Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Ruby Washington

  • Opening Night:
    September 30, 2014
    October 4, 2014

    Theater: BAM Harvey Theater / 651 Fulton Street, New York, NY,


    Astronauts, Bolsheviks, and middle-American families mingle on a stage littered with lawn chairs, telephones, fur coats, and pistols in this collision of early-20th-century Moscow, midcentury Paris, and late-20th-century Houston. Big Dance Theater directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar sample fragments of iconic film scripts and novels, divorced from their narrative contexts, to create a kinetic collage of political rhetoric, pathos, paranoia, and suburban love. With a titular nod to the Hollywood pseudonym for directors who disavow their work after creative interference, Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature contemplates the slippery nature of creative control, history, its fictions, and the inextricable link between the personal and the historical.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature

    Mashing Mismatched Movies (and Fur Hats and Lawn Chairs) Into Drama

    Alexis Soloski

    October 1, 2014: Is there a movie marathon more unlikely than the ’80s weepie Terms of Endearment, followed by the ’70s noir Le Cercle Rouge and topped with the ’60s Euro-rhapsody Doctor Zhivago? Not all the popcorn and Raisinets in the world could justify a lineup like that. And yet in Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Big Dance Theater pulps these same three flicks into a patchwork of fur hats, lawn chairs, rotary telephones, cigarettes, handguns and torment. There’s little reason and less sense, but the piece is conceived and performed with wit and flair. And those fur hats are pretty nifty. “Alan Smithee” is the pseudonym the Directors Guild of America uses when one of its own is so dissatisfied with a film that he or she refuses credit. That’s clearly an in-joke between Big Dance’s long-married co-directors, the choreographer Annie-B Parson and the performer Paul Lazar. On a mostly bare stage, seven actors (Mr. Lazar among them) whirl and sweep, reciting lines from the various films and the books that inspired them. Promiscuously, the performers trade roles and sometimes several actors will play the same character in the same scene.



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