Friday, January 14, 2011

Doused and Deconstructed

Rouner and Ryan in Tom Ryan Thinks He's James Mason...

How I am growing to embrace weird downtown experimental theater. I quite liked Tom Ryan Thinks He's James Mason Starring in a Movie By Nicholas Ray in which a Man’s Illness Provides an Escape from the Pain, Pressure and Loneliness of Trying to be the Ultimate American Father, Only to Drive Him Further Into the More Thrilling Though Possibly Lonelier Roles of Addict and Misunderstood Visionary -- whew! -- which has a milk-drenching scene (above) that brought back memories of the tomato-juice-dousing scene in Elizabeth Marvel's Hedda Gabler. Not only are these great ways to illustrate power struggles, but they're also lots of fun to watch.

The back of the one-page program thanks a list of folks for providing financial support to the production, from director Daniel Fish and starring Thomas Jay Ryan and Christina Rouner. I was heartened to see so many theater artists contributing to the development of weird experimental theater. Among the names: Michael Cerveris, Kathleen Chalfant, Jesse Berger, Colleen Werthmann, David Zinn, Linus Roache, Moises Kaufman, David Herskovits, Emily Mann, Henry Stram, to name a few.