|David Barlow. Photo: Carol Rosegg|
By Andy Bragen
Performed by David Barlow
Directed by Davis McCallum
The Play Company
at chashama, 210 East 43rd St., NYC
What's It All About?
Well, it's a bout an office, and memories, and father/son dynamics. Andy' Bragen writes a site-specific piece for The Play Company in a store-front office on East 43rd Street. David Barlow plays Bragen, trying to write in an office provided to him through a grant, when he discovers an old photograph. He realizes that the office used to be his father's and that he had visited when he was a young boy. The realization triggers memories and the strained, yet poignant relationship between the father and son is revealed. The audience begins in seats in the front office, then moves with Barlow to other rooms for the 85-minute presentation without intermission.
What Are the Highlights?
It is directed by Davis McCallum. He was the draw for me to see this show because I admired his work on the Pulitzer-Prize winning Water by the Spoonful at Hartford Stage and the very excellent The Whale at Playwrights Horizons.
What Are the Lowlights?
I am not a fan of interactive theater. Call me odd, but I want to go sit in a seat and watch, not have to wear a listening device and roll my little office chair around corners to keep up with the actor, or worse, have him come speak to me directly or wheel my chair around for me because I rolled in his way. The monologue seemed very long and rambling, and for the most part, was not engaging.
"I will get to the point very soon. I promise," he told us one point.
At times it was hard to tell whether Barlow was having trouble remembering where he was in the script or if the dialogue had been written that way to try to sound natural.
The show runs through Dec. 8. Tickets: $30-40 at playco.org or 866-811-4111; due to the intimate space, tickets are extremely limited. The not-for-profit chashama nurtures artists by transforming unused property into 'space to create'. This Is My Office received workshop productions at Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep in July 2010, and at Studio Roanoke in April 2011.
Christians might like to know:
-- Sexual dialogue
-- Lord's name taken in vain