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      Gone Missing
    Missed America

    "Gone Missing" is a wry musical based on real people's stories of stuff they've lost, from jewelry to corpses.


    The Civilians, the very talented troupe that brought us "Canard, Canard Goose?" and "The Ladies," returns with "Gone Missing," a musical look at lost objects and what they mean to us.

    The text of this performance comes from interviews with actual people who've discussed things they have lost and how they've coped with the loss. The actors portray over 30 characters, from a retired cop (who talks about finding corpses in various states of decomposition) to a woman who lost a black Gucci pump at PS 122 (or so she thinks) to three women who've lost rings with great sentimental value to an older invalid woman who claims she's lost all that she's had to people who were supposed to help her.

    Company: The Civilians.
    Directed by: Steven Cosson.
    Cast: Damian Baldet, Maria Dizzia, Michael Esper, Trey Lyford, Jennifer R. Morris, Alison Weller.
    Choreography by: Jim Augustine.
    Music by: Michael Friedman.
    Sound design by: Ken Travis.
    Set design by: Takeshi Kata.
    Costumes by: Sarah Beers.
    Musicians: Andy Boroson (piano), Richard Huntley (drums), Ernie Adzentovich (bass).

    Related links: Official site
    Belt Theater
    336 West 37th St. btw. 8th and 9th St.
    Oct. 9 - Nov. 2, 2003

    The set is minimal — just some lights on a bare stage — and the actors, clad in modern-looking dark-colored suits and ties, fill the space with abstract dance moves that pepper their monologues. The stories are involving and often rather funny, especially the three stories of people who lost three things — namely a dog, a cell phone and a sock doll named "Sniffle" — and found them again, with varying results. The actors speak in various accurate accents and the songs are witty with inventive melodies.

    Punctuating the show is a radio interview with a certain Dr. Paulinarus, a European intellectual and author of a book called "Losers Weepers: A Cultural History of Nostalgia" — he talks about Atlantis, Freud and the testes of the eel while the interviewer finishes his sentences for him in a hilarious manner.

    "Gone Missing" is charmingly intelligent as it fuses the documentary with the musical, resulting in a show that is highly original and very entertaining. While watching the show, you may find yourself reflecting on something that you may have lost and wishing the Civilians had included your story in this show.

    OCTOBER 18, 2003

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