Identity by Nicholas Linnehan (2019)
The Tempest by Shakespeare (2016)
Richard III by Shakespeare (2015)
The Boys Next Door by Tom Griffin (2012)
“Last night’s performance of “The Boys Next Door” was one of the best, if not the best production that we have seen in a long time. We were so moved by the script and performances that when the founder of the Identity Theater Company made a very “understated” pitch for financial assistance, I dropped a $50 bill into his bronze cup.”Paul G.
“HEY! This is an off-off-Broadway show that I saw last night in the upper west side. It’s a comedy from the 80’s about four mentally challenged guys that live together as roommates. I’m always skeptical going to random off-off shows, but this one really got to me. GO. The actors are great, the story’s touching as hell, and there’s a lot of that early/mid -80’s theatrical direct address, if you’re into that. It only runs this weekend.”Audience Member Quote
Erosion: Life on Life’s Terms by Nicholas Linnehan (2010)
“Erosion is an intriguing and generally well crafted look at a man’s addiction and journey toward recovery. Donny’s story has resonance for anyone who’s struggled for control over his or her own life, whatever the culprit. Linnehan and his collaborators present their tale with conviction and passion, which in turn makes it worthwhile to hear what they have to tell us.”Martin Denton NYTheatre.Com Review January 15, 2010
EROSION BY CHRISTINA KU
The danger in using The Wizard of Oz as a literary backdrop is that oft-used metaphor for trips over the rainbow can become terribly cliché. Fortunately, Erosion, written by Nicholas Linnehan and directed by Andrew Rothkin, avoids such pitfalls and manages to go beyond and further.
Named after the title of an unrequited-love poem written by Donny, the play’s drug addicted protagonist, takes audience members helter-skelter down a yellow brick road of cravings and desires – both emotional and physical – and the illogical logic people use to justify themselves when they’ve fallen in too deep. Donny’s addiction to crack is fueled by his abandonment issues; at first his choices seem laughable, his decisions and reasoning feeble and rash, but as the production progresses, his hunger for love becomes an addiction as palpable as the need for any drug. And addictions, when full-fledged and raging are never rational or sane.
Matt Weaver is an excellent leading man as the frail but resilient Danny, who is needy and desperate without falling into melodramatic theatrics and clichés. Like Dorothy, Donny stumbles along the best that he can (sporting red Chuck Taylors in place of the ruby slippers), having his heart and wallet used and abused in his quest for love, be it filial, romantic, carnal, or agape. Exacerbating his abandonment and drug addiction is Donny’s paramour Will (Max Rhyser), a heavy, solid masculine presence with his leather jacket, hairy chest, and combat boots. Unfortunately for Donny, the “straight” Will is willing to love him in his own way, but only rises to the occasion when high. Rhyser is an excellent foil to Weaver and the two believably play off each other’s vulnerabilities and desires. The rest of the talented cast members are equally vital to Donny’s journey throughout the play’s two acts. While taking on the roles as the fleeting figures in Donny’s life, these six actors – color coded by the rainbow – serve primarily as Donny’s thoughts manifesting as observers and commentators. Taunting, cruel, and detached, R, O, Y, G, B and V are the voices in Donny’s pretty head. However, as enabling and encouraging as they are of Donny’s dependence on crack and Will, they are also his guardians and defenders when Donny feels attacked. Act one is Donny’s rapid descent into self-loathing, addiction and an eventual suicide attempt. Act two chronicles the shaky beginnings of his recovery – which is ever guaranteed. The language in serves to intensify and twist the sad situation Donny has gotten himself into; when the broken down Serenity Prayer is murmured in bits and pieces, against the narration of Donny’s therapy workbook, it serves only to make recovery seem even more tentative and uncertain. Then again, it’s not like Dorothy was without obstacles on her way to the Emerald City either.