hello failure

Okay so I’m very, very excited about this. I want you to mark your calendars and buy your tickets ahead of time and get your friggin’ act together to go see this show. I’m not even remotely kidding. Seriously. Why are you still sitting there? Why haven’t you bought your tickets yet?

This Thursday at P.S.122 is the opening of Kristen Kosmas’ play Hello Failure. It is going to be great. I haven’t even seen a preview or anything but I just know.

Kosmas was one of the co-founders of Little Theater at Tonic. She’s a great writer and performer and has been an instrumental figure in organizing and inspiring the downtown theater world – through Little Theater and her work with pretty much everybody.

I first met Kosmas in, I think, ’92 (maybe ’91) at a meeting in some tiny theater in The Odd Fellows Hall in Seattle. My friend Matt Richter ran this little space called Rm. 608 on 19th St. and shortly thereafter he presented her solo show blah blah fucking blah which, to this day, was one of the most amazing experiences I have had in a theater. Maybe it was the era or our age, but I was stunned into submission. Kosmas’ writing was a unique and mesmerizing language unto itself, her performance was transporting – she spoke every word like a revelation, she performed with  intensity, passion and rigor. By the end of the show I was speechless. Obviously I was not alone. That show had a long life, eventually moving to another theater, the Aha! Theater where it consistently sold out and had lines around the block for weeks.

Anyway – life ensues, I leave Seattle and move to NYC in 1995. Surprisingly our paths don’t cross again until 2005 when we meet up at the Obies. I go to see a performance of her new show Mayor of Baltimore/Anthem at Dixon Place and it all comes rushing back – sure this is a play, kind of. Not a solo show for sure. And yet the language, the poetry, the rhythms, the ironic and profound observations of the cosmic within the mundane are all the same, only the style is refined and tempered by life experience.

Hello Failure, according to the P.S.122 marketing copy:

Kristen Kosmas’ newest work is a sprawling associative neo-realistic comedy of beauty involving seven submariners’ wives, one counterfeit civil war ghost, one lusty renegade hairdresser and a poignant potted plant all making it through the day…barely. Acclaimed playwright and co-founder of Obie-Award winning Little Theater, Kristen Kosmas will premiere her new work Hello Failure at P.S.122 this season. In Hello Failure, Kosmas’ singular voice and distinctive theatrical sensibility create an oddly affecting and delightfully disorienting world, where bridges and communication collapse, and little attempts at kindness are botched or lost in the mail.

There aren’t too many playwrights who have a singular voice, a completely original take on things. Kosmas is one. Go see this show.

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