I have always been a fan of Eric Bogosian. We saw many of his one man plays in the early 80’s. Needless to say when we were invited to go see Suburbia, a play that he wrote vs. his own performance, I was very intrigued.
Suburbia is playing at Second Stage Theater. A fantastic space. Every seat is good. An old bank that has been transformed into a theater space. Wonderful heavy curtains that close when the performance begins. Bright orange walls. Incredibly groovy.
Excellent performances, thought provoking play. What else could you ask for in theater?
The play takes place in front of a 7-11 owned by brother and sister from India in a suburban town perhaps in the Midwest but you never really know. The main characters are college kids who are hanging out, drinking, getting stoned, living at home and trying to figure out there lives which at the present time appear to going nowhere quickly.
There is one character, Sooze, played by Gaby Hoffman, who is definitely interesting in checking out, going to NYC to pursue her life as a performance artist, to do her work. Her boyfriend is definitely not on the same wavelength. Her best girlfriend, Bee-Bee, is wondering why she even bothers to get up every morning. Tim, is an Air Force drop out who is completely unhappy with life. Buff, played by Kieran Culkin, is just enjoying the day, getting stoned, having sex, drinking and eating pizza. Kieran Culkin, I thought, stole the show. He was fantastic.
Pony, played by Michael Esper, is an old schoolmate, who has become a big time rock star in the past year. He comes to town to do a concert and shows up in a limo with his PR person, Erica, in tow, who is played by Jessica Capshaw, to hook up with his old friends. Erica grew up in a completely different world so this town is intriguing. Pony wants to connect to the people of his past and enjoy the night back in his hometown but on the other hand the people that he left, hanging out in front of the 7-11 have mixed feelings about his success and their lives. Racism also comes into play with the owners of the 7-11.
Suburbia is a real glimpse at American life from many different angles; racism, success, stardom, boredom, upward mobility, anger, military life, family. Also, the fine performances of this cast of young actors make it even better.