Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Why toy with a catchphrase that works? According to their press release, their first annual A.N.T. (Ars Nova Theater) Fest is a chance to catch "genre-defying emerging artists from beginning to trend." While there was nothing groundbreaking in the short previews of this premiere--unless you've never seen good step dancing before (10/16's Step) nor heard a nebbish white guy talk about his failed love life (11/13's Girls I've Like Liked)--there were plenty of emerging artists, as evinced by the self-deprecating deadpan of Sara Schaefer (of 10/17's Liquid Gold) and the slightly off-kilter humor of Becky Yamamoto (10/23's The Story of America). The rock band Goodbye Picasso may not be next year's Jollyship (11/1's The Book of Aylene), and Eric March and Jared Weiss aren't as endearing as [title of show] (11/17's Songs About Real Life), but they're in the progress of getting their act together, thanks to A.N.T. Fest's act. Why should we need to make sense of the white-guy dancing, intentionally awful jokes, and political commentary of 10/20's Just Jump!? As is pretty clear from shows with titles like Pirates and Ninjas, Dial 'P' For Pasties, and Outre Island, now's as good as any a time to jump. Ars Nova isn't reinventing the wheel (The Brick has been doing eclectic festivals for years now), but with their beautiful space, excellent liquor selection, and comfortable seats, they're driving in the right direction.