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picture - A Mysterious WayTheater Review

by Cindy Pierre

published June 12, 2009

 

A Mysterious Way

now playing at the J/M downtown subway platform at Chambers Street

and the C uptown subway platform at 81 Street

through June 21

 

If you've ever ridden the NYC subway, chances are you've come across people peddling their art.  Whether it's spoken word artists, break dancers, acappella singing groups or violinists, you're seldom left alone with your thoughts.  While the premise of Steven Walters' A Mysterious Way may make it more of a day-nightmare than a daydream, it also creates an entertaining drama that's worth missing a few trains for.

 

Using the cacophony of the passing trains as the backdrop for the show, A Mysterious Way (after the homily “God works in mysterious ways”) tells the story of two would-be passengers engaging in large talk while waiting for two different trains.  Kane (Christopher Domig), wearing a backpack and a beard befitting a lumberjack, is antsy and glibly racist to Gordon's (Jared Houseman) serene and  thoughtful Christian.  The frayed conversations, made so by Domig's improvisations when interacting with real commuters and by the awkwardness of two very different people, wax and wane in intensity as Gordon discovers that this chance meeting will be a test of his faith. 

 

Although standing or sitting on blankets for 40 minutes will be a test of your patience, A Mysterious Way is a bold, sometimes politically-incorrect drama that lulls you with a sense of humor, but then frightens you when you see where it's going.  Given the challenges associated with performing a site-specific without a solid fourth wall and the hubbub of passersby and trains, Domig and Houseman marvel you with their professionalism and passion.  Thanks to Steven Day's strong direction, the structure of the play is discernible despite the odds.  With a playing area that alternates between 81st street and Chambers Street, there may be two ways to get to A Mysterious Way, but only one way to end up: impressed.

 

cindypierre @ stageandcinema.com

 

A Mysterious Way performs

Thursday - Friday @ J/M train downtown platform at Chambers (8:00 p.m.)
Saturday - Sunday @ C train uptown platform at 81st. (8:00 p.m. Saturday / 2:00 p.m. Sunday)

running time 40 minutes

admission is FREE (except for the price of entering the subway)

 

 
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