The world stage premiere for the adaption of the now classic story began June 24th and wraps up this Saturday, July 3rd, with two final shows. Yep, it’s a shorty, but damn you guys if it’s not a goodie.
“The gothic fairy tale returns, this time on the stage, in New York. The classic story gets it’s world stage premiere at Bayard Studios. Edward is created and is incomplete. He has everything a human has, except his hands, which are scissors….”
Clocking in at 1hr and 40 mins of performance time, split by a 15-minute intermission, the experience could be seen on the longer side. But with such a talented and passionate cast, its immersive set design, and a story you probably know and love, the show is well worth the $15 price of a ticket.
The Theatre’s set design, conceptually developed by artist Tom Taylor to match director Richard Crawford’s interpretation of the story, is fantastically arranged for the experience. It’s economically-constructed from the mind of Edward – maniacal, mysterious – yet somehow overwhelmingly accessible.
You’ll notice this immediately after entering the two curtain-draped doors at the face of the warehouse on Bayard Street, where one enters under the guise of a caricatured Edward himself. Here, theatre-goers are greeted by the ghostly sounds of a sole harp player seated across from a theatre bar serving light refreshments. Guests sit at a series of white, cloth-draped numbered tables out in the center of the building’s floor. I was seated at lucky number 13…
Everyone’s immersed halfway between the Boggs family living room and the stairs to Edward’s looming mansion on the hill, which is set atop a splintered staircase.
When the play starts shortly after the five-minute warning, we were barely aware of the transition from real life.
As far as I know, all the main characters make their due appearances. There’s the appropriately lanky Serge Valez playing Edward, Zoe Rosario playing his friend and part-time love interest Kim Boggs, and the fantastic supporting cast made up of the director’s talented cohorts, friends, and acquaintances (full list here) playing family, gossipy neighbors, and other citizens of the town.
Knowing that everyone involved in the production is in it for the love of the arts makes the experience all that more memorable. The Times reported that Crawford, the play’s director, and other theatre artists “donated their time and, in some cases, money to complement gifts that were made online and elsewhere.” With everyone pitching in, Crawford proudly noted, “We’ve got a pretty tight, professional-looking performance with practically no means at our disposal.”
What’s cool then is you aren’t just watching another re-enactment of a storyline hashed out over years of rebuttals, but a first-time staging, done by friends, not for money or fame, but led by their passion for the stage, and perhaps spooked themselves by the tragic story of the underdeveloped stranger with scissors for his hands.
If you’re intrigued, you’ve got four remaining chances to catch the show before the Studio Lab’s run ends. There’s an 8:30 show tonight, an 8:30 show tomorrow, Friday, and two shows on Saturday — a matinee at 2:30pm and a curtain-closer at 8:30. Tickets are just $15 and can be bought online or at the door.