Steven Tanenbaum's Mono—a rare bit of permanence in the fly-by-night world of Off-Off-Broadway since 2000—recently announced it would transfer to a commercial run Jan. 22. That opening has been pushed back to Jan. 29.
The quirky piece's new home will be Theatre Row, the strip of spaces on 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues. (The exact theatre could not be learned at press time.) Opening weekend is Jan. 29-31. Thereafter, Mono will play every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
The singular play opened on Sept. 14, 2000, at the Lower East Side's Surf Reality (since defunct) after previews from Aug. 11. The title has several meanings. Most significantly, Mono is a play in which the 13 characters, all barflies, don't believe in dialogue. Hence, there are a lot of monologues and one-sided discussions. This state of affairs proves interesting, text-wise, since among the solipsists at this tavern are a mute and a sock puppet.
The roles were originally filled by actors of varying ethnic background, including Japanese, Israeli and Indian performers. Each actor gets a chance to play several different parts, as the performers rotate assignments every week.
Where do audience members fit into this soup of dramatic intentions? Well, they double as bar patrons and eavesdroppers and must keep on their toes to track the overlapping theatrical arias and storylines. (The illusion is apparently convincing. In spring of 2003, confused cops raided Surf Reality, mistaking the space for a working speakeasy.) Tanenbaum, who also directs, is the author of such works as Q101 and Blink.
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