Thursday, January 11, 2007

Israel Horovitz's "New Shorts"

No, I'm not talking about summer pants, silly. I don't know if I'm the only one who's enamored of Israel Horovitz, but his unique blend of comedy and drama has captured me ever since our school canceled our production of Line during our final dress rehearsal. His new collection of nine plays is a varied work that goes from the fragmented, poetic scenes of "Inconsolable" (about a double suicide separated by generations) to the physical feat of "The Race Play" (a bit like 59E59's The Race). Horovitz directs with a deft hand -- his three plays are the strongest of the bunch -- and he's assisted by Michael LoPorto, who certainly knows how to block a scene. Lynn Cohen steals the show with her terrific portrayal of "Cat Lady" and "Beirut Rocks" is a nice look at the Palestinian side of things during the whole bombing of Lebanon. Horovitz knows how to write disaffection, and though he occasionally gets entangled in exposition, you'll have to forgive him for explaining a little.

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