Via link tweeted by the Rude Mechs:
The Off Brand
Some of the best shows came and went in a flash.
By Scott Brown, December 4, 2011
It’s fashionable to write off Off and Off–Off Broadway—hey, I do it all the time, for fun and profit. But 2011 made that a difficult proposition: My favorite shows of the year, as a bloc, were those wee, untransferable gems and oddities from smaller theaters throughout the city, the sorts of shows that regularly blow in and out of town in two-week runs. Most of the time, frankly, two weeks is far too generous a cushion. Not this year, not for these ephemeral, yet unforgettable events.
I’ve made Sweet and Sad my No. 1 pick for 2011, but it’s just a tributary to a giant, churning underground reservoir of nanoscale theater-art. I thrilled at a revival of Howard Barker’s furious Restoration anarch-omedy Victory: Choices in Reaction, starring the great Jan Maxwell, which spoke directly to our present viciousness, revanchism, and social cannibalism. The Method Gun, a nothing-short-of-magical mousetrap rigged by Austin’s excellent Rude Mechs troupe, purported to tell the story of an acting guru named Stella Burden and her cultlike teaching techniques, but really massaged the old American ache for purity in theory and practice—and made the stakes of an elaborate theater-game feel like life and death. [. . . .]