Live, original rock 'n' roll helped create the dark, grainy world of Snapshots, Erin Sanders' world premiere play that opened April 14 in a staging by Off-Off-Broadway's Miranda Theatre Company in New York City.
The music must end April 24, to make way for Miranda's next production, The Goldberg Variations.
Sanders is co-author, with Lonny Price and Joan Rivers, of Sally Marr...and her escorts, which played the Helen Hayes Theatre starring Rivers. Miranda artistic director Valentina Fratti told Playbill On-Line the new work is "about as far away from Sally Marr as you can get."
Previews for Snapshots began April 8, two days after expected due to a last-minute cast change. On April 3 Andrew Elvis Miller, who was to play the troubled son in the play, got another project and left the show, to be replaced by Jonathan Woodward, who was previously seen for the role. Performances April 6-7 were canceled. "He's terrific, and he learned the part in a couple of days," said Miranda's Fratti. "He was housepainting in Long Island, we called him and he was here in a couple of hours."
The serious comedy is punctuated with live music by Phil Gajdjis and Andrei Sebastien and shows a family's reaction to their mysterious son, returning home after time at a juvenile detention facility.
"It's quite dark," said Fratti, whose company is exclusively devoted to new works. "The style is inspired by Shepherd and Beckett and Ionesco, and it's sort of a courageous piece because it's playing with style and incorporating live music. The rock 'n' roll is kind of the son's alter ego."
Snapshots had a reading in Miranda's new works series in 1998.
In the play, directed by Miranda's artistic associate Joel Goldes, "the parents want to make it all perfect without discussing anything," said Fratti. "And the father is obsessed with taking snapshots to keep some veneer of happiness. It's about avoiding and grabbing desperately onto something so as to not to have to look much deeper."
The cast also includes Tom Aulino, Mary Stout and Wendy Martling. Designers are Zeke Leonard (sets), Scott Poitras (lighting), Tom Reiter (costumes) and Eric Shim (sound).
Tickets are $10-$15. Call (212) 268-9829 extension 1. Miranda's space is at 259 W. 30th Street.
-- By Kenneth Jones