"ALIENS" COME IN PEACE OFF-BROADWAY
As the year has just barely begun to roll out, it seems as if 29 year old budding playwright Annie Baker has already claimed it as her own! With her first play, Body Awareness, premiering at Atlantic Theatre Company, June 2008, and her second, Circle Mirror Transformation, debuting at Playwrights Horizon, October 2009, Baker opens her 2010 year with The Aliens; previews beginning April 14th at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (224 Waverly Place). With a hopeful April 22nd opening date, Aliens, starring Michael Chernus (American Slingo), Dane DeHann (End Days), and Eric Gahn (Percussionist), is scheduled to run through to March 23.
The Aliens, directed by Sam Gold (Rag and Bone), who previously collaborated with Baker on Body Awareness, is a play which centers on two of Baker's life long obsessions, Stillness and Silence. While the details of this play have yet to be released, its simple plot, centering around the jabbering of two young men, is able, with it's assuming endless possibilities, to raise a few eyebrows. Conscience of the fact that Baker has fixated her fascination of immobility of her two Vermontonians, the humor can only be imagined given the situations that may occur while these two characters, sitting outside a coffee shop, raving about music and Bukowski (a 20th century American writer), spy an innocent, moping young lad that just happens to cross their path. Quite amusingly enough are these two characters interactions with each other, in what is described by some as a "play with music and 'shrooms," but to add on to the scene a depressed boy who our two musical hippies decide to take under their wing, is pure comical genius in the making. Picture this: Two angry gentleman, who, at any given moment, break out into song and dance, decide that they are fit enough to take on the responsibility of teaching another human being the meaning to life. Peculiar? Bear in mind also, that these characters are not your typical southern minimalist that you would see in a Carson McCullers short story; old men smoking tobacco in wooden pipes, wreaking of sweat and booze, their skin weathered and tanned from the blistering rays of the sun, undoubtedly sitting on their front porch in hand made rocking chairs, silent and speaking only when necessary. No, these men are young, by which standard alone they are ill fit to be guiding a young man through life. As inexperienced as their pupil, the blind seem to be leading the blind. Baker, an NYU graduate from Tisch School of the Arts, has taken a cliche from the South and made it relative for her generation. A direction which not only leaves us, the "to be" audience, in suspense, but will undoubtedly lead us into a night littered with unpredictable situations and unforeseen events. A place where anything can happen.
The Aliens is a finalist for the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and will open at Rattlestick Playwright Theatre (located between West 11th St. and Perry St.) on April 22nd, 2010 at 7pm. Performance schedule is as follows: Monday at 8pm, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $45 and can purchased through Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or on www.smarttix.com.
Andrew Lieberman (Sets)
Bobby Tilley (Costumes)
Tyler Mycelou (Lights)
Bart Fasbender (Sound)
Eugenia Furnaux-Arends (Props)