Showing posts from September, 2016

Mechanics of Love

Mechanics of Love is a comedy by Dipika Guha, produced by To-By-For Productions. It’s about Glen, husband to Faizi and buddy to Georg, who marries Francesca. It seems that Glen has a condition – he forgets things. And he’s forgotten that he’s married to Faizi. We learn later that this isn’t his first bigamous blunder. “After the fourth wife, I got used to it,” Faizi tells Georg. But a poor memory doesn’t account for all the play’s romance. Faizi and Francesca fall in love, Georg and Francesca fall in love, Georg and Faizi fall in love… Okay, maybe it’s just lust sometimes, but in short, everyone falls for nearly everyone else, for no reason whatsoever. The mechanics of love, Ms. Guha is telling us, are the mechanics of anarchy. “What if this is all there is?” Francesca says, “No present. No past. No future.” And, for this playwright, no reasons. Everything in a drama happens for a reason, and that’s why this idea makes a promising premise. It suggests a type of absurdism. But a w

Take One

Take One is a musical presented by The Council of Nine as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. The conceit in Take One is that there were false starts to some noted projects. It’s composed of three vignettes. The first section, called The Ballad of God , takes inspiration from The Book of Genesis . At its opening, we meet God himself, who sings “I’m gonna make me a world – I’m gonna build me a heaven.” He creates Adam and Eve, who name the animals, but they never eat the apple. And Cain never kills Abel. Having failed in getting them to sin, God decides to start again. In the second section, The Ludovico Technique , we find Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. “Hour after hour,” he sings in the show’s best song, “I’m creating the power of vision.” He finds a lover in his assistant, Ludovico, but the half-white tones he uses on the ceiling fresco fail to please Pope Julius II. He’s ordered to start again. The final section, Intervention!

Zuccotti Park

Zuccotti Park opens with a man drumming on a plastic bin. This is a musical set in the turbulent milieu of Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park in New York City. The relationship at its core concerns Cooper and Kate, both from Rockwell City, Iowa. They haven’t seen each other since high school. She has a Master’s degree from NYU now and works with the Occupy protestors. He served in Afghanistan for eight years and is unsympathetic with the movement. They’ve agreed to meet again in New York. The story is about Cooper’s movement toward sympathy with the demonstrators. When a protestor sings “I see storm clouds over America,” Cooper responds “The storm of terrorism!” His conversion is gradual. “What if those Occupy folks are right?” he says as his conservatism wavers. His conversion is furthered at a job interview, when he’s told that the position has been filled and he should apply for a maintenance position. As a veteran, he responds, “I should be able to do a lot better than a jan