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.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fringe/Romeo and Toilet

Reviewed by Nicole C. Lee

What do you get when you take a classic Shakespearean tale, Romeo and Juliet, and mix it with Japanese interpretive dance and…a toilet? We’re never exactly sure in this 60-minute performance entitled Romeo and Toilet, presented by Kaimaku Pennant race. Written and directed by Yu Murai, six male actors engage in intense, physical actions that never seem to compliment or build a clear plot. While the names Romeo and Juliet are often thrown around, as well as some other lines in both English and Japanese, there is virtually no comprehensible speech or dialogue. In one scene, the characters engage in an intense argument that is little more than muffled speech because each man has a pacifier in his mouth. The performance relies heavily on choreography involving such stunts as imitating horseback riding with only the actors’ bodies. The music is perhaps the best part of the show. Featuring a mix of alternative rock ‘n’ roll and jazz, it is reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino film or a Japanese cartoon. And while the work put into the show and the physical demand on the performers is laudable, I doubt an even cursory knowledge of Japanese will illuminate this show for you.

FringeNYC 2009: Romeo and Toilet (60 minutes, no intermission)
HERE Arts Center – Mainstage Theater (145 6th Avenue)
Tickets: $15 (
Performances: concluded August 29

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