Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Off-Broadway: In the Summer Pavilion

Early on, the bare stage of Pavilion
evokes a more primal style;
later, it's simply dull & barren
(photo: Gerry Goodstein)
In the Summer Pavilion
Workshop Theater Company at 59E59
written by Paul David Young
directed by Kathy Gail MacGowan
October 17, 2012

An earnest, dull drama about the sundering of a youthful menage a trois. A frisky bacchanal in the titular gazebo segues to an ominous void, from which the protagonist―a melodramatically moody Princetonian―will visit his potential futures. This first “act” of the 75-minute drama has a primal sense of mystery that weirdly echoes late Greek drama like Oedipus at Colonus. But the show doesn't follow through on its initial prophetic promise. Instead, Pavilion cuts together a montage of the trio, ten years on, in permutations of coupledom and solitude. The performers show some green talent; the director and designers adroitly define a new setting every ten minutes. But the script's scenarios are limited to the near-utopian reality of the 1%. No matter how happy or un- they are, these kids will become international art dealers and high financiers. In the worst case, our Ivy grad kicks heroin to join an all-American terrorist cell. It's a preposterous caricature of Occupy as Weathermen 2.0! The woman, for her part, always gets paired off with one man or the other―so much for the future of feminism. Finally, the play repeats its opening. But the scenes that were incantory now seem like an empty gesture at the cyclical nature of something or other.


In the Summer Pavilion plays at 59E59, closing on November 3. Tickets?


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