Wringing Variations out of White

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Posts, Theater.

White, the new
children’s show currently playing at The New Victory Theater, is an elegant
little romp that has more sophistication than the usual kiddie show—and a
slightly subversive edge. Wrinkle (Ian Cameron) and Cotton (Andy Manley) live
in an all-white world, where they catch eggs falling from the sky in their
aprons, put hand-knit hats on top of them and set them up in elegant, off-white
birdhouses. But when a red egg falls from the sky and the big-hearted Cotton
takes it under his wing, so to speak, the carefully edited world that Cotton
and Wrinkle share is turned upside down by the sudden invasion of color.

Deliberately low-fi, White is far removed from the typical theater piece aimed at elementary
schoolers. There’s a level of effortless chic to Shona Reppe’s shades-of-white
set and Gill Robertson’s breezy direction that is most welcome. Cameron and
Manley, as the two ever-vigilant guardians of color, earn laughs from the
children in the audience without resorting to mugging. They and the show treat
the audience like intelligent human beings, and we are pathetically grateful
for such consideration. As for that subversive edge? Well, everything is in the
eye of the beholder, but Cotton and Wrinkle do employ a disco ball for naptime.


Through Nov. 13, New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.), www.newvictory.org; $14–$38.