From "The Gypsy Of The Year" competition to an appearance on the "L'Chaim To Life" cable television Chanukah telethon (Dec. 8), The New Bozena troupe has tried to make itself ubiquitous in the consciousness of Off Broadway theatregoers. Billed as "the next Blue Man Group," the clown trio's postmodern, linked sketches have been running at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Commerce Street since opening night on Halloween.
Despite these efforts, however, New Bozena has posted a closing notice for Jan. 5, 1997. In an effort to make life easier for audiences, The New Bozena even tried dropping the subtitle of their show, "Winter Is The Coldest Season," fearing that the second title -- which refers to a play-within-the-play -- confused ticket-buyers.
Rainn Wilson directs the pomo trio, David Costabile, Michael Dahlen and Kevin Isola, who play Ramon, Spiv Westenberg and Revhanavaan Sahaanahanadaa, respectively.
Regarding the show's closing after a projected 79 performances and 10 previews, production spokesperson Kevin Rehac told Playbill On-Line that the New York production was never supposed to be "the be-all and end-all for the troupe. The show is certainly not dead; the producers' philosophy is to get out while the getting's still good. They looked at the projections for January and February and figured, `let's give the guys a rest'" -- the show will have a production in Los Angeles in the spring and, sponsored by the producers of "Trainspotting," will come to the Edinburgh Festival this summer. Television interest, including MTV, is also on the clowns' agenda.
Reviews for The New Bozena were mixed to positive, though it's acknowledged that a pan in the NY Times significantly hurt the show's chances in New York. Clive Barnes of the New York Post wrote of Bozena: "They are funny -- often very funny -- and they have decently polished clown techniques. At times they push running jokes too far, and their show as a whole needs more, or perversely, less of an overall theme. As it is, it looks as though some tough decisions over shape and structure were never made, or perhaps never even faced." For tickets and information on The New Bozena at the Cherry Lane Theatre, call (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.
-- By David Lefkowitz