Reviewed by Wendy
Tracy Lett's Bug
is one bugged-out show. Filled with
varmints and crawling with vermin, it
is one of the best shows I have seen
As you enter the theater there is a wonderful advertisement in the ticket
office warning that the show contains nudity, violence and cigarette
smoking. And the show certainly contains a lot of nudity and violence,
but it is so fast paced the characters have little time to smoke until
the very end - but I don't want to give away too much too soon.
The eerie theme is launched in the beginning when we see the drugged-out
Agnes (the wonderful Shannon Cochran) standing in the doorway of a seedy
Oklahoma City motel, casually smoking a cigarette, listening to the trucks
whizzing by as an ignored phone rings in the background. She then leaves
the door wide open while she looks for something to drink in the bathroom. This
directorial choice is a great metaphor for the rest of the story, for
Agnes is always forgetting to "shut the door."
Soon her lesbian friend RC (the talented Amy Landecker) arrives with
Peter (the amazing Michael Shannon) in tow. When RC leaves, she
leaves Peter (as a present?), and once Peter is in the door, he never
leaves. And with Peter come the bugs, with the bugs comes the paranoia
and with the paranoia comes the apocalypse.
Tracy Letts has written a very provocative script that is both scary
and darkly funny. And Dexter Ballard has done a great job directing;
he really knows how to use the space between the lines. The lighting
(Tyler Micoleau) and set (Lauren Helpern) were right on the money; I
have stayed in those motels and they nailed it. The talented cast
also features Reed Birney, who does a clever turn as the smiling Dr.
Sweet (a clever choice of a name) and Michael Cullen who portrays Agnes's
ex-husband Goss. Mr. Cullen does a fabulous job playing the menacing
and perplexed Goss. So go see Bug, it's "buggin'."
Bug is running a the new Off-Broadway 199-seat Barrow Street Theatre,
27 Barrow Street (at 7th Avenue), New York, NY 10014. (1/9 to Christopher
St./Sheridan Square, or A/C/E/F/V to West 4th Street.) Tickets: all
seats, all performances are $55 except Fridays & Saturdays at
8 PM which are $60.Tickets: Purchasing Tix: Telecharge at 212-239-6200
or www.telecharge.com or Barrow Street Theatre box office two-hours prior
to every performance. Group sales and box office at 212-243-6262.
Websites: visit: www.Bugtheplay.com
Street Theater | 27 Barrow Street | West