Hello Beautiful People,
This week, I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the invited dress for PLAY/DATE, an immersive piece of theater, a theatrical speed dating event. What exactly does this mean, you might ask? Allow me to explain..
Conceived as something akin to theatrical speed dating, PLAY/DATE includes works written by Joe Salvatore – whose play, III, received the Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Play from the New York International Fringe Festival and was subsequently published inBest American Short Plays 2008-2009 – and Catherine Lacey, whose debut novel will be published next year by FSG. They are joined by Upright Citizens Brigade alum Brian Godleski; New York University graduates Samantha Brahms, Emily Kaczmarek, Blake McCarty, Katie Issel Pitre and Sara Jo Wyllie; as well as Kelly Claunch, Matt Cleaver, Brett Maughan and Jamie Roach.
For the past year, every playwright has participated in a developmental process overseen by creator and producer Blake McCarty to refine his or her script. “It’s been very exciting, as a writer, to be involved throughout the production process,” says playwright Emily Kaczmarek. “As a writer, it’s totally different to be consulted and included so consistently.”
The twelve plays – performed three at a time in four separate rounds of matchmaking – are divided between four directors, including Daryl Embry, the creative coordinator for The Ride; and Laura Brandel, who most recently created movement for Barrow Street Theatre’s Hit the Wall. Embry is excited for “the spontaneity that is naturally going to happen in performance – this will never be the same show twice.” Daphnie Sicre and Victoria Flores complete the directing team overseeing eight actors across thirty-six different roles.
The actors populating those roles include Ilana Warner of Not About Eve; Trent Fucci, back from performing Malvolio in Allentown Shakespeare’s production of Twelfth Night; and Sharon Counts, who is currently directing Calloway’s Salon, a monthly cabaret show at The McKitrrick Hotel, home to Sleep No More. PLAY/DATE marks the New York debut of Cherliza Jimenez and Ryan Rickenbach opposite Laura Delhauer, John Del Vecchio and Salvador Garcia.
Rounding out this immersive production are DJ Rimix (Ri Marchessault), Lorne Lucree and Myles Mohler who will mix live music for each performance. Márion Talán provides costumes while Laura Been, Mary Heatwole and Esteban Rodriguez-Alverio manage the production.
It’s absolutely delightful.
Each of the twelve plays are touching, sweet, and horrifying, (and I mean that in the best way possible.) Romance, Dating, and New York City are things that unite the entire room, and you’ll find yourself commiserating with both the actors and your fellow audience members. When the most god-awful things happen, you start thinking of your own dating war stories – finding yourself nodding and thinking, “Yeah, I’ve been there too!”
As much as I laughed, there were tender moments, too. My favorite being the show, Little Honesties, by Matthew Cleaver. Directed by Daphnie Sicre and featuring Salvador Garcia, Cherliza Jimenez, and Ryan Rickenbach – I found the entire show to be funny, yet poignant. It will, without a doubt, make you smile, but Garcia will deliver a performance that hits you straight in the heart. It’s a truly beautiful love story.
PLAY/DATE runs 90 minutes and will be performed October 7,8,9,15 & 16 at 8pm at Penny Farthing (103 Third Avenue at 13th Street near the N/R/Q/4/5/6/L at Union Square). Tickets are only $20. Visit www.playdateshow.com for additional information.
See you at the show!
Live, Love, Learn,