Pipe dreams: The Amoralists return

pipers1The happiest surprise of the season so far, for me, was The Amoralists' production of writer-director Derek Ahonen's The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side, which I reviewed here in June. So I am happy to report that the show, which closed on June 27, has just announced that it will return to P.S. 122 from July 30 through August 17. You can buy tickets here for just $25—one of the best deals in town.

Based on photos and descriptions of the play, I went to it expecting something of a goofy comedy about modern hippies; instead, I found a serious, dramatically ambitious piece of work, acted to the hilt by an intensely committed young company. (That ardor is physically manifested, at one point, in a memorable nude scene.) Ahonen takes on issues of politics, sex and class with commendable bravery, without violating or condescending to his characters' senses of themselves; and if at times the acting can seem a overly forceful, you then remember that the characters are almost all crazy, high or both.

After reviewing such an unknown quantity so positively, you sometimes wonder whether others will share your enthusiasm. So I was pleased that two of my most trusted critical colleagues, the Post's Elisabeth Vincentelli and TONY's own Helen Shaw, saw the show on my recommendation and liked it a lot. (Vincentelli wrote about it here.) I am still curious to learn what my other TONY cohort, David Cote, will think of it—and what you will think of it as well. So do us both a favor, and check out this exciting modern-day Hair piece.