Kiss, the touring theater company from New York City, brought its lattest show to the Capital Centre Saturday night.The troupe, which included special-effects experts and corporate conceptualists backstage and four actors portraying rock musicians on stage, combined equal elements of Marvel Comics characters, Fourth of July fireworks, Hollywood movie stunts and heavy-metal rock 'n' roll.
The result was a celebration of the excess of America's technological pop culture. What could be a more fitting tribute to the American spirit than a primitive dressed in a horned crustacean shell spitting fire and blood while an arsenal of bombs, flames fireworks and confetti explodes all around him?
Gene Simmons, the demon with dinosaur platform boots, flew to the roof like Peter Pan. Ace Frehley, the spaceman dressed in jagged glass, shot sparklers from the end of his guitar like a jet-age Davy Crockett. Paul Stanley, the bare-chested centerfold, smashed his guitar to bits like the Hulk. The drum set around the feline-painted Peter Criss twirled, flashed lights and rose in the air like a James Bond vehicle.
As its central metaphor, Kiss has chosen the rock 'n' roll quartet, the epitome of exuberant ephemera. The actors have learned enough to play the basic chords, and rely on a loud, distorted sound system to cover their further deficiencies. The fact that the music is oppressively loud and boring fits in with their theme of technological dominance.