The off-Broadway show “Tales from the Tunnel,” playing at Bleecker Street Theatre, takes all of our simultaneously shared and unique experiences of riding the smelly, humid rails of the MTA and compiles them into a 90-minute play. With a vibrant cast of six that brings dozens of characters to life, this new production jumps between those riders rich and poor, young and old, new-age and old-fashioned. Of course, some tales are familiar — we all know that musician who thinks he has a good voice — but what makes “Tales from the Tunnel” refreshing is the power of the acting from the performers.
The stories range from a lonely girl waiting for a train that will never come (Carla Corvo) to train riders who saw the planes crash into the Twin Towers on 9/11 (Farah Bala). Both witty and sorrowful, “Tales from the Tunnel” is as meshed together as the 4/5 line during rush hour — and accurately reflects the head-on collisions that often happen between riders between stops.