Ghost and The Machine at Theater for the New City
212-254-1109 www.theaterforthenewcity.net Ages: all $18
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Love is an altered state, so is grief. When you lose a lover, there is a trick to recapturing her that daring young men really understand and other men learn to fear. Memories, like drugs, can transport you to a wake-and-dream state that is hard to escape. It's dramatized in "Ghost in the Machine," a shockingly promising first play by Mike Leon. Originally produced at Williams College in October, 2010, the play will have its New York premiere October 13 to 23, presented by Theater for the New City in association with The Dead Copycats. Director is Nathaniel Basch-Gould.
In this four-character drama, a girl named Rachel is dead (victim of a drunk driver) and her lover, James, is reliving his relationship with her through flashbacks. He can't seem to snap out of his grief, but what he's actually got is a sort of enhanced-dream disorder. His younger brother, Eddie, is very concerned about him. James finds that certain things trigger the memories that bring Rachel back to him, like her voice mails and a dose of Ambien. When memories of her start, James revisits the storytelling and role playing that characterized their relationship, that actually bound her to him. It's a pressure-cooker of memories, dreams and the unresolved aspects of their relationship. It's also not without perils: a man named Brent, who would have taken Rachel from him, lurks as a sinister presence in his flashbacks, with his own competitive games. And the flashbacks themselves are dangerous, locking James into a nowhere zone between dreaming and memory, in which he must re-enact his role playing with Rachel in a perfect playback, or else lose her.