Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hunting and Gathering

Photo/James Leynse

Brooke Berman's new play, Hunting and Gathering has the personal connection -- the playwright's been in and out of homes since the '90s (she writes about it on her blog) -- the hipster street cred of a YouTube tie-in, and a ticket initiative at the occasionally musty Primary Stages ($20 tickets through 2/2 with code PS35 if you're under 35). It's got an LED, Buck Hunter, and plausible definitions for words like "couch surfing" and "housesitting." But the big-box ideas of Hunting and Gathering are overflowing with Styrofoam wit; from Ikea to Park Slope ("a place where everyone pretends it's Woodstock"), it's all just glittery surface, a long stretch of disconnect between what's said (ahem, referenced) and what's experienced. This works well for the direction of Leigh Silverman, who dresses up the presentations as slickly as she can, emphasizing that home is what you make of it, and for the cast (especially Michael Chernus), who excel -- perhaps a little too well -- at playing in the shallows.

[Read on]

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