Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You're Safe and Sound Now Back In Good Old 1955

Who hasn't watched an old television show or movie and thought how much simpler life would be in those times? For the characters in Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons, the appeal of living in a different time is not that life was easier, but more complicated. Not only were there no modern conveniences like Internet, cell phones, and takeout, there was also less tolerance.

Married couple Katha (Marin Ireland) and Ryu (Peter Kim) don't know how to enjoy life again after her miscarriage. Katha is so depressed that she decides to quit her job. That day, she meets a stranger in the park who looks like he walked out of the 1950s. It turns out his name is Dean (Trent Dawson) and he lives in a community that lives life as in 1955 (always the same year). This idea appeals to Katha who convinces Ryu to move there for a six-month trial period, even if it means giving up his job as a plastic surgeon to pack boxes.

Harrison could flesh out the characters further as sometimes their motivations are confusing. It turns out that Dean is gay and he chooses to be married to a woman rather than be out in his own time. Katha encourages the community to be more intolerant of them as a mixed race couple so that their experience can be more authentic. It is distancing to not understand the characters, but it is also fascinating to consider their psychology. I have often daydreamed about going back in time, and the play has given me a lot to think about.


Regular run: November 19-December 23
Tues 7, Wed-Fri at 8, Sat at 2:30 & 8, Sun at 2:30 & 7:30
Additional Monday evening perfs Nov 21, Dec 5, and Dec 19

Order by November 30 and use the code VINEGR
$40 (reg. $70) for all performances Nov. 19-27
$50 (reg. $70) for all other performances Nov. 29-Dec. 23

Click here to order online or call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 Noon to 8PM daily
In Person: Ticket Central Box Office, 416 W. 42nd Street between 9th & 10th Avenues

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