Last weekend I was invited to see a performance of You on the Moors Now by Jaclyn Backhaus and produced by the Theatre Reconstruction Ensemble. I read that it was about 19th century literary heroins but knew nothing else. It was staged down at HERE Arts Center in SoHo. 

I like to think of You On the Moors as the straight-play version of Into the Woods, except with 19th century literary characters. Moors brought together characters from Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, and Pride & Prejudice to converse about their suiters and novels all at once. I think, at least. I’m not really familiar with any of these novels (except maybe Little Women but it’s been so long that I basically don’t remember the plot), so I felt a little lost the entire time. I didn’t understand the inside jokes relating to the novels.

This was no fault of the actors or the playwright, just mine for not be familiar with these books. The ensemble cast was fantastic and included Harlan Alford, Michael Barringer, Nathaniel Basch-Gould, Sam Corbin, Eben Hoffer, Lena Hudson, Emily Marro, Preston Martin, Anastasia Olowin, Jon Riddleberger, Kelly rogers, Claire Rothrock, Patrick Scheid, and Lauren Swan-Portras. Each played multiple roles easily and never missed a beat.

I enjoyed You on the Moors Now as much as I could, but I would say to review the plots to these novels before you go. And if you love these novels, go NOW (it plays through February 28th). 

More information can be found here

Colt Coeur’s “Dry Land”

Over two years ago I saw Colt Coeur’sRecall” at The Wild Project downtown. It was interesting premise (kids who get “recalled” for bad behavior and such) and I had high hopes for “Dry Land,” by Ruby Rae Spiegel.

Unfortunately Dry Land had no point. I’m still not even sure what it was really about. It focused on two high school girls on a swim team, one is pregnant and needs not to be, then she accuses the other girl of being in love with her, and then the other girl gets recruited for college, and the originally accusatory girl is upset. Sound incoherent? It was.

The cast including Sarah Mezzanotte, Tina Ivlev, Alice Kremelberg, Matthew Stadelmann, and Jim Ireland all gave it their best shots to make sense of the script.

I don’t like to be unfairly harsh on shows, but I really have no idea why this play was staged. If you like avant garde though, this might be for you.