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.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Losing Something

Reviewed by Kristyn R Smith

There's one thing I can say with certainty about Losing Something. The excitement surrounding their use of a new video technology that creates "spectacular and convincing 3D moving images on a live stage," is legit. Not quite on par with the assertion that " its difficult to distinguish video from reality onstage," but still amazing nonetheless. Unfortunately, all this technology and spectacle, no matter how well employed, doesn't compensate for weakness in plot, character and direction.

Kevin Cunningham, credited as the writer, director, and designer, has invented a mess of a world. Our journey as observers is like that of the protagonist- asking questions and getting nowhere. The story played out in a nonlinear fashion is anything but clear and concise. Time and place are meaningless, all we ever know is that the events of the play happened in the past. But to even refer to events, is perhaps misleading. Nothing actually happens here. The suicide, art, drugs, and menage a trios are discussed ad nausea, but we see nothing. What we do see are characters who appear and disappear for no reason and speak in mysteriously awkward poses, whilst literally floating in space. I understand the lack of movement may be a result of the limitations in this new video technology, but what I can't figure out is why the actors are frozen in strange intertwined fetal positions.

Its truly a shame that its so impossible to be engaged in this story because there is some beautiful poetic prose and some interesting ideas. The questions of metaphysics make you think, at least for a moment. Sadly there's just no time to wonder, all focus is devoted to solving the puzzle of what's going on and hearing the dialogue. Its extremely difficult to hear anything with all the overlapping lines, video and sound effects. Not to mention technical difficulties resulting from the wireless mics, such as missed pickups and a ridiculous amount of thump, thud and rustle from the actors hitting the mics while the volume is up.

For all its faults, however, I'd still recommend theater professionals, particularly those on the tech side, see this show. It is without question a learning experience. As the theater world depends more on technology, the video component moves closer to the spotlight. Indeed, the most audience interest actually came after the show concluded. Collectively almost, we walked down to the edge of the stage and gazed at all the machines and smoke and mirrors that surround the playing area. Sure the story is confusing, but what I want to find out about is the video.
Losing Something is playing at
3LD Art and Technology Center
80 Greenwich Street (between Edgar and Rector)
Performances are Tuesday-Saturday at 8PM
Tickets are $30
Available by calling
212-352-3101 or 866-811-4111

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