"(Edgar Oliver's) guileless and charismatic weirdness is pretty irresistible... a taut and utterly involving hour. It is very funny, and also oddly touching and affecting." -- nytheatre.com
"A narrative of near-perfect punch lines and delightful contretemps that balance against the lonesome undertones of his autobiography… The show seduces as an artifact of a New York that is endangered, if not extinct." -- Showbusiness Weekly
Critics Pick! "An act of love. He is like Jonathan Harker 30 years after the events of Dracula, visibly changed by the story he continues to tell." - Back Stage
"Theater at its purest… you can see why the man is a downtown legend…
darkly hilarious, heartbreaking..." -- Theater Is Easy
"Heartwarming and heartbreaking, the production masterfully captures the idiosyncrasies that characterize city living... His nostalgia for the past, combined with his focused engagement with the present, make Oliver a masterful storyteller." -- OffOffOnline.com
Axis Company will present an encore engagement of East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House, a play by and about Downtown performance icon Edgar Oliver. Originally presented in November of 2008, this stark and enigmatic look at a life on the fringes of New York's Lower East Side was acclaimed by critics and embraced by record-breaking audiences at Axis. The production comes on the heels of what could be Oliver's breakthrough role in the upcoming film from Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess, Gentlemen Broncos, opposite Sam Rockwell as well as a national advertising campaign for mobile phones in Ireland that has also become a cult phenomenon. Directed by Randy Sharp performances of this limited engagement begin February 12, 2009.
In East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House, long-standing, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver takes the audience on a fantastic voyage through the strange rooms of the apartment house where he has lived since his first years in New York. Inhabiting the dark, mysterious halls of an East Village tenement building are a dwarf Cabalist, a possible Nazi, the landlord's former wet nurse who apparently lives in a nest of rags, and many other memorable persons. Edgar leads the audience up to the final room, his own, at the top of the derelict stairs, wherein lie the secrets of his family and the unbelievable odyssey that brought him there. This incredible cast of characters illuminate the sad, funny, brilliant and uniquely New York story.
Georgia native Edgar Oliver started performing in New York at the Pyramid in the mid-1980's alongside artists including Hapi Phace, Kenbra Pfahler, Samoa and playwright Kestutis Nakas. As a playwright, many of Oliver's plays have been staged at La MaMa and other downtown NYC theatres, including The Seven Year Vacation, The Poetry Killer, Hands in Wartime, Motel Blue 19, and Mosquito Succulence. As a stage actor, he has performed in countless plays including Edward II with Cliplight Theater, Marc Palmieri's Carl the Second, Lipsynka's Dial M for Model, and numerous productions at Axis including A Glance at New York (Edinburgh Festival & NYC), Julius Caesar, USS Frankenstein, Hospital, and Seven in One Blow. Edgar is also one of the most beloved story tellers at The Moth. His film roles include That's Beautiful Frank, Henry May Long (directed by Axis' Randy Sharp) and Gentlemen Broncos. His published works include A Portrait of New York by a Wanderer There, Summer, and The Man Who Loved Plants.
The production features lighting design by David Zeffren and sound design by Steve Fontaine.
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