Friday, June 13, 2008

Standing Clear: Your Theatrical MetroCard to All Things Subway

Standing Clear, a new play by Coffee Cup theater company, takes you on a subway ride without the commuter torment of the N or W line. But even if you take a cab to the theater, beware - you'll be met with a barrage of wackadoo subway staples that are the human grid of New York City public transportation.

Written by performers Ishah Janssen-Faith and Jack McGowan and created with input from the entire cast, Standing Clear is an ode to the daily here-to-there grind. You'll identify with hapless subway sheep as they are surrounded by freaks, weirdos, arguing lovers and clueless tourists. The subway shenanigans shift from poignant to horrifying to humorous smoother than the trains run, largely due to the talents of an able cast playing a diverse array of characters.

Melinda Ferraraccio, with her sharp tongued strength, plays full tilt. Becca Hackett has a real girl presence so sweet it makes you wonder if she's even acting. Jack McGowan ably juggles cute boy and fed up husband among others, and Ishah Janssen-Faith is spot on as a talks-too-much butt-in-ski that we just want to shush, and then shames you with her palpable loneliness. But it is Ben Holbrook's perfect portrayal of a not-all-there subway dude with a heroic streak that steals your heart.

While the plots and pace occasionally veer off track, it is nicely directed by Barbara Karger. The real fun of the show is the nodding laughter of recognition that bonds the audience, met as we are with clueless iPod blasters and cramped crowd choreography. Commute on down to the Access Theater at 380 Bway at White Street before Standing Clear closes on June 21, for a show we can all relate to. Tickets are $20 or $15 for students.

Bonus: There will be a talk back on June 16 at 7pm with Hollaback NYC and Girls for Gender Equity at $30 a ticket.


oc hometheater said...

i guess i have seen this play and it was so freakin genius .

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