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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

NY Fringe Festival 2009: I Will Follow

Reviewed by Cindy Pierre

Do you think you’re obsessed with—ahem, “adoring of”—a band? Think again. Barri Tsavaris's ode to Bono and U2, I Will Follow (the title track from U2's 1980 album), will make you seem like a shallow fan. Based on a true story, this fun, well-crafted and well-executed production is a homage to “Bono-god”(yes, he's a deity here) that showcases the cast's penchant for comedy. With a crazy amount of pep, Tsavaris chronicles her love affair with the Irish band from the moment Bono's “voice seed was planted” in her head in 1992 through current times. Backed by the talented John Keabler and Melissa Center (who play a smorgasbord of characters), Tsavaris forgoes commitment to religion, relationships, and work to stay loyal to her pursuit of Bono-ness.

From R. Allen Babcock's album-covered walls to Barbara Serbes' comprehensive choreography, I Will Follow manages to capture 20 years of serious devotion. Under Steve Wargo's strong direction, the actors are able to convey a child-like glee that stays with you until the curtain falls, even if Jamie Roderick's lighting sometimes keeps their faces in shadows. The only hiccups in Tsavaris's strong voice are the segue into 9/11 and the show's running time: the falling towers are like an anvil dropped in an enjoyable boat ride, and unless you're a die-hard U2 fan, the ninety minutes of gushing are at least 30 minutes too long. But even if you find yourself straying, Tsavaris’s passion for U2 is magnetic and compass-like: that is, it’s easy to follow.

I Will Follow (Running time: 90 minutes)
The Actors” Playhouse (100 Seventh Avenue South btwn Grove and Bleecker Streets)
Tickets: $15.
Saturday 8/22 @ 12pm, Friday 8/28 @ 5:15pm

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