An untoward event in Central Park - was it a crime of passion? Of hate? A suicide? (That's Act 1.) Was it a little harmless joke? A meticulously planned hoax? (That's Act 2.) "I only told you the truth" runs through the first part. "The lie becomes the truth" permeates the second.
It's perhaps 85 percent sung-through, by a wonderfully talented cast of five students from the University of the Arts, whose Ira Brind School of Theater Arts produced the show. Performed on Michael Leon's smart, minimal set and in Jillian Keys' cool outfits, the show sparkles with its eight-piece orchestra backing - although amplification was a problem at Wednesday's opening, when the musicians frequently overpowered the cast, already challenged by LaChiusa's meaty, word-packed lyrics.
Still, we got the gist of it, if not all the words - often beautifully delivered by Kathleen Borrelli (playing an aunt and a medium), Michael Linden (a janitor and priest), Allison Caw (a singer and actress), Allen Weaver (a crook and reporter), and Rory Donovan (a taxi tycoon and CPA).
$20. 8 tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday at University of the Arts' Caplan Studio, 211 S. Broad St.
Urban Scuba Who doesn't love the smell aquatic? You get plenty of it in the long-unused, now-funky pool at the Gershman Y with dancer/choreographer/wild man Brian Sanders.
In the Wednesday night preview of his show, Urban Scuba, Sanders set risers in the shallow end of the pool for the audience, and he set himself, John Luna, and William Robinson in two to three feet of water in the deep end, behind an elephantine shower curtain. The billowing plastic danced around as if in a squall before Sanders ripped it down to reveal a walkway across the water.
Men in harnesses look as sexy as women in garter belts, but these three also wore top hats and tails over their long underwear and looked trs Dada. As they swung through the air on bungees, the lovely Lesya Popil appeared at the far end in a goddess gown by Sara McCorriston.
She was soon ungowned and underwater, with the guys dodging air-filled trash bags. Slipping into the bags, the men transmogrified into seal-like creatures dragging their hind legs. The corners of the bags rose like shark fins when they swam. Did they plan that?
If there was a coherent arc in this murkily beautiful work, it was Sanders' kinky inventiveness. Is there no end to it? Let us pray not.
$25-$30. 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday; 9 p.m. Thursday and next Friday; 3 and 7 p.m. Sept. 12, at the Pool at Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St.