If you are a history-minded New Yorker, there's a good chance you'll enjoy Barry Rowell's new site-specific play "Manna-Hata," which takes place across the abandoned third and fourth floors of the Farley post office on Eighth Avenue.
Only one hundred audience members are allowed at a performance, and the group is split into four sections, each with its own guide, including such diverse historical personages as Walt Whitman and Shirley Chisholm. The guides lead the audience through the post office and through time, from the Lenape creation story to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center--sort of a theatrical "Inside the Apple."
We had a good time, but some caveats:
1. The show is advertised at three hours, but ends up being more like 3 hours and 15 minutes. You're on your feet almost all of that time.
2. The old post office is not exactly conducive to perfect acoustics. Some people reported having trouble hearing, other thought it was way too loud.
3. The first act is stronger than the second act, and the drama begins to lag in the 1950s.
4. Except for one scene, all audience members see the exact same thing, so it doesn't really matter which character is your guide.
Tickets and more information at:
The play is sold out for tomorrow, but that's okay because it means you can come see the play and our Q&A after "The Henrietta" at the Metropolitan Playhouse (http://blog.insidetheapple.net/2013/06/reminder-henrietta-this-sunday-at-3pm.html)