Mono Delays Off-Broadway Debut Again; Feb. 5 New Start Date

News   Mono Delays Off-Broadway Debut Again; Feb. 5 New Start Date Put that sock puppet with the cell phone on hold for now.

Steven Tanenbaum's Mono, the Off-Off-Broadway mainstay which recently announced an imminent leap to Off-Broadway, has pushed back its commercial debut for the second time.

The Theatre Row engagement was first announced for Jan. 22, then Jan. 29. The expected launch is now slated for Feb. 5. No official press release has been issued for the production, and the cast and specific theatre have not been identified.

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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