I also saw The Tenth Floor, written by my friend J. Sebastian Fabal. He wrote the music for King of Ghosts. I discovered that Cory Pattak, a designer/actor I did a lot of work with in college, was the lighting designer. I actually think that the set and lighting design was one of the highlights of the show. It’s about a prisoner in solitary, and they used some hand held lights to designate the cell as well as a number of different looks. He quite simply used what had to be a very simple plot (think festival!!) and made a number of very strikingly different looks.
I thought there were a number of very beautiful songs. But I was not completely compelled by the story. The plot device was these two “ghosts” of previous inhabitants of the cell, and a number of other amorphous cast members. But I never really understood what they were or what they wanted. The four other ghosts seemed to be little more than the background dance party. If anything, they detracted from the meat of the piece with some frankly pretty silly dance numbers. The two “lead ghosts” wanted something that didn’t really seem to make sense, and it is from that place that the plot develops. The development was relatively lukewarm. It also didn’t seem that the songs did much to actually move the plot along. There was also a very unsatisfying plot development with the prisoner’s mother. I will say that all in all the cast was pretty talented, though miscast I felt in a few instances. Overall all I can say is though there were enjoyable moments, for 90 minutes it felt long.
The last show I saw was Tony Asaro’s Our Country. It is about a gay Country music star’s coming out in the tabloids. I want to say first and foremost that Tony wrote some absolutely beautiful ballads. “Honestly” I could see being covered by a recording artist. The best thing I can say about the show without question if Jeremy Pasha. You can’t take your eyes off of him. He’s always doing something interesting. Now that fact can also be a bit of a flaw. Justin Utley, who plays Tommy Daudry, the singer who fall from grace for being gay, does a good job singing the songs, but doesn’t have the real depth to give the real magnetism that a character like his would need. The structure seemed a little uneven to me. The songs came at odd intervals, and some lasted for too long. The truth is they were all good, they just didn’t flow as well as they could have. It meant that the story took a long time to get going. Truthfully I thought a little more was going to happen, and was a little surprised that it ended when it did. Some of the directing choices surprised me a bit and took me out of it. I was also a little confused about the set. I understand it was simple, but they were posters of boys in leather bars. I ask was that the kind of gay man Tommy Daudry was? I suppose it could have been, but I would have wanted something a little more in the text to suggest that. As I have always said, the one-person show is one of the hardest mediums. I think that this show is well on its way to being a great story.
So there are my 2010 NYMF reviews. Hopefully next year I’ll be DOING something in it!