Run/Remain at On the Boards, 217-9888.
Through Nov 18.
Once When I Was Lost is a multimedia exploration of theme and context involving film, live action, music, and dance--true. But this is only a watered-down and overly academic description; to convey what this production feels like is what's important, and that's something of a bitch. For that we need to get much more right-brained. So close your eyes and pretend that you are, say, a filmmaker. You are singular of mind, devoted; maybe even a little obsessed with your art. A young David Lynch type. Got it? Now imagine that after a challenging and satisfying day (arguing film theory at NYU, maybe), you walk 10 blocks in the rain to your four-story walk-up that smells like nag champa, kitty litter, and too much espresso. You choke down a fifth of Jack Daniel's, smoke some kick-ass Turkish hash, and pass out on the sofa listening to Nina Simone. The dream you are going to have? Well, that's exactly what Once When I Was Lost feels like.
Once is surreal, perplexing, and bohemian in a pleasant sort of way. It's quality art-house entertainment for the stylishly cerebral set: poets, writers, art-film lovers... that crowd. There are no characters, really; the players are called by their given names, and they don't "act" per se. They rehearse Auden and Chekhov, tell jokes, share personal stories, and even juggle in a relaxed and personable manner. More than anything, perhaps, Once has the feeling of an ultra-brainy variety show, or a spastic indie film that has curiously crossed over to the world of live theater.
There's something quietly charismatic about filmmaker/playwright Gregg Lachow; a Woody-Allen-meets-John-Malkovich quality. In Once, he's joined by his talented wife and son, Megan Murphy and Sam Lachow, and adorable young Maggie Brown and Sarah Harlett--strong talent that gives top-drawer, film-quality performances.
So, do I recommend this show? Well, that depends. What's your IQ, and how fond are you of Super 8 film?