New York and Connecticut theater reviews and news

New York City Theater

"Bucharest Calling"
FRINGE Festival
45 Bleeker Street Theatres

A gifted young company from Romania brings two pieces to the Festival, “Bucharest Calling” to be followed by “The Sunshine Play.” The initial offering, “Bucharest Calling,” seems to present the seamy underside of Bucharest life in the post-Communist era. But one soon realizes these are not the city’s criminals (though a prostitute and pimp are on hand), but ordinary people, just trying to get through the day. Ultimately, the message comes across—that Bucharest, like the mother in the play, is paralyzed and dying, but dying with a smile.

The five actors interact with a believable spontaneity, as romances rise and fall, as brothers and sisters connect and disconnect. The actors’ clear English is enhanced by appealing Romanian accents. Under Ana Margineanu’s astute direction, the story plays out in a series of short, staccato scenes, enhanced by appropriate slides and videos. A fresh, welcome voice to the Festival.

-- Irene Backalenick
Aug. 12, 2007

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