Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for October 2010
BY Brandon Voss
October 19 2010 9:10 AM ET
Edward Albee squanders a great idea — a variation on a theme he better explored in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Play About the Baby — in Me, Myself & I, his 30th play, which runs through October 31 at Playwrights Horizons. An extra-blowsy Elizabeth Ashley stars as Mother, who can’t tell apart her identical twin sons, Zachary Booth as cruel OTTO and Preston Sadleir as gentler otto. Then OTTO, who also acts as the play’s proscenium-leaning narrator and teases the fact that many identical twins are gay, declares that otto doesn’t exist and that his new twin is his mirror image. Oh, brother! Though the play raises lofty questions about identity, individuality, and the split between reality and perception, Albee’s wordplay gets tedious, the audience interaction feels desperate, and the lack of evidence to disprove otto’s existence is a disappointment.
Subway fares may be rising again, but your bitterness is bound to fade at In Transit, a brisk, crowd-pleasing a cappella chamber musical that screeches to a halt October 30 at 59E59 Theaters. A wise beat-boxing panhandler helps to connect a ragtag group of subterranean commuters like a struggling actress, a broke ex-broker, and a lonely single gal who eats too much pie. Unlike the recent underground tribute Tales from the Tunnel, In Transit shines some daylight on the action, mainly using the subway as a metaphor for getting to a better place in life. With standout numbers “Four Days Home” and “Choosing Not to Know,” appealing young tenor Tommar Wilson stars as an African-American gay man who hides his true self on a stressful trip home to Texas and then heartbreakingly contemplates coming out to his religious mom when she visits him in New York.