I almost never venture out of Manhattan to see theater, especially to parts of Brooklyn I’ve never been to, trendy though they now may be. Such is Billyburg, or Williamsburg. I went there to see of all things a Clown Show. In a Clown Festival, at the tiny Brick Theater at 579 Metropolitan Avenue. A bright red door led you into a tiny, black-box theater, with yes, the requisite exposed brick walls.
And there I saw one of the best, most moving pieces of theater I have seen in a long, long time. “Until Next Time” was the multi-talented David Quay’s completely wordless story of a young man(Quay himself, who also sharply directed) suffering the loss of his beloved (Tiffany Baker) in a car crash.
Completely pantomimed with a lush musical score underneath, Quay acted out the heart-break, love and loss, he felt about the comatose pretty girl in the hospital bed. We all know she may never recover, but Quay refuses to let her go. And his memories come to vivid life as the Sleeping Beauty (Baker) arises from the bed and re-enacts their life together.
The hospital setting is bleak as any, as Quay sees all the medical personal as his adversaries and at one point he even battles the doctor and nurse, who come to symbolize death itself. And we all want him to win this tug of war and bring the beautiful Baker back to life.
Quay’s masterful, incredibly skillful clowning recalls all the great mimes, Marcel Marceau, Chaplin, Buster Keaton and reminds you of how sad the world of wordless clowns can be, and how heart-breaking.
There are no words when you are fighting with your feelings of the death of a loved one.
I must’ve cried three times.
The final images are shattering.
I wish “Until the Next Time” were playing longer, but alas, its’ run at the Brick Theater is done, but such a superb, original work surely will be seen again.
That’s the way we all feel when someone we love passes. Until Next Time.