Those who missed director-author Richard Maxwell's fall 2000 hit, Boxing 2000 when it played the Present Company Theatorium, better hurry up if they don't want to miss its encore staging at Off- Broadway's Soho Rep. The work will conclude its brief run on May 12; performances began May 1.
Boxing 2000 — a venture of Maxwell's new company, The New York City Players — concerns a pair of New York City half-brothers. The older sibling trains the younger for a boxing match, while they talk about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Also taking part in the drama are a father and one of the brothers' girlfriend.
Boxing 2000 played at the Present Company Theatorium in September 2000 and netted a rave review from the New York Times. Overseas commitments, however, forced the production to end as scheduled, without extending. However, beginning Sept. 27, a 10 PM was tacked onto every evening.
The first half of Soho Rep's Maxwell double bill, Caveman, will continue until May 19. Caveman stars Tory Vazquez, Jim Fletcher and Lakpa Bhutia. (The latter two appeared in Boxing 2000.) The play is about a married couple, whose lives are altered when a third person enters their midst. On the surface, the plot resembles that of House, Maxwell's break-out play, in which a family of mother, father and child is changed forever when a stranger pays a sudden call.
As with most of his works, Caveman will feature a musical score composed by Maxwell. However, whereas in past shows songs were played on cassette recorders, the music in Caveman will be performed by Greg Hirte, Bryan Kelly and Scott Sherratt. The denizens of Maxwell's plays typically speak with all the emotion of a dial-tone, retaining a dispassionate mien and delivery whether in everyday conversation or heated argument. Breaking up these zombie-like exchanges are occasional songs, also written by Maxwell and typically resembling schlocky contemporary pop ballads. Critics have called Maxwell an aesthetic descendant of such figures as Samuel Beckett, Sam Shepard, Eugene Ionesco and Richard Foreman.
Tickets are $15. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street. For information, call (212) 479 7979.
—By Robert Simonson