"Mono" is a theatrical nightclub scene which like a real nightclub scene with its numerous little comedies and idiocies takes place all around you and makes you a part of it.
By JOSHUA TANZER
(Originally reviewed at Surf Reality in 2002.)
Coming out of "Mono," a woman with an inexplicably
accusatory tone and apparently a daughter in the cast
asked me, "Can you tell me what that was all about?"
Well, I'm not the one with the family connection, but,
uh, sure. It's about anything and nothing. It's not
about what's said so much as the experience of being
|Written and directed by: Steven Tanenbaum.|
Cast: Lee Briggs, Kena Cuesta, Sera Demira, Gabriela Garcia, Yasu Ikeda, Lawrence Jansen, Tricia McAlpin, Nick Paglino, Kerri Tucker, Donan Whelan, Dai Ishiquro, Tara Pesce, Maya Macdonald.
Related links: Official site
410 West 42nd St. (btw. 9th & 10th Aves.)
Jan. 29 - June 26, 2004
And be in it you will. The play takes place in a
makeshift nightclub, with a real cocktail waitress
serving real drinks, and your seat is as much a part
of the scene as the ones where the actors are
scattered throughout the room. Be prepared. Somebody might
decide to talk to you, and you're meant to join in.
Just be yourself and don't count on out-cooling these
dozen or so club kids. From different parts of the room
come snappy little bon mots about sex and doomed
relationships and rejection and sex and show-biz careers
and psychological torment and sex and whether mom would approve of this.
And, of course, sex. What else would be on a bunch of twenty-something
There are the obviously cool kids like the
disdainfully superior girl at a back table who's
already dumped one guy and has to practically boff
another one in the chair right next to him for the message to sink
in. Then there are the uncool kids like the
speechless wallflower who shrinks in terror from guys
trying to chat her up but finds unlikely romance with
a cigarette-smoking, beret-wearing, French-accented, normally inanimate object.
And then there are those (representing, I imagine,
a large share of actual club kids) who have no idea they're not
cool. "Did you see the way she was coming on to me?"
enthuses a tall thin guy in leather pants who's living in
his own reality. "I thought
I was real suave about it. I think it's a sign. It's
like everybody automatically knows that tonight is my
The snippety dialogue eventually yields a few clues
to the characters' true identities and deeper selves,
but not many. Mostly, the play is about the experience
of having it go on around you. It's a staged parody of
actually being in a busy nightclub, where dozens of
things are happening at once, everybody is on the
make, everybody feels like one of the beautiful people
for a night, and snatches of conversation come from
every direction some funny, some inane.
If you spend the whole evening wondering what, on a
literal, dramatic level, is happening, you may walk
out of the theater accosting people at random to ask,
"Can you tell me what that was all about?" But if you
relax, maybe have a drink, do some people-watching and play
along, it's definitely good fun.
|JANUARY 14, 2003|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Reader comments on Mono:
Post a comment on "Mono"