Steven Tanenbaum's Mono, which is fast becoming to Surf Reality what Israel Horovitz's Line is to the 13th Street Repertory Theatre, will celebrate its second anniversary at the Lower East Side theatre this August.
Though the quirky show opened on Sept. 14, 2000, after previews from Aug. 11, the company has opted to mark its second year with a special two-week-long event running July 25-27 and Aug. 1-3. A party with DJ, open bar and prized will follow the Aug. 1 and 2 shows.
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 should prove 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 will get 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. Tanenbaum, who also directs, is the author of such works as Q101 and Blink. True to its title, Mono will feature a one-track soundtrack.
Mono runs three shows a week. It will play its 300th performance on Aug. 31. Tickets are $12. Surf Reality is located at 172 Allen Street on the second floor. For more information, call (212) 358-3447.
— By Robert Simonson