Albee's Zoo Story
Carte Blanche stages classic Edward Albee Drama
Two men. One Park Bench. One winding conversation. Well over one half a decade ago, the local Bialystock And Bloom Theatre Company closed its doors with a solidly memorable production of Edward Albee's Zoo Story. Jason Economus and William Clifford played a couple of guys on a particularly eventful conversation in the park. The original plan was to have the two alternate roles. Opening night the actors would chose their roles at random and they'd alternate performances from there. Kind of an interesting idea that didn't quite go through, but that production of Albee's Zoo Story remains memorable . . . in a strange coincidence, The Actors Group (also defunct) staged a production of the play that also opened in April of 2006. Since then, this wholly remarkable play hasn't seen much if any local stage time. It's been half a dozen years. It's time to revisit the drama.
It was announced on Tuesday that Carte Blanche Studios will be staging a production of Zoo Story next week. Directed by John Baiocchi, the staging features Rick Fresca and Alexander D. Van Abel. The show runs July 27th - August 4th at Cart Blanche's space on 1024 South 5th Street. Fridays and Saturdays July 27 and, 28, and August 3 and 4, at 8:00 PM and Sunday August 5 at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $12.00. To reserve tickets in advance, call 414 688-7313.
The clever thing about it is that the script could be played in countless different ways without betraying the text in anyway. It's very subjective stuff and it is very, very unlikely that any two productions is going to be very similar beyond the words and the park bench itself. In the B&B production, Economus was very animate in the role of Jerry--the gregarious aggressor who begins the conversation. In the Joshua Parkes lacked the crazy sense of danger the Economus brought to the stage. Parkes played the character pretty sinister throughout, making for less of an emotionally dynamic range, but as the play itself is essentially one long dialogue, it never had a chance to get dull. Parkes had a military precision about him in the role that made for an interesting counterpoint to Economus.
How will Frecksa and Van Abel tackle the drama? I'd love to find out. I'd also love to have heard about this show prior to having booked myself for three other shows next week. Such is the case with this sort of thing. . . smmer has a tendency of making strange things scurry across the stage at weird intervals.