Have you ever wandered around the East Village, passed by a crowd holding action figures, and thought “Huh, is that an underground comic club?” No, it’s not. It’s a Neo-Futurist extravaganza! The NY Neo-Futurists, Christopher Borg, Meg Bashwiner, Dylan Marron, Cara Francis, and Joey Rizzoloare, are just a few of the members of the acting company in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Watching them is like watching people run a marathon. The goal: thirty plays in sixty minutes. They run around frantically trying to set up different scenes while the audience watches the insanity unfold. The overall idea takes the no-fourth-wall-thing to another level. From the very beginning, it’s all about the audience. When you pick up your tickets you either get a gold coin or an action figure based upon your payment. If you ordered online you get a gold coin and get to go in first. If you pay when you get there, you get the action figure and go in after the gold coins. As you enter you get a name tag from a man wearing large headphones and smacking his gum. Then you are led into the basement that is the Kraine Theater. There’s no sign on the outside, but it does share space with the KGB Bar, so don’t be surprised if some the fellow audience members have already begun partying.
The best part of the performance is how it’s not afraid to be silly. Instead, it’s ridiculous and lighthearted, so refreshing. The performers don’t take themselves seriously. But because of the fun-crazed energy, when some of the plays take a more serious turn it can be difficult to really find them believable. It’s hard to change your emotions so fast. And since the plot is always changing, connecting with the characters can be difficult. The best element is how silly and nonsensical it is. You feel comfortable with the actors. In one two minute drama, the final countdown begins playing, they dim the lights, the excitement builds, and curtain after curtain opens revealing Christopher Borg’s (the actors play themselves) backside. This play was fittingly named Faraway Butthole. Now, not all the plays are this senseless, but quite a few are. So if you don’t like silly, maybe you should skip this one. And, of course, the audience participation is always fun. By the end, you feel like a Neo-Futurist yourself.
Check it out, every Friday and Saturday night at 10:30.