Written and Directed by Various Artists
Off Off Broadway, New Plays
Runs through 4.25.15
The Tank, 151 West 46th Street
by Shoshana Roberts on 4.25.15
Madeleine Bundy and Eric Folks in Rule of 7x7: Spring Edition.
BOTTOM LINE: Seven new writers incorporate seven random rules into their newly written ten minute plays in this hilarious evening for the trendy millennial crowd.
Hangout, club, art-space...the feeling of walking into The Tank, where Rule of 7x7 plays, is that of millennials at a bar laughing and drinking. I walked in and felt like I was a part of a trendy secret club. How did all of these people know about the show? The theatre, a free performance space, is in an innocuous, seemingly random midtown building on the eighth floor. It would be hard to stumble upon, but the performance I saw had the audience at maximum capacity.
The concept includes 7 writers, 7 rules, 7 new plays, and 1 free beer. Rule of 7x7 takes place every other month. Creator and producer Brett Epstein delivers a wonderful evening. Epstein commissions seven writers to each write a 10 minute play. Each of the playwrights makes a rule ahead of time, which all of the writers must incorporate into their play. For this specific Rule of 7x7 these are the rules: Someone does something (s)he has seen on YouTube; Aliens; Someone hits someone; Each play must include a flashback; The color red appears; Sprinkles; A list of seven somethings (people, places, adjectives, things to do, etc.). The next Rule of 7x7 will include seven new rules, decided by the new writers Epstein chooses.
An impressive feat is the fact that each of the short plays only has five hours of rehearsal time and thirty minutes of tech. This is where true talent emerges. Quick paced and quick witted, the high caliber of the evening is a welcome surprise. We see a gay man waking up from his one-night stand, only to encounter his best friend Molli in Mat Smart's Fuck City. Tax Slayer by Barry Levey involves a possibly incompatible couple brainstorming tax write-offs. Hilary Bettis's Home has three tortured girls celebrating a birthday. Thank you for the Sunset is a comical juxtaposition by Drew Lewis of a young male lifeguard and a displaced woman from the middle ages. Jenny Morris's “On my Honor” explores an old girl scout troop reuniting to pay homage to their dearly departed troop leader Margo Jo. Minnesota brothers discuss burning their childhood home to collect the insurance money in “Pilot Light” written by Colin Waitt. Finally, the damn near most adorable clown silently attempts to break up with her boyfriend in comedic genius Dan McCabe's “Sprinkles and Lloyd.”
Rule of 7x7 is not just a show, it is a party, or rather a novel idea executed extremely well. There is the volatility of not knowing what to expect with a new set of playwrights, but the price is right at $12 including a free beer. Give it a try. Good luck Rule of 7x7. The audience loves you!
(Rule of 7x7: Spring Edition plays at The Tank, 151 West 46th Street, 8th floor, in a two day run every other month. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 9:30PM. Tickets are $12 and are available at brownpapertickets.com.)