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St. Ann’s ‘Dirty’ Secret Is Out

It’s dark, dirty, somewhat magical and could stick with you longer than the half life of a nuclear isotope. That’s how members of the award winning Foundry Theater are describing “Major Bang, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb,” which explodes on the St. Ann’s Warehouse stage next week. Part magic act, dark comedy and instructional seminar inspired by current events – all with a nod of appreciation to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove — “Major Bang” can be seen at St. Ann’s, 38 Water Street, DUMBO from January 18 through February 19. Radiation suits are not recommended or required, but, hey, you never know. The team at the Foundry Theater said that “Major Bang” was the fusing of a few obsessions that they were wrestling with last summer: the fact that weapons which at once were wielded by nations now lie in the hands of individuals and the disappearance of over 80 “nuclear suitcases” missing from Russia’s arsenal for the past ten years. They were also trying to figure out how to create a contemporary theatrical version of Dr. Strangelove – the 1964 cinema classic about mad U.S. Air Force Colonel Jack Ripper who wants to bomb the U.S.S.R. back to the stone age for conspiring to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people. Their answer was “Major Bang,” a 75-minute romp through homeland (in)security in the post-September 11 world where the globe’s neighborhood bully chucked away his leather goosesteppers for robes and goes by Al… Al Qaeda. Written by Kirk Lynn, “Major Bang” is “a dark comic meditation on 21st century concepts of fear” such as the chest-gripping anxiety one faces while peeking into a abandoned backpack found in the New York City subway. The story then wends to the activities of David Hahn, a Michigan Boy Scout who built a nuclear reactor in his parents garage back in 1994 to earn his Atomic Energy Badge; an over-caffeinated father and his seductive boss at the food irradiation plant as well as Major Bang, Hahn’s deranged scoutmaster. The story comes with a cameo appearance by famed comedian Lenny Bruce, who has his own oddball opinion on the war on terror. All of the roles are played by the critically acclaimed Maggie Hoffman of the Brooklyn-based avant-garde company Radiohole and professional magician, illusionist and lip-syncher Steve Cuiffo. Performances are directed by Paul Lazar, who is best known for his work with Big Dance Theater and has acted in several films including “Philadelphia,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Manchurian Candidate.” According to The New York Times, “The Foundry’s works continually challenge the mind and stimulate the senses.” Over the years, the Foundry Theater has been honored with eight Obie Awards and three Drama Desk nominations for “Unique Theatrical Experience.” As always, the Foundry Theater aspires to assemble a community of artists with revolutionary ideas. They pride themselves on commissioning, developing, premiering and touring plays that invite audiences to “visit unexplored landscapes of thought,” “provoke new questions for our times” and “forge unconventional answers to conventional questions.” Performances at St. Ann’s Warehouse will take place Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 P.M. as well as Saturday and Sunday at 4 P.M. There is a special Monday performance January 23 at 8:00 P.M., a special Wednesday performance January 24, and no performance on Tuesday, January 24. Tickets are $20 for the first nine performances—all performances from the matinee January 18 through the evening of January 26. After that, tickets will be $25, and $30 on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets for all performances can be purchased through the St. Ann’s box office, by phone at 718.254.8779, or in person Tuesday—Saturday from 1:00 to 7:00 P.M. Tickets to all St. Ann’s Warehouse performances are also available online at Ticketweb.com. St. Ann’s Warehouse Box Office is located at 38 Water Street between Main and Dock Streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

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