The Public went on an email blast binge last night. I think there were four - upcoming at Joe's Pub, upcoming theatre at Joe's Pub, Emergence-SEE!, and New Work Now. All between 10:30pm and 1am. Freaks.
It was all overwhelming at bedtime, but this morning I went through the New Work Now email and found a couple readings of interest. (Back to my No Work That Engages Issues of Race or Thorny Geo-political Conflicts rule, none are part of the Arab/Israeli Festival.) At 10:45 this morning, 45 minutes after the box office opened, I called up to get my tickets. The lovely recorded lady told me my wait time would be fifteen minutes. After it somehow jumped to nineteen, things went according to plan and I got through a few minutes after 11:00.
Shit, I'm thinking. Everyone saw that Ethan Hawke is directing one of these and there are going to be *no* tickets left by the time I get through.
"Hi, Public Theater. Thank you for waiting," says the very nice non-recorded guy who eventually picked up.
"Hi, I'm calling about tickets for New Work Now."
Of course, it had come out sounding like 'Newark Now,' so I understand his confusion. "The free readings series?"
"Um... is that something at Joe's Pub? Sorry, things are crazy here - they basically pulled me out of a broom closet to help, what with the New York Times review this morning and everything."
First, the Public has so many articulate helpful people to spare that they're keeping them in broom closets? Second, you mean the Wrecks review? This one?? I mean, yes, glad I can get tickets to my readings, but WHAT?!! Let's take a read. Ben Brantley, what do you have to say about this play?
"The whole raison d’être of this slender, prickly tease of a monologue ... is a last-minute revelation meant to induce gasps of both shock and admiration for its having been built so neatly."
"For the most part, the classical parallels do not cut deep in "Wrecks" ... The literary precedents that come most pointedly to mind aren’t Sophocles and Euripides but W. Somerset Maugham and O. Henry, old-fashioned writers of riddles of short stories in which pieces gradually click into a completed picture that whispers, "Gotcha!""
"It leaves you with the feeling that what you have witnessed is as acrid and about as substantial as the threads of smoke that trail from Carr’s cigarettes."
"Ultimately, what the sum of these clues adds up to isn’t so much a complex psychological portrait as just another confirmation of Mr. LaBute’s suspicion that every righteous man has his dirty secret."
And that gets the phones ringing off the hook? Oh, wait:
"WITH: Ed Harris (Edward Carr)."
Whores, all of you.
[Update: Here's what David Cote (of NY1 and Time Out NY in addition to his very enjoyable blog) has to say: "I very much enjoyed Ed Harris in Neil LaBute's Wrecks, even though the 70-minute monologue did make me want to gouge out my eyeballs (that's a hint, for anyone who's heard about this dreary trifle)." Emphasis mine. Interesting use of 'even though' his.]
I know no one cares, because Ed Harris isn't starring in any of them, but these are the readings I'm seeing:
THINGS WE WANT
By Jonathan Marc Sherman
Directed by Ethan Hawke
A lovelorn cooking-school dropout returns home to the family apartment. When his older brother leaves for a business trip, his middle brother tries to fix things the only way he knows how. A year later, his older brother tries to fix things somewhat differently.
Monday, October 23rd at 8:30pm
By Itamar Moses
Directed by Oskar Eustis
Colorado Supermax is the most secure prison in the United States. When Latin Kings leader Luis Felipe is transferred there, civil liberties attorney Maze Carroll attacks his sentence as unconstitutional. But Felipe and his new neighbors - Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, and Ramzi Yousef - have other ideas about how to use her assistance.
Thursday, November 2nd at 8:30pm
The first one I'm seeing just from the blurb - "lovelorn cooking-school dropout" just piques my interest for some reason - and I've read the second - I'm curious to see where it is now, and I just really like Itamar's writing. The full list of readings can be found here.