(There’s still time to see it–Andy Webster’s review appeared in the New York Times, August 8, 2009.)
Bohemians: Endangered but Not Extinct
As the Lower East Side is steadily swallowed by Midtown, are there really any ’60s-style radical bohemians still to be found there? So “The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side” would have you believe. The play, written and directed by Derek Ahonen and rendered with brassy verve by the troupe the Amoralists, has been deservedly extended at Performance Space 122, and what a long, shaggy but exhilarating three-act (and nearly three-hour) ride it is.
It kicks off in a bravura frenzy: On a sweltering day, in a bric-a-brac-strewn apartment above a vegan restaurant, the hot-tempered Wyatt (Matthew Pilieci) and the loquacious Billy (James Kautz) are having a blazing argument over a missing lottery ticket. They are joined by their roommates, the former lawyer Dear (Sarah Lemp), copper-haired, grounded and direct, who works with Wyatt downstairs; and the flighty, teenage Dawn (Mandy Nicole Moore), who sings on the streets for money.
Billy — a boozy recovering drug addict who sporadically publishes a revolutionary periodical and talks of heading to Mexico to join an insurrection — soon has a visitor: his brother, Evan (Nick Lawson), an impudent college conservative from Iowa mortified at this tribe’s ambisexual practices, startlingly apparent in an effective nude sequence. (No one under 17 is being admitted to the production.) Evan receives lectures from everyone extolling the group-love ethos of this ramshackle collective — at times the streams of dialogue approach screwball velocity — with Dawn’s proving the most persuasive.
See video at the Amoralists Web site: http://www.theamoralists.com/
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