Monday, February 16, 2009

"A Personality in the East Village"

I'm interested in seeing Edgar Oliver's one-man show, “East 10th Street: Self Portrait With Empty House.” It's playing at the Axis Theater, 1 Sheridan Square, in the West Village. Here are some passages from Ben Brantley's review in the Times today:

Mr. Oliver is a poet, playwright, performance artist and actor. But above all, he is a Personality, with a capital P, a type celebrated in England as an Eccentric and in middle America as a Character. It’s not easy being a Personality in the East Village, where the willfully weird abound (or did once, anyway) and where Mr. Oliver has lived since the late 1970s. It requires an exaggerated consistency of character and style, which should seep from every pore.

In “East 10th Street,” which runs through Feb. 28 in a judiciously austere production directed by Randy Sharp, Mr. Oliver uses this sensibility to evoke his years as a tenant in an S.R.O. boarding house on Tompkins Square Park, into which he moved, fresh from Paris, in 1977, when he was 21, paying $16 a week for rent.

“East 10th Street,” which was staged in November, has developed a cult following. It’s easy to see why. Mr. Oliver depicts and embodies a bohemian, low-rent New York that scarcely exists anymore. It’s hard to imagine anyone like him, with a similar set of stories, coming out of the gentrified East Village of the early 21st century.

Let mw know if you've seen it...

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