Last Thursday, I had a date night!!! An incredibly long overdue date night with my husband to go see “NO PLACE TO GO” at Joe’s Pub. I hadn’t been to Joe’s Pub before and the last time my husband was there was to see Astrud Gilberto almost 10 years ago. So we were excited for this treat and the much anticipated show lauded in the New York Times just that day.
The ambiance was what one would expect of a smoky jazz club (although we know those no longer exist in NYC). Joe’s Pub is set up in cafe-style seating where a full food and bar menu are served to seated patrons. The tables at the front of the venue were intimate (four people at each table; so parties of less than four were set with others which made for some interesting conversation) and they are eye level with the semicircular stage. Cool photos adorn the walls of past music & theater legends that have graced the Joe’s Pub stage. On the stage, there was no set; just four mics and musical instruments.
The three-man orchestra and an actor emerged from the back room onto the stage and immediately the lead actor (Ethan Lipton) took the mike and began to tell his employment story. He immediately grabbed the audience’s attention with his unassuming demeanor and unfiltered dialogue which came across more like an inner monologue. Mr. Lipton’s main take on life and employment can be summed up with a “big puffy white cushion will catch me” as he was letting life happen TO him and he was along for the ride. With lines like “I’m all yours if you pay” bellowing out and in of Mr. Lipton, who discloses his company is shutting down to move operations to Mars. “Why not Mars?” “We can always go home again.” The show follows the rollercoaster of emotions Mr. Liption experiences as he “looks for an elegant epiphany” and falls into unemployment.
Musical numbers peppered throughout the show gave comedic relief to the serious topic whose underlying theme is “anxiety is excitement in disguise.” But the downward spiral from employed to unemployed doesn’t end on a sour note. As Mr. Lipton sang “nothing but a comeback in my wallet” we believe he just may be onto something.
The show is worth grabbing a babysitter and getting a ticket (if you can). It’s a great night out and a wonderful piece of writing and performing.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
“NO PLACE TO GO”
Written by Ethan Lipton, Directed by Leigh Silverman,
Music Composed and Performed by Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra
The company where he’s worked for the past 10 years is moving to another planet, and playwright Ethan Lipton doesn’t want to go. Part love letter to his coworkers, part query to the universe, part protest to his company and country, “NO PLACE TO GO” delivers a hilarious, irreverent and personal musical ode to the unemployed in this unforgettable evening.
Playing Wednesday, March 14 though Sunday, April 8.
Member tickets are $20. Single tickets are $30. Click here to purchase.
The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) is proud to present Ethan Lipton’s “NO PLACE TO GO” for a limited engagement at Joe’s Pub. Commissioned last spring by Joe’s Pub as part of its first ever grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, “NO PLACE TO GO” is the first Joe’s Pub commission, as part of its New York Voices Series, to become part of The Public Theater’s season.
Click here to watch the music video featuring the song “3 Tier Plan” from “NO PLACE TO GO”, with illustrations by Joe’s Pub archival artist Michael Arthur.
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