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Flash Review 2, 10-2:
Sending up the Genre at P.S. 122
By Ursula Eagly
Copyright 2000 Ursula Eagly
Irony is easiest to swallow
when it's good-humored instead of jaded and world-weary. The powerful
literary device was in good hands this weekend at P.S. 122's Avant-Garde-Arama-Thon
-- a variety show hosted by the New Wondertwins that both poked
fun at and reveled in its genre. The buxom blonde Rebecca Finnegan
and catsuited Susan Blackwell hammed it up with a savvy style that
was part 1950s musical, part Sally Struthers infomercial, and part
Ed Sullivan. For their more demanding musical numbers, the twins
called out an adorable trio of Star Trek-suited men called the Sparklevision
Dancers. To the tunes of the Sparklevision Orchestra, the group
served up Busby Berkeley dance numbers, punctuated with cries of
"Call 1-800-AVANTGA! Operators are standing by!"
Saturday's show featured
six performers, from rock stars to tap dancers to actors. The Wondertwins
had viewers guzzling Budweiser from the Arama-Thon bar and, most
importantly, kept people from taking art too seriously.
Sharp, returning from a stint opening for Duran Duran, charmed the
house with her beautiful voice and painfully adorable stage presence.
Her lyrics included great rock 'n' roll metaphors ("Yesterday is
behind me like a loaded gun"). Her 1999 album "A Cheap and Evil
Girl" is available on Trauma Records.
There were acts that
were more what one would expect from a P.S. 122 evening. Self-described
digi-theater artist Galinsky (see the
artist's web site) performed an excerpt from "The Bench," an
evening-length, one-person show that will run at The Red Room on
85 East 4th Street in October and November. Saturday's sneak preview
consisted of conversations between homeless men. In a mesmerizing
feat of acting, Galinsky used distinct voices and mannerisms for
Another excellent solo
excerpt was performed by Antonio Sacre, whose "Eleven Dollar Prophet"
will be published in November in the anthology "Plays from the New
York International Fringe Festival." Accompanied by guitar and organ
music, Sacre raised questions about his Catholic upbringing and
led his audience through a logic-bending interpretation of the Bible.
Sacre argued that he was God by drawing parallels between the performer's
position in the theater and God's position in the universe. Although
he goes on to debunk this claim in the evening-length piece, his
pleas to "Practice awareness right here, now!" are advice well-taken
in the theater as in life.
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