There is a plethora of new work being produced in New York City, and you'll run into some pretty bad shows, but it's wonderful when you find a true gem in the midst. While I have not yet seen The Elephant in Every Room I Enter (it opens tonight), I have a good feeling that this is one of those precious stones among the pebbles. Why? Well, for one, I know this director and Kel Haney is one to watch. She is precise, detailed; she has amazing vision, drive and, most importantly, creativity. Then check out this actor. Gardiner Comfort (what a name, right?) has an extensive background in drama, movement, and now creating his own pieces. But besides the talented team working on the show (which could make even a bad show at least palatable), the topic, the text (which Haney and Comfort collaborated on), and style seem well-developed and unique:
"Using an erratic and energetic performance style, and evocative details of his week attending the Tourette Syndrome Association National Conference in Washington, DC, Gardiner Comfort shares his life as an actor with this neurological disorder and discovers, for the first time in his life, how he can be himself."
This is a topic I haven't yet seen in theater, and what a perfect place to embrace being the "elephant in every room." So yes, this is a personal story and yes, this is a solo performance show, but from what I've seen, and if I know the way Kel Haney directs, this will be a show to keep you on your toes. If you're in the New York area and want to check it out, it's running at La Mama October 15-31. And even if you're not, you can check out the video below--Comfort performs an excerpt of the piece on the subway. And if that's not theater in New York...
Share your thoughts: Have you been to a new work in your area recently that caught your attention? How effective do you find solo performances versus a dialogue-based show? How do you find dance and movement to complement a non-musical script?