The average New Yorker spends more time per week on the subway than they do eating. It’s a space where, for even just a few minutes, folks of all walks of life are physically pushed into each other and forced to at least be aware of one another.
Presented by Coffee Cup Theatre Co., Standing Clear superbly demonstrates the Subway as a venue for these interactions. Plenty of the familiar specimens are displayed: an overly amorous sleezeball, a slightly older woman with advice for anybody who’ll listen, a bickering couple, a curious homeless person, two ex-lovers who uncomfortably run into each other in the same car. What do you do when you get a whole car to yourself? How does the music on your iPod change your Subway ride? What is the name of that completely gorgeous girl you keep seeing on your ride home from work?
Written by Ishah Janssen-Faith and Jack McGowan, Standing Clear takes an overall humorous approach to the community space that is the Subway. Performers Melinda Ferraraccio, Becca Hackett, Ishah Janssen-Faith, Jack McGowan and Ben Holbrook each take on multiple characters, creating scene after familiar scene of a place we’ve all spent time in. The humorous approach sometimes blends into a place that is almost too familiar- that personal phone call you find yourself having among strangers, that crying jag that hits you suddenly on the F train after an argument, the discomfort of watching one passenger dish out overly harsh words to another. Standing Clear brings all of these situations out in the open, even addressing the fact that we are often only affected by these while still on the train. How do we forget so quickly that completely engrossing stranger once we’ve passed back out through those sliding doors?
Life on the Subway is nothing if not all about the details and Standing Clear pays attention.
Check out Standing Clear at the Access Theater at 380 Broadway, Thursdays through Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 3pm and 7pm and Monday 6/16 at 7pm. Tickets are $20 and the show closes on June 21st. www.coffeecuptheatre.org for more info.