For early August, the Brick Theatre in Williamsburg will be home both a revival and a new play: Richard Foreman's Harry in Love, a comedy once slated for Broadway by the artist best known for his abstract theater pieces, and The Spell, a new play by Ian W. Hill, which explores, according to press notes, "whether violence can ever be justified, and if so, what limits are there and where does it end?"
Foreman's comedy, once slated for Broadway as a vehicle for Vincent Gardenia, centers on a big, neurotic, unnerved and unnerving man who believes his wife, Hilda, is planning to cheat on him (and he seems to be right). His response: drug her coffee and keep her knocked out until her paramour goes away. The plan works about as well as should be expected and, over several days, a number of people – the paramour, a doctor, Hilda’s brother, and an “innocent” bystander - are sucked into Harry's manic, snowballing energy as it becomes an eventual avalanche of (hysterically funny) psychosis.
In "Spell," an American woman who considers herself a patriot has committed a horrible, murderous, terrorist act on US soil as an act of protest and, she hopes, revolution against the United States Government, which she believes no longer represents the law, people, and Constitution of the USA. She finds herself in a room where she is questioned for days by a man and a woman—who may, in fact be the same person and who could be either a medical doctor or a military general. As she is interrogated, her mind, which may or may not be sane, reinterprets her surroundings into a chorus of voices—witches, revolutionaries, bossmen, old boyfriends, fragments of herself—arguing over the validity of her violent actions while at the same time trying to deny that the monstrous act has ever occurred, or that she could be capable of such a thing, and trying to reveal her beliefs while at the same time keeping her true self a deep secret.
Both plays will be directed by Hill, who has created 56 stage productions since 1997 with his company Gemini CollisionWorks, including works by Richard Foreman, T.S. Eliot, Clive Barker, Mac Wellman, Ronald Tavel, Jeff Goode, Mark Spitz, and Edward D. Wood, Jr., as well a s several original plays. As a designer (light, sound, projections, sets) and technical/artistic consultant he has worked with many other stage artists and theatres for almost 20 years, and he is currently the technical director of The Brick.
Harry in Love and The Spell will run in repertory at the Brick Theater (575 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn) July 31 - August 24. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased by calling 212-352-3101. For further information , visit: www.bricktheater.com.