THE WOOSTER GROUP
The Performing Garage
33 Wooster St. between Grand & Broome Sts.
October 28 - November 21, $25-$50
The Wooster Group is doing something a little different as it kicks off its trilogy of works by Harold Pinter. The SoHo-based troupe is performing what it’s calling “advance showings” of Pinter’s first play, the 1957 “comedy of menace” The Room. The short run of the short play (less than an hour) is really a three-week sneak peek at a work-in-progress, before the show goes to Los Angeles February 4-14, after which it will return home for its official New York City opening. The Room, which examines communication, language, and the concept of home in existential ways, will be followed by A Kind of Alaska and a work adapted from Pinter’s 2005 Nobel Prize lecture. For The Room, founding member and director Elizabeth LeCompte has turned to the Chinese comedic form known as xiansheng, or crosstalk, as the actors wear earphones that are playing the dialogue from a xiansheng performance being shown on several monitors scattered around the theater, to encourage a specific flow and nuance to dialogue and movement. “We have often gravitated toward Asian theater because its style encompasses all forms of the arts and has an architecture that isn’t located in a naturalistic place. Music, dance, and text are integrated into the storytelling and play equal parts in the final art form,” the group explains. “We are always trying to find new ways to tell stories, and putting ‘crosstalk’ into conversation with Pinter’s text takes us in new directions.” The cast of The Room features Ari Fliakos as Mr. Kidd and Mr. Sands, Philip Moore as Riley, Scott Renderer as Bert Hudd, Suzzy Roche as Mrs. Sands, and Kate Valk as Rose, with lighting by Jennifer Tipton and Ryan Seelig, sound, video, and projections by Max Bernstein, and original music by Omar Zubair.