It is Done
nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
November 15, 2011
This is a tale set in a bar, and performed in a bar, with jukebox, and one drink ticket included. Sound exciting? As soon as I went in to the basement room of The Mean Fiddler Bar & Grill in the bustling theater district, I was in the world of a bar in a middle-of-nowhere location, supposedly the only establishment within 90 miles either way, on the day of a terrible windstorm. Jonas (Ean Sheehy) enters the eerily deserted drinking establishment. He meets the bartender, Hank (Matt Kalman), who has lots of stories of Country legend Hank Williams, and a jukebox full of only his songs. Since it is a remote location, they are both surprised when a beautiful woman named Ruby (Catia Ojeda) stumbles in with car trouble. The men bet that they can guess her life story; later she exacts a bizarre revenge.
Due to the storm, no one is going anywhere. Much drinking follows, during which Jonas becomes less reluctant to talk about his life. His childhood nightmares of confronting and killing a bully have returned and are driving him to travel around so much. Ruby suggests these nightmares come from real events, but how does she know? Is she a detective, as she said? If so, why has she been looking for Jonas?
Living in New York, it is good to remember that there are silent, eerie places. Some of them are halfway between heaven and hell, if you will. Alex Goldberg has written a compelling, not to mention scary, play about human nature. There are many tragic life stories like that of Hank Williams referenced. Why do people try to run away, and towards what? Do bartenders really know more about our behavior than mere mortals?
Director Tom Wojtunik wonderfully brings out the other side of all of the characters. Christopher Thielking’s lighting and Colin Whitely’s sound kindly inform us when we are in danger. Hats off to Catia Ojeda for so amazingly dominating the action of this unconventional story.