According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Ark, by Matt Windman

Note: Following its opening last Monday night, the new musical “The Ark” at 37 Arts unexpectedly closed on Sunday, November 20.

This Off-Broadway musical would work best as cheesy Sunday school entertainment for children at a bible-themed amusement park. Compared to other flawed Noah musicals like “Children of Eden” and “Two by Two,” "The Ark" easily manages to seem the lesser of the three. Michael McLean and Kevin Kelly’s songs are non-dramatic, corny, and ineffective. Here is a sample lyric: “I hate the rain, it’s driving me insane.”

The audience is addressed by the cast as if we are the animals onboard the ark. The first minute of the show has a delightful, captivating quality as Adrian Zmed recognizes us. But as soon as the music begins to blast and the hollow one-liners fire at us, the ship begins to leak and keeps on sinking.

The show’s religious ideology is so sentimental that it becomes a burden; Noah’s troublesome child, for example, breaks down crying at his father’s feet upon accepting God. The set looks as if it came out of Disney World’s Frontier Land, the lighting is harsh, and the costumes are of a Halloween party quality. And though the eight-person ensemble cast is talented, this ark cannot last 40 days and 40 nights.

37 Arts Theatre, 450 West 37th Street, 212-307-4100, $66.25. Fri 8pm, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 2 & 7pm.

No comments: