The rest of the cast play a rotating volley of roles. Virginia Bartholomew is ensnaring as she rotates from prostitute to business woman to precocious eight-year-old… With simple shifts in hair and wardrobe, she makes each one unique and genuine. Leo Goodman performs similar magic, playing a stable of men who quickly appear and disappear as needed.
(It must be said that the casting here seems at first merely clever– but a revelation into Katie’s past transcends the direction and casting of these roles into brilliance. If you want to understand why, you’ll have to go see it.)
Playing more consistent roles are Chris Davis and Timothy J Cox ; as men at the Ad firm Katie ultimately absorbs. Cox is an everyman here, understandably bewitched by the mystery woman who sweeps him off his feet. Chris Davis, on the other hand, breathes fire into the success-obsessed ad man who find himself no longer in full control.
The show itself is minimalist in a number of ways that have nothing to do with casting. An ordinary desk and chair are used again and again to transport us from one locale to another. The stage design (and its use of graphics-on-backdrop) are remarkable in their elegance and simplicity. They do a great deal with very little; and the effect is both captivating and quite satisfying.
The frenetic pacing rushes us from one stage of Katie’s journey to the next. This too makes sense—if we stopped to think about our heroine’s meteoric rise, we might catch glimpse of the reasons this shouldn’t work, could never be possible.
It’s alright, though. In advertising– like theatre– everything doesn’t have to hold up under scrutiny. It just has to work long enough to grab you and convince you it’s true; which Avenue of the Americas does in spades.
You only have a handful of chances left to see this one-act, hour-long extravaganza. I suggest you get to it.
Remaining performances at the Tank are Wednesday the 26th, Sunday the 30th, Wednesday Feb. 2nd and Sunday the 6th, all of which are at 7:30pm. The Tank can be found at 354 w. 45th st, between 8th and 9th avenues. Tickets are available at the box office and athttp://www.thetanknyc.org.