The Playgoer: Another NYTW "Postponement"

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another NYTW "Postponement"

You'd think that--almost a year to the day after the "Rachel Corrie" fracas began--New York Theatre Workshop would think twice about using the word "postponed." And so far, clearly an indefinite postponement.

Originally scheduled for this March was the play "24 Hours Are Not a Day" by German playwright-director Rene Pollesch. I had not heard of Pollesch, but some quick Googling has revealed him to be an artist of the moment in Berlin, and someone you'd certainly expect to be on NYTW head Jim Nicola's radar. He's known for tackling issues of globalization and corporate capitalism in a very abstract Handke-like style, where text is dispersed among actors, not structured into characters and plot.

Well for some unannounced reason, NYTW has made clear it is "postponed" and currently replaced by a one-man show by and with John Fugelsang called "All the Wrong Reasons: A True Story of Neo-Nazis, Drug Smuggling and Undying Love." According to Variety:

"Reasons," which ranges from Malawi to Bangkok to Hollywood to Brooklyn, follows an ex-nun who marries a former Franciscan brother and has a child.
Tale may sound ambitious for Fugelsang, a comedian who has hosted "America's Funniest Home Videos."

Indeed. But, then again, may be easier to sell to said piece than an abstract ensemble multi-media German exploration of globalized capitalism by a writer unknown in the States. Or is it that it would be lower overhead?

Rampant speculation, I admit. So let's hope NYTW--for the sake of their own pr!--clarifies soon just what the problem was.

Meanwhile, Variety reminds us that Fugelsang has more in his toolkit than laughing at toddling toddlers.
But he's also appeared on shows with a political bent, including "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" and "The ACLU Freedom Files."

So political theatre is certainly not dead at NYTW.

PS: The complete text for Pollesch's "24 Hours" was published in Yale's "Theater" journal in their 2005 Issue 1. Not available online, but you can check it out if you have access to the hard copies.

Hat tip: Mr Excitement.


Anonymous said...

"24 Hours..." is a good piece, but an odd choice for a proscenium theater. Needs a more flexible theater or performance environment.

Anonymous said...

well you know, anonymous wrote all the shakespearestuff, he's kind of oldfashioned