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Pete Simpson and Ben Williams as Gregor and Alesh

Pete Simpson and Ben Williams as Gregor and Alesh

Grimly Handsome, a Modernist work that marks the longevity of the form on the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” the Armory Show of Modern Art, and Edmund Husserl’s Ideas, is a play in three acts. In part 1 we meet Alesh (Ben Williams) and Gregor (Pete Simpson), two Christmas tree lot attendants who appear to be salesmen, woodsmen, and gangsters all at once. Natalia (Jenny Seastone Stern) is a customer who is strangely compelled to shop for trees at Alesh and Gregor’s stand.

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Haley and Morton and The Cube

Julia Jarcho’s new play Dreamless Land is, in fact, all a dream. The action starts when a young woman, Haley, enters the performance space clutching a teddy bear to her chest. Around the stage sit three people: an older man, an older woman, and a young man. She nods to them in turn, and they beep like off-duty automatons from The Stepford Wives or Blade Runner. The young man seems to resist her, so she nods at him forcefully once more. He beeps again, takes a propeller beany out of the wooden box on which he sits, and puts it on his head. Haley takes a seat upstage and watches as the three perform a family drama whose theme is fracture, dislocation, and fear. Father appears to be an alcoholic abuser. Mother is emotionally distant. And Morton, their son, escapes into technology, nebulously defined as a glowing, translucent cube inside a larger transparent plexiglass cube that sits in the center of the stage.

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