Friday, June 15, 2007

A Show and an Assault! Peculiar Happenings at Peculiar Works

I took the first tour of the first preview of Peculiar Works Project's OFF Stage: The east Village Fragments last night and witnessed an assault! Don't you love New York?

Took place during Birdbath (by Leonard Melfi, dir Kay Mitchell--my friend). I am not even sure exactly what happened. I was being a good little audience member and following the cart like I was told. They tell you at the start of the tour that you must follow a cart from scene to scene, and I guess I would have been a good Nazi or have drunk the kool-aid in Jonestown, becuase they SAID follow the cart, and I took them very LITERALLY!

Anyway, a homeless guy passed us as we were watching the scene and then I think after we were about 50 feet from him, someone jumped him and started beating him??? Not sure, but it was loud-- it may have been a security guard or police officer grabbing him. I couldn't see and was stubbornly trying to watch the performance. The group was confused for a moment as to whether or not the jumping was part of the show-- but the cart was definitely being wheeled AWAY from the assault in progress, so most of us followed it. When we were about 75 feet away, someone started yelling "Call 911!!!" Our actors kept going-- about half the tour group was watching the beating or whatever going on, and half of us were following the actors. I don't think anyone knew exactly what was going on. My friend Kara is in the Birdbath scene, so I especially refused to pay much attention to the assault or murder or arrest or whatever was happening, because I thought she would think it was rude (more evidence of my lack of moral fiber there, I guess).

By the time were at the end of the scene, a half dozen cops were on the scene at the other end of the block, police cars were there and an amublance was arriving. I asked some of the other group members what was going on as we were walking to the next scene, but no one seemed to know.

I think our cart got stolen at the next stop, Murder Cake (by Diane Di Prima, dir Lauren Keating). We didn't have a cart to follow to the next scene and I was very disturbed-- I was FIXATED on the carts (MUST FOLLOW CART-- no matter if people scream, desperately want you to call 911, or sirens are screaming all around you-- MUST FOLLOW CART). But, I got over it. We got a cart back at the next stop and I felt safe again.

Other highlights, a woman came out from the abandoned-looking building that the Futz (by Rochelle Owens, dir Jose Zayas) scene was performing in front of and started yelling at them to move their "practicing" elsewhere. They just went on with show, while she stood right beside them, arms folded, yelling at them to go away. Someone (director?) finallly went went up and tried to explain to her what was going on-- she just yelled "What? I don't CARE! Go away!" Finally she went back in the building and shut the door in a huff when the actors just ignored her. This was the FIRST tour-- so I've been wondering what happened when the other tour groups came through.

Huge kudos to crazy actors Moti Margolin and Eric C. Bailey, who stand outside wearing boxers and suspenders ALL NIGHT shouting obscene sex dialogue from Sam Shepard's The Rock Garden (dir Bryn Manion). I had to hide my face behind my program to hide the blushes as passerbys caught some of their graphics lines out of context-- I don't know how they do it. Ditto, underwear clad Liche Ariza and Jennifer Whitman (A Corner of the Morning by Paul Foster, dir Belinda Mello) and Catherine Porter and Nick Matthews (Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down by Tom Eyen, dir Mark Finley). And the whole cast of Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide (by Charles Ludlum, my soulmate, and dir Gabriel Shanks) I don't know what they are wearing-- but it ain't much.

Loved the passerby during The Mulberry Bush by Phoebe Wray, dir Casey McLain, who said "YEAH! Me too!" emphatically when one of the actresses said "I always wanted to fly" and just kept walking down the street.

Great Night. Hope that guy's not dead from the Birdbath scene, though. I am watching the Peculiar Works Blog to see if anyone posts with more information. That was crazy.

UPDATE: WOW! My friend Kay talked to the assaulter-- a creepy guy named Francois right before he jumped the homeless guy-- her story is on the Peculiar Works Blog.

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