Thursday, March 17, 2011
"Play Dead," Todd Robbins and Teller, The Players Theatre, New York
The other night, I took my boyfriend out for a night of good, scary, compelling fun at Todd Robbins' and Teller's (of Penn and Teller) new production "Play Dead," on view now at The Players Theatre in New York City.
The production is difficult to describe in normal theater terms; it is kind of like a haunted house meets a 1950s ghost show meets a piss take on a Victorian séance meets a high-end Vegas magic show all staged on a David Lynch film set. The main presence in the production is side-show performer Todd Robbins; he has a wonderfully compelling presence, equal parts passionate story teller, confidence man, and emphatic and empathetic debunker of spiritualist trickery. The piece is a kind of fun yet thoughtful meditation on the mysteries of death, the history of historical monsters in their various forms, and the ways--compellingly demonstrated in the show--that death and loss still make us easy prey for "spiritualist" hucksters.
I don't want to say too much more, as so much of the fun of the production come from the element of surprise, but I will say this: I was seriously amazed; I was amused; and we are still talking about it. I very much recommend checking it out.
"Play Dead" is being staged at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, New York. You can find out more--and get tickets--by clicking here.
Full disclosure: I received free tickets from the Play Dead Production Company in exchange for reviewing this show. Lucky for me I really really enjoyed it! And so did my impartial boyfriend.
Image: From the Studio 360 website.