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, March 04, 2009

FRIGID: End of the Trail

Reviewed by Cindy Pierre

If you really want to get to know someone using a fun, party-friendly tool, forget playing Truth or Dare. End of the Trail, by Kenny Neal Shults and Sean Owens, is a much more entertaining, exploratory and incredibly witty game. Written almost eight years ago by this pair of real-life friends, it's a shame that this gift wasn't bestowed upon the theatrical world sooner. When several predictions for Armageddon coincide on the same day and threaten to “reset” the earth, rather than cower under the table, Sean and Kenny spend their last few hours playing a dangerous game of truth, pain, and nostalgia. Going through emotional and mental landmines that would make a therapist shriek, the pair map out their lives from how they met to how they'd like to leave the earth with all the failed relationships in between.

Using great wordplay and chemistry, the two actors effortlessly engage the audience from beginning to end by encouraging them to think and laugh uproariously. From Cameron Eng's visually arresting “board” that resembles Monopoly on downers to Alexia Staniotes' foreboding “talky clock” (countdown to the apocalypse), the show is conceptually inventive and exciting. End of the Trail may denote the last moments of these characters' lives, but let's hope it's the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration between the writers behind them.

Frigid Festival: End of the Trail (60 min., no intermission)
The Red Room (85 East 4th Street, between 2nd Ave and Bowery)
Tickets: $15
Through March 6.

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