Downtown auteur Richard Maxwell's next play is called Drummer Wanted, and you can bet that sought-after percussionist will be the most subdued character ever to lay sticks to snare drum. The latest venture by the King of Portentous Deadpan will run at P.S. 122 Nov. 15 Dec. 23. Maxwell, as usual, will direct.
Drummer Wanted tells the story of a, yes, drummer. A loner, this rhythm man has been hit by a car, collected his settlement and is now living contentedly with his mother. As time goes by, however, the man and his mother come to believe they've been cheated out of untold wealth and can only obsess about the kind of money they might have seen had they played their cards right.
Maxwell's other plays—all having debuted in New York City in the last two years or so—include House, Boxing 2000, Showy Lady Slipper and Caveman. Like Richard Foreman, Maxwell's writing is all of a piece, each new script beginning in the same surreal artistic world where the last one left off. The location is typically Anyplace, U.S.A., the characters acquainted with only the most mundane social situations and intellectual concepts and their voices utterly bereft of intonation and emotion.
His work has won him admirers from New York's alternative and mainstream press, as well as homes on the international theatre circuit in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Vienna.
Pete Simpson and Ellen LeCompte will star in Drummer Wanted. The show is a co-production of Theaterformen 2002 and Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH. Tickets are $17. P.S. 122 is located at 150 First Avenue. For more information, call (212) 477-5933.
—By Robert Simonson