What I Saw In New York

I just came home from a New York trip, if by “just” you mean “several weeks ago” and then you rewrite the sentence so it works grammatically.

I saw some terrific shows, then came home and realized I’d more or less duplicated the itinerary of Monica Byrne. I saw:

  • Cymbeline by Fiasco Theater at Barrow Street Theater. Loved the stripped-down aesthetics, the doubling and tripling of characters, the acting, the music, the whole thing. You walked away thinking Cymbeline must be considered Shakespeare’s best play.
  • The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O’Neill by the Neo-Futurists. I’m a huge fan of the Neo-Futurists (and even wrote a ten-minute play called “A Futurist Supersaga in Six Acts” a while back), but this one went from being hilarious to played out (and then back to hilarious at the very end). Probably the greatest five-minute play ever, but a little thin for a whole evening.
  • The Submission by Jeff Talbott at MCC Theater. Great acting; a little predictable storyline. Going for the whole “shock the liberals” thing that Clybourne Park tried to do.
  • The Lyons by Nicky Silver at Vineyard Theatre. Nicky Silver is one of my main influences, usually listed first whenever I have to fill out an artistic statement. Kind of can’t believe I got to see a world premiere of his. Sold out. Extended. Oh, and it’s so good.
  • Sleep No More by Punchdrunk. An immersive theater event that’s one of my favorite experiences ever. One of those shows you remember ten years later. I kind of wish I could move into the “hotel” they created. Or at least that I could go back every few weeks for the next year. This slide gives a tiny idea of what it was like: the audience is in masks and is free to follow any of the characters as they make their way from room to room. Amazing.

I also visited the library at New Dramatists, where I got to see original scripts by many of their past and present resident playwrights. Which is a huge thrill for a theater geek such as myself.