From a crammed U-Haul on moving day to the amazing wonders of Lost Horizon Night Market—where trucks host noodle shops, hot tubs, surveillance systems, and more—it’s clear that Brooklyn loves the box truck for both work and play. Jean Ann Douglass and Eric Meyer are using their truck to answer an age-old question, usually phrased in terms of Mohammed and mountains: why bring the audience to the theater when you can bring the theater to the audience?
They’ve outfitted a 24’ truck with all the trappings of drama: a tiny stage, seating area, and even a refreshments stand. That the space lacks a bathroom is not a problem—at least on the night when I went to the show, they had thoughtfully parked right outside Bodega Wine Bar, where both facilities and intermission drinks (not included in ticket price) were made available.
Inside the truck, the audience is treated to two very different theatrical experiences. The first is Jean Ann Douglass’ “Backroad Homeshow,” a monologue that employs jokes, trivia, a sing-along, and two instruments (ukulele and accordion, not to give too much away) to describe a much bigger extravaganza—one that we only wish we really could have seen.
The second piece, Eric Meyer’s “Not Winehouse,” is a radical departure to the other end of the emotional spectrum. Meyer, who also wrote the piece, plays Amy Winehouse. He makes no attempt to convince us that he is Winehouse— he performs in his own clothes, and uses his own voice and mannerisms. The result is eerie, and perhaps more intimate than any physical resemblance could ever be. What the piece lacks in realism it more than makes up for in emotional oomph. The audience is quite literally too close, trapped with Winehouse (or not-Winehouse) in a way that feels simultaneously complicit and alien.
The Truck Project will be touring Brooklyn for the next four nights, stopping in Williamsburg, DUMBO, and Fort Greene, with a brief detour to Long Island City. Catch it while you can.
THE TRUCK PROJECT
Featuring Jean Ann Douglass & Eric Meyer
Approximate run time: 60 minutes, including intermission.
November 4 – 9, 2010
All performances at 7 PM; all tickets $15
Click HERE for a complete listing of locations.
Chloë Bass has a poor sense of balance, but she makes up for it with other talents