Apr 3, 2012

Obsession of the Week: Ethan Lipton's 'No Place to Go'

We've thought long and hard about what Tableau Your Mind's first official 'Obsession of the Week.' Jennifer Garner and her adorable children? News on the Arrested Development movie? Anything to do with Judy Greer or Michaela Watkins?  But then we landed on it - Ethan Lipton's amazing show 'No Place to Go,' which is playing for six more performances at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater through April 8th. We were lucky enough to see the show in its first incarnation as part of Joe's Pub's New York Voices series in November, and the current version, which is very similar and has been running for almost a month, is even more enjoyable and tightly produced (The most marked difference is that the lighting cues are a bit more dramatic). Lipton has a rare gift of making the personal universal and the universal deeply personal (that sounds really cornball, but it's true). It is in your best interest to see this show - it's fantastic. Here is a reposting of part of that original review:

...Lipton alone has the rare ability to come off curmudgeonly and honest, hilarious and sad, like a Charades-era Walter Matthau. He's dark and thoughtful and whimsical to boot.

The piece, titled No Place To Go, is a thinly-veiled musical satire of America's current political and social situation. Ethan (the character?) is dismayed to learn that his job is being outsourced. He's saddened, not solely because his job is relocating, but because the
company to which he's given ten years seems to undervalue him to such a ridiculous degree. He's living in a world where corporations can be considered people while simultaneously treating their employees less like people than ever before.

The music, which is almost all written for this performance piece (a few standards sneak in) and completely amazing, and the monologues that follow, continue the arc of Ethan's company disbanding and his job being shipped off without him. The 'and His Orchestra' (Eben Levy, Ian Riggs, and Vito Dieterle), are game and as talented as all get-out for the entire production...the music is still amazing and delightfully old-timey (or classically awesome, whatever sounds best).

...Lipton takes a concept that most people care about (crumbling economy, terrible business practices) and makes it personal (though never solipsistic) to him and simultaneously more important than ever. Seriously, the chops on this group. It's worth the ticket just to get a tan from basking in the brilliance...
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