Shakespeare did it in his classic Hamlet. It occurs in the current Broadway show Kiss Me, Kate. And now, Stanya Kahn tries her hand at the "play within a play" in her new show, running at New York City's Performance Space 122, titled - get this - The Ballad of Crappy and Seapole (According to Shempco). The show opened Nov. 30 and will close, as scheduled, Dec. 17.
In Crappy and Seapole, we meet the lanky and lonely Shempco, who suffers from "culturally-induced anxiety" and unemployment. To battle apathy, Shempco decides to write a play with song and dance featuring two lovable characters named Crappy and Seapole. Like most writers, though, Shempco is easily sidetracked by random thoughts about things like the endangered Vegas showgirl, the marketing of Ché Guevara merchandise and "high-altitude masturbation."
Playing all four roles that include Shempco, a Vegas showgirl, and of course, Crappy and Seapole is the playwright-co-director Kahn. Harriet Dodge co-directs the solo show with sets and costumes by Nicole Eisenman, lights by Frank DenDanto III and original music by Kahn, Down River and Corner Tour. Other solo works by Kahn include Utility Beast, Delirium, and Rank Stranger.
For your tickets to Crappy and Seapole, playing through Dec. 17 at PS 122, 150 First Ave (at Ninth St.), call (212) 477-5288 or visit www.ps122.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez