Down at Soho Rep, they’ve just extended the run of “Rambo Solo,” the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s latest foray into …what? Actor Zachary Oberzan, obsessed with the novel on which the RAMBO franchise is based, seems to have made his own action film in the tight precincts of an upper east side studio apartment. Spectators are given cushions, blankets, and a spot on the brown shag carpet facing a narrow platform, above which three projectors are showing successive versions of run-throughs of his 90-minute telling of the story of the novel, while he strides the platform acting it out, the words coming out of his mouth fed into his ear via iPod. Scheduled to close last night, it’s been extended for a week. Critical reaction has been intense and diverse; Hilton Als was vitriolic in the New Yorker. I, who detest violence and have never encountered Rambo in any form, was fascinated, only rarely bored, and sorry I’d claimed one of the few chairs reserved for the elderly and infirm, since the folks sprawled on the carpet were in a position to just nap through the slow parts.
Not that there were many slow parts. Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska, who conceived and directed their company member in this exercise, are really smart, radical theater-makers. If you haven’t yet encountered them, go to www.oktheater.org and read all about it, and seize this chance to curl up on the floor and watch Oberzan, who comes, by the end of the exercise, to seem like our next Richard Gere. Trust me.
Soho Rep’s at 46 Walker Street, a block or so from the south end of the ACE station at Canal; tickets at sohorep.org