A Play about Clowns
The NY Times had a recent review about a play that features clowns. It’s not a clown show– it’s not a clown show, it’s a play, that is about a clown.
Sounds really interesting.
Wide-Eyed New Arrivals Falling in Love With the City
By ANITA GATES
Published: October 3, 2008
If you are a true New Yorker (something that can be measured by purity of passion as much as by length of residence), a play that begins with balloon animals talking to each other in squeaky voices may not sound like your style. That just shows how much you (and I) know.
Saviana Stanescuâ€™s â€œAliens With Extraordinary Skillsâ€ is an enchanting piece of theater, a paean to New York that just happens to include balloon animals. Itâ€™s a simple two-boys-meet-two-girls story about a pretty clown from Moldova (between Romania and Ukraine), her wild-and-crazy-guy clowning partner, an aspiring Dominican actress and an all-American musician trying to find himself. As well as two immigration agents who, suspecting a green-card-motivated marriage, ask the bride questions like â€œWhatâ€™s his motherâ€™s bra size?â€
Natalia Payne is adorable as Nadia the clown. Her supporting cast (Seth Fisher, Jessica Pimentel, Kevin Isola, Shrine Babb and Gian Murray Gianino), directed with great zeal by Tea Alagic, couldnâ€™t be sharper, and Ms. Stanescuâ€™s dialogue is flawlessly observant.
Nadia and Mr. Fisherâ€™s Borat (yes, like the Sacha Baron Cohen character) want to perfect their English. She tries to remember the word for â€œwhen you are like really energetic and full of life.â€ Borat suggests â€œoutrageous.â€ No, Nadia says, she thinks the word is â€œoutgoing.â€ Borat says, no, â€œThatâ€™s when you go out a lot.â€
â€œAliensâ€ shows us the world of Albanian taxi drivers, the Hot Pink Pussycat club and Craigslist. But itâ€™s Nadiaâ€™s love affair with New York that fuels the action. She wants to go to the restaurants she saw on â€œSex and the City.â€ She plans new birthday party tricks because â€œthe kids are smart there.â€
Boratâ€™s take on New Yorkers is different. â€œThey work like 14, 16 hours a day,â€ he says. â€œThey are a bit like zombies, you know.â€ But Nadia is a true believer. She loves the city even when it turns out that sometimes cool guys at parties in SoHo can treat the hired help like prostitutes.
Iâ€™ve always believed that the special energy people talk about as New Yorkâ€™s essence comes from all those newcomersâ€™ hopes and dreams in the air. â€œAliensâ€ pays tribute to that energy and at the same time radiates tons of its own.
â€œAliens With Extraordinary Skillsâ€ continues through Oct. 26 at Julia Miles Theater, 424 West 55th Street, Clinton, (212) 239-6200, womensproject.org.