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  •  REVIEW: FUNBOX TIMES SQUARE

    Funbox Times Square

    Eat me!

    Bring your appetite, not your inhibitions, to the eating, drinking, moving, touching participatory theater experience that is "Funbox Times Square."

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    The difference between you and Alice is that you will be given a bag of goodies as you pop down the rabbit hole of "Funbox Times Square." What you'll find there is not theater as you've known it — it's a constantly moving and changing sensory and participatory experience in which colorfully decorated actors will flit among the crowd in an open performance space, sometimes reciting lines but often inviting you to stand up, lie down, make noise, say something, eat something, drink something, dance, play, touch.

      
    FUNBOX TIMES SQUARE
    Written and directed by: Mark Greenfield.
    Cast: Corey Carthey, Lamar Davenport, Tom Day, Josh Dibb, Don Downie, Emily Doubilet, Carrie DuBois, Brie Jonti Eley, Layna Fisher, Mark Frankos, Jenni Graham, Lisa Hargus, Susan Hyon, Cerris Morgan-Moyer, Brian Simons, Nakia Syvonne, Constance Tarbox, Mike Urdaneta, Ben Wilson, Jen Wineman.

    Related links: Official site
    The show, originally staged downtown at the Piano Store in 1999 as "Funbox 2000," is apparently ready for Broadway — the Broadway neighborhood, at least — in a new Times Square theater called 135. The show's creator, Mark Greenfield (also seen in God of Vengeance) says the new space is much bigger than the original Lower East Side venue, so the play has been transformed into a bigger experience, with rolling platforms and moving walls.

    If you were just to read the script, you would make yourself dizzy. It is a mosaic of found text and verse, much of it with a dry instruction-manual feel. The script hopscotches from section to section, from advice about gutting fish ("You will find inside the fish either the roe with its thousands of eggs or something that looks like the roe which is smoother and softer. This is the milt.") to lists of war tactics ("There are five ways of attacking with fire. The first is to burn soldiers; the second, to burn provisions . . .") to a Shakespearean sonnet. As a whole, it is meant to give impressions of a life from birth to death.

    Funbox Times Square  
    What you'll remember most from "Funbox" might be not the story that unfolds but the breakdown of the reflexive barriers between you and everyone else in the room. Everyone will take this differently — it's a perfect play for an extrovert who's ready to jump in and take part in actually making the show happen, but it's interesting in a completely different way for someone who values his personal space. When was the last time a stranger walked up and put food in your mouth? When was the last time you lay down on the floor with all the other kids for naptime?

    That's what I thought. Hell, New Yorkers don't even look at one another on the subway, but you're about to be asked to let down your boundaries and trust everyone around you in the basic activities of life. Like Alice, you don't know what will happen if you eat what's marked "Eat me" and drink what's marked "Drink me," but you'll be intrigued enough to try it and you won't emerge from this rabbit hole unchanged.

    FEBRUARY 8, 2001
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Funbox Times Square:

  • HEY   from HENRY"BONOBO"MILLER, Feb 17, 2001
  • In response to Bonobo's   from "Icing", Feb 19, 2001
  • FUN BOX !!!   from Brie Eley, Feb 21, 2001
  • my favorite show   from an audience member, Feb 26, 2001
  • Didn't get it.   from Vladimir, Apr 23, 2001
  • Re: Didn't get it.   from Funky Baby, May 21, 2001

  • Post a comment on "Funbox Times Square"