the deconstructed dinner focused on being present.

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The backyard of The Lyric was split into eight different spaces: the professor’s mad laboratory, the hairdresser’s Time Being Salon, the naturalist’s rock wall, the art ride, the looping poem, the zen brush station, the dinner tables and the kitchen.

The professor’s mad laboratory envisioned the innate human desire to control time as the audience watched the professor’s attempt to build a time machine. Her notebook allowed the audience to write in and read her abstract ideas. The professor also had a Polaroid camera and would take photos of audience members to “capture a moment in time.”

“I am playing the mad professor, the Doc Brown-type who is trying to control time, and so my whole idea of time is that people can control it, make it and break it,” said Alex Forbes, the actress behind the mad scientist.

The Time Being Salon was covered by black curtains. In the front was a salon chair and a magazine for audience members to immerse themselves in the story. Behind the curtain was the salon itself. The hairdresser brought audience members to the golden salon chair, which had mirror in front of and behind it. Once a viewer sat in the chair, the hairdresser would play with their hair, suggesting that time was held within it. As the hairdresser engaged each audience member, she had them acknowledge their hair’s beauty in the present moment. 

The naturalist was seen against a rock wall speaking with guests as they approached him. These conversations surrounded the idea that time is not something to be controlled but is a concept that always has existed and always will exist.

“Nature accepts time for what it is,” the naturalist told many audience members.

The art ride was an installation where the grim reaper pushed a cart that held two sitting guests, bringing them through a painting depicting the life cycle as his assistant quoted the nursery rhyme “Solomon Grundy” by James Orchard Halliwell.

The looping poem played within the cylindrical structure in the backyard, creating an echo effect. This poem spoke to the concept of infinity and the lack of control humans have around it.

A small zen brush installation sat near the professor’s mad laboratory. Although not many people noticed the installation, it still grabbed the attention of a few audience members and encouraged interaction.

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In the installation, two dancing actors wore lilac purple and light grey outfits with tiny hats on their heads; they depicted the essence of time. Many audience members deemed them the “time twins.” The duo represented the links of time between and within the other installations. 

“The sort of metaphor that Heather (Ostberg Johnson, co-producer,) has put together is all these different interpretations of time,” said Grace Cooper, a dancer representing time. “So all of these actors represent a different approach, like, you have to accept time, you have to work against time or you just are time.”

During the first act, some appetizers were handed out to guests. The three samples were chilled plum soup, tomatoes with garlic cheese tuille and smoked artichoke dip with house bread. Each dinner showcases different local farms and businesses. Arapahoe Meat Company and Native Hill Farm were participants at the dinner.

At 6 p.m., drums began playing as guests sat down at the dinner tables. Before dinner was served, the second act of the show began. The time twins walked toward a small table in the center, holding fruit, water and napkins. The naturalist, professor and hairdresser sat at the table as the same poem from the cylinder building began playing. The twins danced around the trio as the actors indulged in their food. As the poem finished, the actors slowly walked away from the table and exited the yard.

After the breathtaking performance, dinner was served buffet-style from the kitchen installation. The main course was a pig that had been roasted for 18 hours. The side dishes were miso braised leeks, cucumber salad, farm salad and grilled cabbage with pickled apples served with coriander vinaigrette. There were also many vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options available.

While sitting at the dinner tables, guests utilized red cards with talking points to discuss the performance and the concept of time.

After dinner, guests were excused to the dessert table showcasing house-made dishes. Many guests then began to gather on the dance floor to enjoy the live music by Smokestack Relics.

Reach Alexander Wilson at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexgrey0604.

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About the Contributor
Garrett Mogel, Photo Director
Garrett Mogel is a third-year journalism student with a second field in philosophy. He is one of two photo directors for the 2023-24 school year.  Growing up in Colorado and surrounded by dreamlike landscapes and adventure sports, it was only a matter of time before Mogel picked up a camera. For over a decade, Mogel explored Colorado, portaging rivers, postholing through several feet of snow, rappelling over cliffs and skinning up mountains, all with a camera in hand. Through his adventures, Mogel began attaching stories to images and began to engage viewers in conversation about their favorite areas. Eventually, Mogel’s passion for photography and storytelling drew him to pursue a degree and career in photojournalism.  In his years at college, Mogel has worked with The Collegian every year. In progressing through the publication, Mogel has seen all the ways student media fosters growth both individually as well as through collaboration. Additionally, the opportunity to witness how impactful a story can be on a personal, organizational and community level is his greatest lesson thus far.  Beyond The Collegian, Mogel still finds time to appreciate his Colorado upbringing. When not on assignment, he can usually be found mountain biking, skiing, camping, river surfing or at home planning his next adventure.

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