In a small stage on First Avenue, in the wake of chaos, an "Open Rehearsal" is born. The play, written by Lazarre Seymour Simckes, embodies a different kind of theater, one that leaves much to interpretation and imagination. Simckes describes the work as “...a screwball comedy rooted in the absurd tradition that harks back to Greek tragedy; a form of therapy, of healing confrontation...” The show is a “play within a play,” making what’s true and what’s false sometimes uncertain. Throughout the 90-minute production, actors rush in from the audience, assume others’ identities, and begin to completely take on the identities of their characters in the play.
"Open Rehearsal" commences with a quirky, dysfunctional family attempting to put on a play that their grandmother has written. Through a series of comedic mishaps, the family comes to realize that their endeavor is turning into quite a daunting task. After the rehearsal is constantly interrupted by lighting assistants (who later become love interests of the main character), a zany props manager, and fights amongst eccentric family members and understudies who do not exist in the script, the play finishes with an impromptu finale that veers slightly from the script. The concept of family rings prevalent throughout the entire production, making it easy to relate to for the audience. The show ends with the characters’ proclamation, “To family and you!”
Although there were times I was a little thrown off by the plot, if you’re looking for a quirky and offbeat production, "Open Rehearsal" is an enjoyable farce for $12. The show runs through February 5th at Theater for the New City, located at 155 First Avenue. "Open Rehearsal" runs Thursday through Saturday starting at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at
www.theaterforthenewcity.net or at the door.
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