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.

Monday, March 02, 2009

FRIGID: Jet of Blood or the Ball of Glass

Reviewed by Amanda Halkiotis

This short piece has the heart of emerging, push-the-envelope theater but none of the follow-through. The actors are just as surprised by their antics as the audience, and with no one in control, the whole evening is a surreal example of the blind leading the blind. The minimal, monosyllabic script — which revolves around a young man whose quest for love is blocked by his lover’s parents — should provide clarity, but is so abstracted that there is little substance. The emotional original music by Nat Osborn and Dustin Carlson seems the most thought out, but the onstage synthesizer overshadows the actors. The costumes don’t help to set the scene: they mix the pastoral and futuristic, from floral cotton aprons to a cardboard bra shaped like gallon milk jugs (not to mention sequined mini-dresses and black sunglasses). Because the central theme is so abstract, these contradictions are just further examples of over-the-top and disorganized chaos. Similarly, the gratuitous profanity and overt sexuality burdens the performance instead of moving it along. The best part of the evening is Simon Gunner’s campy yet stylistic choreography, weaving in and out of the piece at just the right moments to break the tension and dismiss any confusion through laughter. Other than that, however, this is avant-garde theater at its worst.

Jet of Blood or the Ball of Glass (50 minutes; no intermission)
Under St. Marks (94 Saint Mark's Place)
Tickets ( $11
Performances: Saturday 3/7 11:30pm and Sunday 3/8 7:00pm


Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that this play is by infamous French theorist (and father of Theatre of Cruetly) Antonin Artaud and was written in the 1920s. You completely fail to mention this fact in your review. This is tantamount to reviewing a Shakespeare play without mentioning the bard and saying it is old-fashioned and hard to understand. Or like viewing a Picasso painting and, again without reference to the creator, saying it was too blue and noses don't belong there.

For a theatre critic not to know who Artaud is, and to make no mention of his influence, in a review of Jet of Blood is a huge error and does great disservice to the company that is presenting the historical piece.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. A basic comprehension of Artaud's theories of performance, which can be found in The Theatre and its Double, you would think is fundamental when reviewing an Artaudian piece. Obviously someone didn't do their homework...