Theater for the New City
Stewart Benedict

Two one-act faces, “Beauty and the Beat” and “Lifestyles of the Poor and Bohemian,” bearing the joint title of BOHEMIA ON WRY, are currently playing at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.

Both are written by Richard West and directed by Lissa Moira, probably best known as the collaborators on the Best Sex of the XX Century Sale, that long-running off-Broadway hit. As the title suggests, the opener has to do with the Beat writers and musicians who flourished in New York and San Francisco from the late ‘40s to the mid-‘60s, including Jack Kerouac, Dean Moriarty, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Kerouac appears as Sal, Dean as Dean and Corso as Carlos. The important feature of this play is that West has captured perfectly the spirit of the Beats: mostly autodidacts, their emphasis was on the accumulation of personal experience, largely through polymorph perverse sex, liquor and drugs. West is helped to convey that spirit through Moira’s brilliant direction and the athleticism of the two young men who play Sal and Dean, the handsome Daniel Passaro and Jack Tynan. Their wild and lengthy leaps around the stage have to be seen to be believed. In short, this struck me as a fine play.

BOHEMIA ON WRY included the play “Lifestyles of the Poor and Bohemian,” written by Richard West, directed by Lissa Moira and with original lyrics by Richard West and Lissa Moira.