The New York Times
The Workings of Wealth and the Woes of Workers
Published: January 17, 2004
ABUNDANCE at DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP
Marty POTTENGER probably didn't intend her one-act play to leave the impression that the rich are more interesting than you and me, but it does.
According to the program notes, Ms. Pottenger interviewed more than 30 minimum-wage American workers and 30 multimillionaires to guide her in this comment on economic inequity and its consequences. But it's only when her creation Laz (Joe Gioco), a 91-year-old near-billionaire businessman, rolls onto center stage in his wheelchair that the play crackles with energy.
"Got rid of the Impressionists years ago," Laz says as he shows off some of the art he's selling. "All those irritating dots and pastels."
When Laz isn't around, "Abundance" takes the form of choreographed movement - what seems to be group therapy meetings about money - and "word arias," performed by five actors playing multiple roles, calling out fast facts about the economy or themselves.
The cast does fine, but the "word aria" form can be tiresome. Ms. Pottenger does make some excellent points. It's startling to hear how sharply American gas consumption would drop if the average fuel efficiency of S.U.V.'s increased by just three miles a gallon. It's important, but it's awfully dogmatic theater.
This play, directed by Ms. Pottenger and Steve Bailey, continues through next Saturday.