Bogosity

nytheatre.com review by Martin Denton
June 20, 2013

Bogosity is an intriguing short play by Simcha Borenstein, currently running at Broadway Comedy Club. With its early time slot (6:30pm) and relatively brief running time (under an hour), Bogosity enables you to partake of some food and drink and food for thought on your way from work to your plans for the night. It's directed by Noemi de la Puente and features Carlo Fiorletta and Janet S. Kim.

The scene is the office of a Mr. Kaplan, who teaches dance at some type of school or studio. When we meet him, he is in the midst of a discussion with his assistant Melissa about which of their students should represent their class(es) in some upcoming pageant. The details are sketchy, purposefully I think: Borenstein is more interested in the conflict he's about to unspool than in the particulars of exactly what Kaplan and Melissa do every day.

Said conflict comes out of the blue: one day, the young man selected for the spot in the pageant, Gregory, gropes Melissa in the school hallway. Melissa reports the incident to Kaplan, who is immediately outraged. But then he realizes that without Gregory representing him in the pageant, his future could be in jeopardy. Is there room for compromise here?

Later, new facts are uncovered. Was Melissa even actually sexually harrassed? How complicit are Melissa and Kaplan in the events that follow? Borenstein explores this potentially explosive topic with a relatively even hand and genuine curiosity; the conclusion certainly comes as a surprise.

I liked the minimalist tone of the writing, which helps focus us on the deeper issues contained with the play. I thought the staging might have been more naturalistic than strictly necessary: there's a lot of stuff on stage (papers, posters, notebooks, etc.) that may actually be distancing us from the script's themes more than helping to realize them organically.

It's an interesting, earnest effort, and makes me curious to see more of Borenstein's work in the future.

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