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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dead City by Maria Perez-Martinez

Oftentimes, when you talk to a married man, he’ll tell you that the one thing he hates most about his wife is when she asks him, “What are you thinking?” Women seem to be just fascinated with knowing the every thought and dream of the ones we love. Why? Because we think and dream A LOT ourselves. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, then Dead City is a show you must see.

Following the character of Samantha (portrayed stunningly by Elizabeth Norment) throughout the course of one day, we get to see every single one of her thoughts as she grows and changes with every person she encounters. It is obvious from the beginning that Samantha is just one of those people who others never notice. One of those people who are practically invisible their entire lives. But as the play progresses she learns a lesson from one of the most unexpected places – a homely character by the name of Jewel.

Jewel is actually the first person you meet on stage. Played by April Matthis, Jewel seems very different from everyone else in this New York City based life. She is the poet. The outcast. And yet, Samantha understands Jewel’s language perfectly. They are two women lost in this maze that life has thrown at them and together, they learn from one another. Samantha learns that she actually exists (a defining moment for her) and Jewel learns that there are other people in the world besides herself. That there is someone out there who actually understands her.

From beginning to end, we watch as Samantha grows and changes throughout her day (it’s no coincidence that her last name Blossom). She becomes something entirely different from where she started and by the end, she makes herself known. A perfect touch added by the playwright at the finale, is having Samantha end up in the same place she started. But everyone has seen her mind, her thoughts, her past and her future. You almost never want the play to end just to see where she goes next. Dead City (aptly named) is a fantastic show with a superb, multi-talented (multi-roled) cast. A feast for the eyes and mind.

3LD Art and Technology Center
80 Greenwich Street, New York
Open until Saturday, June 24th, 2006

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