WHITE CHRISTMAS IN UZBEKISTAN
The Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster St. between Spring and Broome Sts.
June 6-8, 10-12, 8:00 pm
$16/ $12 for students for mainstage productions. Thumbscrews is $5 and all other Summerworks 2004 events are free.
SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or go to www.smarttix.com. Or buy tickets at the box office at The Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster St. For more information, go to www.clubbedthumb.org
Reviewed by Robert Hicks on June 7, 2004
Rinne Groff's new surreal comedy, "Of a White Christmas," imagines a futuristic domicile in which the only escape from toxins polluting the environment lies in one's ability to create a fantastical dream world.
Director Trip Cullman culls humor, menace and dreamy hope from the excellent Clubbed Thumb cast in this experimental, intellectual drama. Diane (Meg MacCary) is the dream architect married to Tom (Ken Marks), a practical businessman who secretly devises a Lakefront Toxic Management Plan. Tom's daughter Sallie (Susan Pourfar) enlists her Uzbek Muslim boyfriend Bahktiyor (Derek Lucci) to draw Diane's blood sample so she can pass her drug test to qualify for certified housing. Her dad threw her out due to her drug abuse. Now she lives in a squat with four drug users. "And that's how I'm supposed to stay clean," she tells Diane with a touch of irony. A psycho-sexual dream interlude finds Bahktiyor selling tranquilizers to Tom, becoming Diane's incubus and tackling the formidable responsibilities of landscape artist in her dream world. He feels empowered to reaffirm life.
Groff inventively employs humor and wacky dream sequences to draw a parallel between the horrors of an imbalanced ecosystem and the psychological turmoil of an unbalanced marriage and family life. Both threaten a healthy equilibrium and the preservation of life. Salvation lies in our capacity to imagine a different world. Human imagination taken to an extreme, though, can also destroy life.[Hicks]