Review: LIFE IN A BOX, episode 1.5

by Lynn on April 11, 2020

in The Passionate Playgoer

Background. The wonderful Landon Doak & Matt Finlan are presenting episodes of their apocalyptic-friendship-stoner-musical Life in a Box live on Instagram (@landondoak) every Friday at 4:20pm. (I love the cheek of doing it at that time).

They perform about 15-20 minutes of the show in succession, playing the instruments live and using wifi lightbulbs for the effects, have incorporated some new music, and then after do a talk show-style chat about the show, life, weed, etc. with some good news stories thrown in.

I love the show when I saw it live. Here’s my review of the full show when it played the Grand Canyon Theatre last year.

Review of episode 1.5 (of yesterday’s episode). It plays for only 24 hours after the initial Instagram recording. I wish it was available for longer.

In this segment of the show (the first episode played a week ago and I only was informed of the playing of these episodes this past week), Landon Doak and Matt Finlan did a quick recap of what happened last week. I found this recap a bit confusing, perhaps because I’m new to Instagram. Next week should be clearer I hope.

In this episode Landon Doak and Matt Finlan are trying to build a machine that will take them back in time because they must stop something in the past that will have implications in the future.

While getting a handle on the details of the story might be a bit confusing in this weed-drenched, disjointed (excuse me) format, what is clear is the huge artistry of both Landen Doak and Matt Finlan. They wrote the story, the lyrics and composed the music for the songs. Their lyrics are dazzling in their cleverness but not in a smarmy way. The execution of the songs is impish, joyful, rousing and wild. They work in such synch that their performances are seamless. Both performers feed on the imagination of one another. Let me be bold and say you don’t need to be high to appreciate the mental and artistic dexterity with which they come up with the story. When one of them makes a discovery and experiences the joy of it, the listener/watcher/audience/ viewer does too.

They even included new references to Covid 19 and Tom Hanks and his travails with the virus. Doak and Finlan are topical in every way.

After each segment there is a moment of refreshment with the bowl (theirs not mine) and they come back to the screen in a puff of smoke, some inhales and coughs, ready to expound on how they created the set with friends in their apartment. They give thanks to their helpers (applauding in the next room), their donors and even Craig’s Cookies (always well deserved of praise).

I wish there was a way to make the episodes available for longer than 24 hours. Perhaps that can be done with such resourceful folks. In the meantime mark next Friday, April 17 at 4:20 pm in your devises for the next episode of Life in a Box.  

@landondoak) every Friday at 4:20pm.

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