Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nostalgia: The Pain We Get For Going Home

"Gone Missing" at the Barrow Street Theatre, July 22, 2007

The Civilians present an evening of sketches, songs and scenes about people who have lost and found things in their lives, focusing on inanimate objects as opposed to friends and loved ones. The stories are based on actual interviews conducted by the company.

The style of the show is that brand of "edgy," fast-paced, semi-shock-value approach that could have descended into another downtown style ripoff, but there is a self-awareness at play that keeps the show from becoming too smug at its own cuteness. There are a couple of plotlines that run through show including a radio interview with a sociologist about memory and attachment and how they affect peoples' actions, and a woman who misplaced a Gucci pump. The songs are clever, from "The Only Thing Missing Is You" to "Hide & Seek" to "Ich Traumt Do Kamst An Mich" (I Dreamed You Came To Me - I think).

Takeshi Kata's black box set with an underwater backdrop gives an appropriate feeling of fluidity. Thomas Dunn's lighting gives a nod to "Spring Awakening" with a set of hanging bulbs that fly in for one number. Sarah Beers' grey suits provide a neutral palette for the various characters presented.

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