Although she performs only by herself, Sarah Jones creates a shining sense of community in her new Broadway show that is sorely lacking in many other multi-character plays.
A poet, playwright and leading advocate of hip hop theater, 32-year-old Sarah Jones had the Off-Broadway hit of 2003 when “Bridge & Tunnel” played the Culture Project in a production produced by Meryl Streep.
Now at the Helen Hayes Theatre for a two-month engagement, the play seems less at home in midtown than it did in the East Village. However, it does provide the opportunity for a more mainstream audience to discover Ms. Jones’ work.
In her 90-minute show, she portrays about a dozen immigrants participating in a poetry slam in Queens such as an elderly Jewish woman, a young Vietnamese man, and a young Jamaican woman. After each monologue, she finds a new jacket and jumps into a new personality.
Whereas the majority of one-person shows recreate famous figures like Mark Twain or Golda Meir, Sarah Jones sets out to understand and connect with those around her. It is this shared, powerful feeling of spirituality that makes “Bridge & Tunnel” a must-see play for anyone who cares about new theater or contemporary society.
Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th Street, 212-239-6200, $26.25-86.25. Tues 7pm, Wed-Fri 8pm, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 3 & 7pm. Through March 12.
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.