HOLD THE DOORS
nytheatre.com review by Richard Stroker
South Pleasant Company’s Hold the Doors, which opened Saturday at
PS 122 as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, touts
itself as "movement-theater performance." But it really should be called
a nomedy: it’s not comedy and it’s not drama.
August 15, 2002
Written, directed and choreographed by Cristina Septien, Hold the Doors is reminiscent of a junior high talent show and "Saturday Night Live" at it’s low point in the early ‘80s in that it seeks to get attention and to be funny, but lacks the resources to consistently do so.
The show opens with a 20-something guy singing a self-pitying, melancholic song of lost love. Then we’re hit with a series of two- and three-person scenes that aren’t quite funny and aren’t quite dramatic and we’re not quite sure which they aspire to be.
At times though, the production rises above the sophomoric level. A few scenes worth noting include one involving Lionel (Nicholas Williams), whose day job is testing chairs by sitting in them (but his dream job is to compose ad jingles), and the new co-worker with whom he has become smitten, Katie (Annie Lok). Their playful discussion and actions nearly achieve genuine love and humor. Lionel also shines when Katie is over at his place and he’s wooing her with his goofy jingles. Also, the scene where actor-playwright-tennis-player-elevator operator Louis (Josh Garrett-Davis) auditions for an aluminum chair company info-mercial is clever and downright funny. He dresses up the chair to represent his sister and turns the audition into a scene from a play he’s written.
The closing song and dance number with the whole cast is a lot of fun and helps us to forget much of the fluff we’ve just seen.