Review: Grief is Hard to Juggle in "Dead + Alive"
Dead + Alive
Conceived by Richard Saudek
Directed by Richard Saudek and Pher
Presented by One Year Lease Theater Company (OYL) at the Connelly Theater
220 East 4th St., Manhattan
November 29-December 10, 2022
|Richard Saudek. Photo credit: Pher Gleason|
One might not think of juggling as providing an experience of mournful beauty, but Dead + Alive, which tackles loss by way of vaudeville, will change your mind. Dead + Alive, developed during a fellowship held by co-creator and co-director Richard Saudek at LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture and making its world premiere at the Connelly Theater, focuses on two clowns, Dead (Richard Saudek) and Alive (Dana Dailey), who perform as a duo. While both begin the show alive and clowning, their character names give you a pretty good hint of where things are headed, leaving Alive in a position inspired by the Jewish burial custom of assigning a guardian "to watch the recently deceased to ensure that the soul doesn't escape and run amok." Alive's vigil and the (mis)adventures of Dead's soul (and corpse) marry dexterous, funny physical theater with moving poignancy for a unique rendering of mourning and moving on.
|Dana Dailey and Richard Saudek. Photo credit: Pher Gleason|