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Excerpt: Commedia del Smartass

An eccentric comedy featuring an overachieving Girl Scout who wants to get into a good college, a Fencer who reads Machiavelli, a Clown of ambiguos gender, and a guy named Henry, Commedia is a stylized reminder that the treacherous environment of high school was only the opening salvo for the rest of one’s life. A New Georges production, it opens September 9th at the the Ohio Theater in SoHo .

A Life in the Theater: Orson's Shadow

You can make a killing in the theater, but you can’t make a living, as the infamous adage goes, and New York theater doesn’t seem to disagree, with its graph-able gap between long-run Broadway musicals and the more vital, but short-lived dramas found in non-profit or off-off Broadway showcases.

In Dialogue: Stepping into Darkness with Will Eno

PROLOGUE: (Enters, in darkness. Footsteps. Pause.) Darkness. Footsteps. A little Pause. (Pause.) It’s quiet and dark. But you knew that. (Pause.) I could leave it all alone. I could let us shudder by ourselves. Leave us uncomforted by the shaky fiction of anything shared, of any common story. I could let us wreck ourselves in the dark, shiver closer to death, slowly, unnoticeably, instead of making such a big production out of it. But I won’t. So, savor it, the dark. Like everything it’s ending. Yes, as for the darkness, at least: The End.

Up from Off-Off: Prelude '05 Redefining "Downtown" Theater

Imagine yourself on the “L” or the “F” or some other subway line lurching towards Williamsburg, DUMBO or a murky address in Manhattan somewhere below 14th Street. Propelled into the ominous night, you stumble past leering crackheads and clutching street urchins to the graffiti-splattered façade of the hot new “off-off-Broadway” theater space your friend Kiki had raved about. After plunging down the dimly-lit suicide staircase, you crunch your way across a carpet of empty beer cans, past the one-eyed, tattooed troll clutching a cash box and croaking, “fifteen dollah,” to the performance space itself—a fetid, airless little room where, under a single, flickering spot, a painted man in a loincloth listlessly beats a drum while reciting the complete works of Heiner Müller, backwards. The little room fills with big people who look like they don’t like you. The troll locks the door behind him and doesn’t open it again for seven hours. Too late, you find yourself wishing you’d gone to Momma Mia! for the 47th time instead.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2005

All Issues