Men on Boats OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    June 19, 2015
    Closing:
    June 29, 2015

    Theater: The Wild Project / 195 East 3rd Street, New York, New York, 10009

    Synopsis: 

    A play about the "true(ish) history" of an 1869 Grand Canyon expedition.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Men on Boats

    ‘Men on Boats’ Blurs Genders in Recalling John Wesley Powell’s Expedition

    Ben Brantley

    June 23, 2015: If summer has you hankering for fitness-testing excursions through the dangerous outdoors, you will surely want to spend time with the hearty title characters of “Men on Boats,” who are churning up bright clouds of testosterone hovering over the Wild Project in the East Village. The inhabitants of this rollicking history pageant by Jaclyn Backhaus, which opened on Monday night as the final offering of Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks festival of new plays, are fellows who are always up for shooting the rapids, the breeze and edible wildlife. They hail from the United States of the mid-19th century, when assertive, unquestioning masculinity was something that stood tall and unchallenged. Oh, and just so you know, there isn’t a man in the 10-member cast of “Men on Boats,” at least not according to the strict anatomical definition. On the other hand, as we have plenty of reason to think these days, gender can be as much matter of perception as of chromosomes. Long before Chastity Bono became a guy named Chaz and Bruce Jenner transformed into Caitlyn, stage performers were regularly changing their sexes, demonstrating the fluidness of the boundaries between male and female. Taboo-flouting drag shows have been a naughty staple of downtown New York theater for many a decade.

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