Sunday, March 25, 2007

David's East Village Show-Crawl 2007

On a chilly Saturday I quietly wandered through the East Village and caught four shows for a total of $32.

2pm- Prometheus Bound. Classic Stage. *** The most high-falutin' of the four (it had an official Playbill®!), this was a very urgent and angry production of the classic Greek tragedy. There are three types of people: those who understand Ancient Greek translation texts, those who don't but act like they do, and those who freely admit that they don't. I land wholeheartedly in the third category as I assume much of the fidgety matinee crowd I sat among did too. I was able to absorb the general ideas of the effects of imprisonment and hopeful redemption but as for the specifics? Greek to me. I am perceptive enough though to appreciate the pretty extraordinary performance of the chained up Prometheus given by David Oyelowo who maintained a passionate, honest intensity for the duration of the 90 minute production. The chorus intermittently sang in acapella harmony. Very nice touch.

4pm- 99 miles to Philly. No, this wasn't a show (though it'd be a great title if it were). This is an AMAZING Philly cheesesteak restaurant on 3rd between 12th and 13th. Don't be afraid of ordering one with cheez whiz. It's like slathering a production of Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday.

5pm- Genesis, No!. PS122. **** Normally I run in the opposite direction when confronted with performance art as I find it usually takes itself way too seriously. However, seeing as how Neal Medlyn, an insanely unique downtown comic, was a part of the cast I knew this probably wasn't going to be the case. For a little over an hour, this 6 person cast of humor-dancers used the entire warehouse style space by bouncing up and down on their tippy-toes, chasing each other around, knocking things over and making fun of themselves and the craft of performance art as a whole. It was messy, naughty, nihilist and a total blast!

6:30pm- The Boiler Room- 2 bud lites. HX and Next.

8pm-John Fugelsang's All The Wrong Reasons. NYTW. **** This is a new one man show tying together stories about religion, familial relationships, drugs, careers and other stuff written and performed by former television personality ("prompter monkey", he calls it) John Fugelsang. Initially I was worried that this former VH1/Funniest Home Videos vee-jay wouldn't be able to bust out of his weatherman-style delivery but we must remember to trust NYTW's generally good judgement of character. This was only his second performance and already there was an ease and naturalness to his delivery. Even better, the writing- humorous stories filled with introspective observation and a surprising amount of warmth- was actually better than I would have ever expected. I was won over and completely charmed by this man with stories to tell. Go see it. Favorite line: "Paul Mcartney's Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time was playing over the speakers. You know the one. It's the song that sounds like two Casios fucking."

9:30pm- Urge- 2 bud lites. 1 phone number.

10:30pm- Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. The Neo-Futurists at Kraine. **** Perfect for a late night East Village jaunt! Premise: One hour timer. 30 2-minute plays. GO! This thrilling frantic chaos was dappled with puppets, tea parties, diatribes, impersonations, audience participation and about 100 other things as the hilarious cast zoomed from one short play to the next depending on which number the audience called out after each work. My favorite play was about a woman collecting spit, ear-wax, hair, etc. from her friends because she wanted to keep DNA samples of those she loved. It was actually quite beautiful and made me tear up in 1 minute and 20 seconds. Go see it. It's totally whack!

12:00am- Bed.

The East Village theater scene is edgy, eclectic and economical. I was just planning on watching Discovery Health channel and cruising on the internet all day. I'm glad I chose otherwise. I had a very good day.


Patrick Lee said...

I wouldn't have minded some elaboration on your 9:30 entry ;)

Aaron Riccio said...

I revisited the show myself (TMLMTBGB) on Friday night, so I saw the same thirty as you; all new from when last I saw it, but I still can't count it again. Loved the DNA and the very awkward tea party -- the night I went, the weird german beer drinking one... the guy called up actually dropped his pants too and joined in. Lots of laughs, lots of fun: always great to see the New York Neo-Futurists.