Autumn in New York: Plays and Galleries, Oh My

Despite lamenting the shortening days, autumn in New York is lovely…and busy! ‘Tis the season, and now there are a hundred and one things cultural offerings on the agenda. This leads to some tough choices. I have to skip a few gallery opening tonight…but I will be seeing the Woodshed Collective‘s The Confidence Man.

The Woodshed Collective, this genius, only in New York kind of organization, is putting on a free play. All you have to do is reserve a ticket in advance. Last summer they did a really nice job with Twelve Ophelias, a backcountry spin off of Hamlet, at McCarren Pool Park. The group focuses on site-specific installations of original new work. The Confidence Man is being performed on the Decommissioned U.S.C.G. Lilac at Pier 40 on the Hudson. As a spin off of Herman Melville’s story about a 19th c. con man on a riverboat, this is more than appropriate.

Here’s the kicker: the audience chooses how the performance will go. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book. To wit:

“The audience will choose what to see and which character’s story to follow just as one selects which newspaper stories to read, which YouTube videos to screen, or which online links to click. By allowing audience members to immerse themselves in the experience, the production seeks to blur the line between performer and patron…”

They warn you not to wear heels–you’ll be running all over the old ship. It’s all very exciting, and a fun way to kick off a new fall season. Up tomorrow: Johnny Madsen at Denise Bibro, Carla Klein and Rita Lundqvist at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Juergen Teller at Lehman Maupin, Chris Ofili at David Zwirner, a group show at White Columns and the Kitchen and general wandering about Chelsea to see what’s happening. ‘Tis the season.

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