Thursday, November 17, 2016

Next on the BAM Next Wave: Faye Driscoll says thanks

Brandon Washington (left) and Alicia Ohs
dance in Faye Driscoll's Thank You For Coming: Play
Below: Sean Donovan
(photos: Maria Baranova)

It's not every day I get a last-minute email that says don't reveal this or that about the show you're about to see and review; we want this to be a surprise. But I got one the afternoon before Faye Driscoll's New York premiere of Thank You for Coming: Play at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), and I'm completely up for being in on the fun.

No, I wouldn't spoil it. But I'll go Driscoll one better. There's very little I'll reveal about this Next Wave show, short of showing you some photos here that will give you just the slightest hint of the delirious and endearing thrift-shop aesthetics of the thing. Think a bunch of untamed k(ids) with access to costumes like these, uncanny exposure to Kabuki and a passion for storytelling who somehow have sprung from Driscoll's head. Driscoll, herself, is on hand to kind of show us how the springing-from-head thing happens. Dancers Sean Donovan, Alicia Ohs, Paul Singh, Laurel Snyder and Brandon Washington work their butts off while also working their way into our hearts. Dancing, vocalizing and making complete asses of themselves, they are an ensemble to be treasured and long remembered.

Play is the second part of Driscoll's Thank You For Coming trilogy and my first experience of it. I enjoyed watching a structure that made the most of physical space, visual variety, theatrical artifice and excess, and extremes of polarities (even within an individual performer) before tamping down and tapering all of those things like a decorative fan displayed, madly flapped and then finally folded.

Go see it. Driscoll made it with you in mind. And that's all I'm sayin'.

Choreography/text: Driscoll in collaboration with the performers
Sound: Bobby McElver
Musical direction: Bobby McElver and Sean Donovan
Original compositions: Sean Donovan, Bobby McElver and Faye Driscoll
Vocal arrangement: Sean Donovan
Lyrics: Faye Driscoll
Additional lyrics: Sean Donovan

Thank You for Coming: Play runs one hour/15 minutes without intermission and continues through Saturday with performances at 7:30pm. For information and tickets, click here.

BAM Fisher/Fishman Space
321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn

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