Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for May 2010
BY Brandon Voss
May 04 2010 1:00 PM ET
If you’re into golden showers, shirtless leather daddies, and huge rubber dildos slapping across your face, cancel your Manhunt profile and see 666, an action-packed romp by Yllana, a Spanish comedy troupe, at off-Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre. A hit at last summer’s New York Fringe Festival, 666 isn’t gay per se, but it is set in a men’s prison, where three horny criminals and one innocent fool find themselves on death row. Milking laughs from botched executions and audience harassment, a slapstick-y series of scatological vignettes dredges the most depraved depths of pantomime and commedia dell’arte. If you’re a prude — a used condom is squeezed out onto the stage — or think prison rape is no joke, this show isn’t for you. Its aggressive vulgarity could grow tiresome for anyone, but the talented quartet’s physical comedy skills are arresting.
If you go to the Ontological-Hysteric Theater at St. Mark’s Church to see The Really Big Once, Target Margin’s experimental celebration of director Elia Kazan’s collaboration with Tennessee Williams on Camino Real, here’s one really big piece of advice: Google the hell out of the legendary 1953 Broadway fiasco beforehand or risk getting lost. Through May 8, the spirits of these artistic soul mates are summoned through the dramaturgical excavation of letters, memoirs, notebooks, script notes, and interviews, much unpublished and all in disarray, dangling from the ceiling or stuck to the walls. It’s a muddled, frustrating mess with the cross-dressing cast often speaking simultaneously and switching roles, but that somehow feels appropriate. If Williams couldn’t give Kazan the clarity he requested in Camino Real, why should we expect that courtesy here?