Photo by Rich Beaubien
After losing his funding from MIT’s department of Meta-Mechanics during his doctoral thesis, “Why Rose is Not a Rose,” Jack Van Sly (played expertly, and in drag, by Jade Sylvan) accepted his prestigious position as the fact-checker of Boston’s Official Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene. He talked to us about his role in the premiere of The Encyclopedia Show Somerville: The Moon.
So, The Encyclopedia Show is a variety show that originated in Chicago, commissioning local artists, performers, and writers to entertain audiences about a different topic each month. What do you bring to the table?
I bring the great human condition of reason, the Western and (increasingly) Eastern civilization since the time of Socrates. Possibly before.
When did you realize you had this knack of knowing the truth vs. the untruth?
When I was 6, my mother told me a man lived in the North Pole in a shed of elves. I chose to believe her … and then walked into her closet and found the exact Skip-It I requested, in blue. I had an epiphany as clear as Newton watching his apple fall off the tree (if you believe in the Newtonian model of universe).
I saw truths and untruths everywhere on everyone’s face in the street, at school, on sitcoms.
What would you say to audience members of last month’s show that may have some feelings toward your judgment calls?
I know I seem harsh, abrasive onstage, but everything I say comes from a place of purest, truest love. Love cannot exist in an atmosphere of untruths. I seek to prime the canvas of love’s fullest expression.
We must appreciate art, but do so with great scrutiny and care, become a meta-warrior against the many scantily dressed untruths.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA SHOW SOMERVILLE: THE MOON
DAVIS SQUARE THEATRE
255 ELM ST.
8PM/ALL AGES/$10 GENERAL, $7 STUDENTS OR PROHIBITION-ERA DRESS