Good taste is not exactly the governing standard for a theatre troupe called Slant -- an Asian performance trio whose last pieces were titled "Squeal Like a Pig" and "Big Dicks, Asian Men". Their latest is the innocuously-labeled High, but it actually ventures low -- underground, that is, to look at New York City subways.
High filters the culture of subway life through the eyes of these Asian men. The central story concerns a homeless, musical "Mole Man" who plays the bottles and must contend with irate police, another subway musician (who plays the shakuhachi flute) and various commuters. Helping tell the urban story will be puppets, rock music, oddball props and acrobatic choreography.
High, which opened June 8, stays airborne through June 25 at the First Floor Theatre of La MaMa E.T.C., 74A East 4th St.
Richard Ebihara, Perry Yung and Philippines-born Wayland Quintero comprise Slant, which pokes fun at "pop notions of Asian culture." As Ebihara told "Asian New Yorker" magazine, "Asian women's stories, like The Joy Luck Club, are everywhere. But the men's side of the Asian American experience is non-existent." An earlier Slant show at La MaMa was the sexual satire, The Second Coming. According to production spokesperson Jonathan Slaff, the troupe received a 1999 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in multidisciplinary performance.
For tickets ($12) and information on High at La MaMa call (212) 475-7710. -- By David Lefkowitz