Other Forces: In brief
The Incubator Arts Project joins in the avalanche of January festivals with this smaller celebration of innovative work. Among the offerings this year are Eliza Bent and Dave Malloy's Blue Wizard/Black Wizard; Laryssa Husiak's Billie Jean King tribute, She Is King; and Joseph Keckler's I Am an Opera.
Other Forces: Theater reviews by Helen Shaw
Take a breath, everybody! You can finally look at the week ahead without asking yourself whether the subway plus full-out running can get you from show A to show B. (HopStop: the unofficial sponsor of my festival season.) January performance nuttiness is lingeringly drawing to a close, though even with Under the Radar, Coil and American Realness mostly finished, there's a suspiciously large amount of contemporary theater-dance still out there to see. The orgy has an afterglow.
At Incubator Arts Project, the Other Forces festival has a week to go, and there are clever experiments afoot, such as Alexandra Collier's Take Me Home, which takes place for microaudiences in a taxi. But if she and her cohorts are thinking out of the box, may I suggest that they think rather more carefully about what's in the box? Specifically, Collier's script ignores just enough of actual taxi driving (our hero is irritated by a man he has picked up—against staggering odds—twice) to nullify some of the advantages they've gained. It's fun to see the high jinks they've managed to stage all over lower Manhattan, but I still felt rather…taken for a ride.
Instead, you should see the marvelously enjoyable She Is King, Laryssa Husiak's tribute to tennis legend Billie Jean King. Husiak performs verbatim selections from three of King's televised interviews—we get to run the full gamut of Billie Jean glasses from late-'70s pale plastic to those convex pseudo-aviators people fell for in the '80s. King's responsiveness and eloquence on tennis, on the eventual revelation of an affair, on sexuality, on race and class will make you sob for the quality of sports conversation now. But you'll keep your chin up, thanks to Husiak's indomitable cheeriness and the unbelievably adorable “ball kids,” a batch of ten-year-olds who man the live-feed cameras.—Theater review by Helen Shaw