An endless torrent of jokes, jingles, voices, and people, including Richard Dawkins, Stephen Lewis, Morgan Freeman, Bugs Bunny, and Rick Miller, invade the mind of a defenseless clown and ruin his life. HARDSELL is a multimedia extravaganza that slyly exposes the lies inherent in advertising.
Necessary Angel and WYRD present
by Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks
HARDSELL is a multimedia extravaganza that boldly examines the commodification of everything. Miller struts and frets his hour on the stage, selling, seducing and manipulating the audience with dazzling performance and design, while slyly exposing the lies inherent in advertising.
Playing mirror-images of himself – Arnie, the cold-hearted cynic vs. Rick, the righteous do-gooder – Miller raises the difficult question of how to live in this world of the HARDSELL, where lies constantly distract us from truth. In Arnie’s words, “we are nothing but cells that sell”, each of us a salesman selling our own particular brand of lie. Arnie’s satire spares no one: Joseph Campbell, Ayn Rand, Richard Dawkins, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Klein, Bono, Barbie, Coke, Disney… and especially Rick Miller, who Arnie calls his “mirror twin”. But while he gleefully mocks Miller’s self-righteousness, selfishness and narcissism, he is also keenly aware of the cost of a life of cynicism and detachment….”a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
The play is complex, but audience feedback has been tremendous. Spurred on by Miller’s own playful-yet-brutal self-examination within HARDSELL, audience members are encouraged to confront their own complicity within consumer society. If we are biologically built to ‘sell’, to ‘produce’ and to ‘consume’, then what is it we are actually selling, producing and consuming? How much choice and freedom to we actually have? Are our children being raised as citizens or as consumers?
Created by Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks
Performed by Rick Miller
Directed by Daniel Brooks
Designed by Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson
“STUNNING!... Rick Miller is one of our most dazzling performers and Daniel Brooks one of our most brilliant directors... Miller’s greatest skill is not unlike that of a jazz virtuoso: he riffs superbly... “ - The Toronto Star
“POWERFUL AND CHILLING!... Rick Miller addresses brutal truths in HARDSELL, a thoughtful and entertaining show about maintaining a healthy conscience in a free market...” - NOW Magazine
“A VOCAL CHAMELEON!... HARDSELL succinctly illustrates how living in a consumer society seems to either makes hypocrites out of us or turn us into self-righteous jerks.” - The Globe and Mail
“Between the unsettling interaction of the two brothers and the cold and calculating assault on our very existence, HARDSELL is another Miller/Brooks opus that fascinates like a cobra. Hypnotized, we can’t look away... I’m still thinking about the show the next day.” - Classical 96 FMVisit Show Official Website Back to Productions