They saved the best for "Loft"
"Timsloft" is a variety show within a party, celebrating some of the most inspired theater, comedy, music, dance, video and art that New York's alternative arts community has to offer.
By JOSHUA TANZER
"Timsloft" is no longer actually in Tim's loft, but it's a tradition that has continued Timlessly since 1993. Once a season, the Zena Group showcases a variety show of daring short plays, comedy skits, video, dance, music and art that Ed Sullivan could never have imagined. With a stage crew capable of changing sets within seconds, the evening zips right along from one segment to the next virtually all of them smartly written and fresh.
This fall's installment brings together 11 plays and dances under the umbrella title, borrowed from Charles Bukowski, "Love Is a Dog From Hell." My favorite, and probably the most straightforward of the bunch, was the hilarious "Samuel Beckett Radio Hour," written and performed by Mort Midler. Beckett sits at a radio microphone in maybe the 1930s, spinning tunes and informing Dubliners about the pointlessness of existence.
|Includes individual plays: Josh Liveright, Mort Midler, Gian Carlo Menotti, Victor Verhaghe, Rob A. Wilson, Jason Furlani, Chris Noke, Peter Blomquist, Paul Smithyman, Elizabeth Scales Rheinfrank|
Cast: Kelly Deadmon, Jeff Wiens, Peter Blomquist, Mort MIlder, Victor Verhaghe, Charlotte Cohn Williams, Jason Williams, Mary Micari, Bill McHugh, Nora Brown, Chris Noke, Lindsay Forsythe, Michael Rattray, Leah Squires, Christine Suarez, Peter Blomquist, Paul Smithyman, Orlando S. Columbus, Trisha Parks, Tommy Cheng.
Choreography by: Christine Suarez.
Music by: John Carlin, Newton Schwartz.
Video by: Bill Cusick, Peter Blomquist.
Artwork by: Jane McNeil, Michael Norkin, Tommy Cheng.
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Some other, and somewhat stranger, standouts include:
"Larry's Head," which, appropriately for Halloween week, show what happens when a couple gets lost in the dark woods and the man finds himself haunted by a spookily Freudian ghost who moans woefully whenever the man's girlfriend asks if he loves her. (It's written by "Timsloft" organizer Josh Liveright, who, for those of you who thought it was Tim, is the guy pictured above.)
Victor Verhaghe's "Caleb and Morther" is a would-be Shakespearean scene lustily performed by the author and Mary Micari, consisting entirely of ribald gibberish. The overacted but clearly discernible spirit of Shakespeare is there, and yet the language ranges from random staccato to lines that sound nasty but you're not sure why.
And Chris Noke comes up with an unexpected oddity in which he loftily acts along with a vintage LP called "Co-Star with Vincent Price." You can just imagine.
Next time "Timsloft" comes around (in January 2002), the lineup will be completely different but it's a good bet that you'll see a cross-section of the most inspired stuff that off-off-Broadway has to offer. And it doesn't just start and end there actually, the show itself is just the middle third of a party with free drinks and everything, in which the audience members are invited to mingle with one another and with the cast. So the whole evening is really a celebration of creativity, performance, and the people who make alternative theater in New York possible the people on stage, the people backstage, and those of us in the audience. What a great, great idea.
|NOVEMBER 3, 2001|
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