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  •  REVIEW: DRIP

    Drip

    A slight "Drip"

    The physical comedy of "Drip" hints at talents yet to be revealed among the members of the Attic People company, but doesn't display them to best effect.

    By FRANK EPISALE
    Offoffoff.com

    While Attic People's publicity material states that they seek to "cut across cultural and linguistic barriers to reach a diverse international audience," their aesthetic and their tour dates are relentlessly euro-centric. That they claim to be cross-cultural while limiting their definition of culture to the West is evidence not only of this group's somewhat inflated opinion of themselves, but also of their outdated view of what constitutes "innovative" physical theater.

      
    DRIP
    Cast: Tatjana Bogucz, Max Dana, Kieran Fay, Kristi Hughes, Guila Innocenti, Emily Parks, Thomas Zeuggin.
     SCHEDULE
    Cherry Lane Theatre
    38 Commerce St., off 7th Ave. So.
    Aug. 8-24, 2003

    There's no disputing that these are skilled performers. "Drip" is a tightly synchronized, athletic display of craft drawing from traditional Commedia dell'Arte, clown and mime work — exactly the kind of polished storytelling techniques to be expected from graduates of the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. This craft in itself is probably enough to sustain the shorter works on which the company has focused in the past but, even at a modest 75 minutes, it's not enough to sustain a full-length narrative.

    The story of "Drip" is as follows. The people of Cracker Valley are holding their annual water conservation contest. The water usage of each apartment will be monitored and the lowest per-person consumption wins a front-page story in the local newspaper. One building is determined to win, led by patriarch Karl (Thomas Zeuggin). One resident agrees to wash her hair only with milk, another not to shower, others not to drink tea. All is going well until the quiet new neighbor, Ben (Max Dana), starts taking baths. These baths are his retreat, an underwater fantasyland where some of the production's most inventive and funny scenes take place. Ben, it seems, is in love with Karl's daughter, Lisa (Tatjana Bogucz), an ingnue who speaks no English and seems less enthusiastic than the others about the contest. The bathtub scenes become more and more elaborate until they are full-fledged dream-ballets between Max and Lisa.

    When the other residents realize Max is ruining their chances of winning the contest, they plead, bribe, threaten and eventually imprison him. Much wacky violence ensues until a fable-like ending causes a flood of biblical proportions and record-breaking amounts of water are wasted.

    There are quite a few chuckles, and a few "wow" moments, but it doesn't add up to much. Attic People are clearly serious about pursuing this mode of theater and are still a relatively new company. There's enough talent and dedication here to give hope that future productions might be stronger. If you're looking to be blown away now, though, skip this one and just sign up for their mailing list. They're worth keeping an eye on, but they're not where they need to be just yet.

    AUGUST 19, 2003
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Drip:

  • Eurocentric by chance, not choice   from Attic People, Aug 20, 2003
  • Re: Eurocentric by chance, not choice   from frank episale, Aug 20, 2003

  • Post a comment on "Drip"