Fusebox Festival 2022: Shaboom! At the Museum of Human Achievement

by William Sarradet May 9, 2022
A freestanding stage setup featuring a rolling platform, steps, and a trellis covered in wigs.

Stage presentation for Shaboom! at the Museum of Human Achievement during Fusebox Festival 2022

The Museum of Human Achievement continues to present some of the most creative and fun-to-watch live theater in Texas. Enter Shaboom!, a performance trio, featuring Silky Shoemaker, Lex Vaughn, Paul Soileau. The three put on a nearly hour-long show at the Museum’s main makeshift amphitheater space, performing over a dozen sketches that were assembled into a kind of anthology. I had picked a Thursday showing, initially because it was the only one that would fit my schedule, but fellow Fusebox collaborators Michelle Devereaux and Andie Flores confirmed that it would be an excellent use of my limited time in Austin.

Three performers in gold spandex fabric and wigs stand on a stage underneath a bright spotlight.

Shaboom! performs at the Museum of Human Achievement as a part of Fusebox Festival 2022

The Instagram bio for Shaboom! states, “NUDE VAUDEVILLE FOR ELDERLY CHILDREN.” As alarming as that sounds, the meaning becomes immediately apparent when the first spotlight initiates the show. At the beginning, Shoemaker, Vaughn, and Paul Soileau are bare, save for diapers and globs of face paint. They are thrown about the stage by imaginary wind, and the sound of a train whistle blows at full volume until the lights dim. When the spotlights come back, the three performers have collected themselves into characters, stuffed into layers of clothes and gel-stiffened wigs. They play aloof and asinine characters across various scenes of dialogue; three dogs discussing dietary restrictions, models uncovering the relationship between crops and rocks, and an elderly couple regaling their lives in shakespearean prose to their bratty, impatient Uber passenger. Each sketch has its own lexical signature, which masks the potty humor a bit. Shaboom! Has a reputation in Austin for putting on an enthralling show, and the trio did not disappoint.

Two performers in wigs and makeup sit on chairs on a stage inside a warehouse amphitheater.

Shaboom! Performs at the Museum of Human Achievement as a part of Fusebox Festival 2022

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