Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cold As Ice

The Ice Factory Festival is the last chance for New Yorkers to see a show at the Ohio Theatre before it sadly closes its doors on August 31. For those looking to cool off and drawn to the title Ice Factory, it should be noted that the performance I attended of Hater (the third of six plays presented) last night was a little too warm for comfort, but paper fans were provided on every seat. Ice could apply, however, to the characters in the play, a new translation of Moliere's The Misanthrope by Samuel Buggeln.

Though the play still takes place in 17th-century Paris, the language is modern and the names have been updated. Alex (Nick Dillenburg) hates everyone and everything except Celine (Zoƫ Winters), even though she represents the qualities (phoniness, backstabbing) he despises most in society. He is jealous of her many suitors, but blind to the other women who are in love with him.

Strobe lights by Dans Maree Sheehan and choreography by Robin Carrigan (backed by Subvader's beats) suggest a club-like atmosphere in between scenes, but they don't aid the storytelling process and feel extraneous.

The cast as a whole is capable, but only a few performances stand out. Aysan Celik as Celine's frenemy Alison and Noah Weisberg as Alex's friend Phil excel in the humor department--her with facial expressions and him with physicality. It is Merritt Wever in the smaller role of Celine's cousin Liane that impresses the most. She is the most natural on stage and brings a needed humanity to the play.

Hater plays nightly at 7 through July 24.
Photo credit: Krissie Fullerton

No comments: