Tuesday, February 19, 2008

'Looking Up' Risks Love Without a Net

For a unique bit of superb, twisted storytelling of high flying love between an engaging aerialist and a star-struck bartender, look toward Looking Up, playing until March 2nd at the Theater for the New City at 155 First Ave. Written and performed by the multitalented Carla Cantrelle, and featuring tantalizing trapeze acts, this fast-paced tumble of a theatrical dialogue explores the budding relationship between Wendy, a circus artist falling to earth, and Jack, a burnt out bartender in need of a lifeline.

Sure, this premise is ripe for corny metaphorical zingers, one liners and a kick of circus kitsch. But lucky for us playwright Cantrelle neatly balances the cutsie premise of love on the high wire with insightful commentary on the fears, foibles and downright pain inherent in budding love. With just the right dollop of cynicism, she doles out life observations available only to those whose job is risking death every day.

With a powerhouse performer with tricks up her sleeves such as Cantrelle, it takes a strong and steady leading man not to get tangled up in her nets. But Bryant Mason endears as the charming, conflicted bartender-with-a-heart-of-gold. So palpable is his vulnerable, love-without-a-net Lothario that we root for his risktaking and eventual climb to heights formerly unthinkable.

Kudos also go to the creative team, with top notch direction by Giovanna Sardelli. In a limited engagement, don't miss this intimate yet dynamo show with a unique twist-get tix at TheaterMania or by calling 212-352-3101.

1 comment:

Oscar said...

whew, u havent posted in a while, was getting worried there, welcome back, what other shows have you seen lately? Im trying to determine whether this played would be interesting to me as well.
keep up the good work