Theatre on Fire’s ‘Party Time’ invites you into a stranger’s home — literally

By the time the actual play begins, a sense of comfort and community has been established.
By the time the actual play begins, a sense of comfort and community has been established.

Home invasion isn’t a crime when the perpetrator is Theatre on Fire. The local theater troupe is making themselves right at home in a number of area residences for their unusual new production of Harold Pinterʼs “Party Time.”

Walking into a strangerʼs house to see a play may initially seem awkward but, true to its name, this theatrical experience is an actual party — complete with wine, snacks and a room full of people engaging in cocktail chatter. By the time the actual play begins, enough of a sense of comfort and community has been established that the impending voyeurism feels more like playful sport than objectification.

The guests at Pinterʼs party are a group of vapid, uptight society folks who are so deeply involved in their narcissistic existence as “haves” that they’re blind to the plight of the “have nots” right outside the front door. As sirens and seeming political unrest unfold within ear shot, the group gasps at the fate of Dame Melissa (Ann Carpenter) whose driver got stopped at a roadblock.

Feel free to laugh at their clueless, jaw-clenching existence, because Pinterʼs dark moment comes at the end of the play when you finally find out why Dusty (Kiki Samko) keeps asking about her brother Jimmy.

Itʼs uncomfortably comical when Douglas, a senatorial-like WASP with an eery resemblance to the current Secretary of State, proclaims, “We want peace, and weʼre going to get it!” in a tone that belies just a hint of knowledge of the issues at hand. Itʼs even funnier when his blonde, Stepford-like wife proclaims, “I canʼt believe how happy I feel,” with the conviction of a certain type of heavily medicated, middle-aged woman of privilege.

Nothing in particular happens at this party — it’s the subtext in the banality of the nothingness that is screaming to be read — but it packs a powerful punch that will make you feel good about not being part of this particular in-crowd.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…