This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

12Jun/12

TITLE AND DEED

Conor Lovett asks the audience to join him on an unusual but rewarding journey in Will Eno’s TITLE AND DEED (photo by Joan Marcus)

The Pershing Square Signature Center
The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
480 West 42nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 17, $25
212-244-7529
www.signaturetheatre.org

Written specifically for actor Conor Lovett, Will Eno’s Title and Deed is an endearingly existential foray into language, communication, and humanity’s deep-seated need to be part of a greater whole. In a stunningly understated solo performance, Lovett stars as a soft-spoken man who has just arrived in America, either from another country or a different planet. Speaking directly to the audience, the unnamed character has trouble finishing sentences, and he allows his mind to wander away on the sound and meaning of words, gets caught up in tangential soliloquys, or just plain loses his train of thought. He bandies about ideas and then watches them float away as he mutters under his breath or mumbles asides that are not nearly as random as they might first appear. For seventy minutes, Lovett shuffles across the nearly bare stage on a journey to find a new home, and he welcomes — actually, a better word might be “needs” or even “requires” — the audience to help him find it. Award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright Eno (Middletown, Oh, the Humanity and other exclamations) has crafted an offbeat, involving little slice of theater that is heavily inspired by Beckett, primarily Waiting for Godot, and directed by Lovett’s wife, Judy Hegarty Lovett; the Lovetts have previously collaborated on such productions as Molloy, First Love, and, not surprisingly, The Beckett Trilogy. Running in the Signature’s cozy Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre through June 17, Title and Deed will have you taking a trip through your own mind, with plenty of strange yet calming detours.