Stagenotes: June 2006

ARABIAN NIGHT

The Play Company, known for introducing international plays to New York audiences, is presenting a 65-minute thriller by Ronald Schimmelpfennig, one of Germany's most popular playwrights. "It's a very strange and mysterious play that looks at these inhabitants of this high rise apartment building during a very hot summer night," says the director, the capable Trip Cullman. The building's water supply suddenly shuts off and, according to Cullman, "this simple mystery leads to a series of even more unsettling and deeply disturbing events."

The five characters include a super, two female roommates, the boyfriend of one of the roommates and a peeping-tom neighbor. What makes the play unique -- if a little unsettling -- is that the characters' thoughts, along with their movements are spoken out loud. "There's no difference between what they think, what they do or what they say," explains Cullman, "so it becomes very disorienting. It's like a fever dream from start to finish."

The East 13th Street Theatre, 136 E. 13th St., (212) 279-4200. Previews May 31, opens Jun. 12-Jul. 1. Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m.;, Sat., 2 p.m. $20-$35.

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