nytheatre.com review by Jocelyn Szabo
August 15, 2004
After a long day, there is nothing more exciting than seeing an invigorating piece like Subway Train. Subway Train is the reason that the FringeNYC Festival exists; it was the most enjoyable night of theatre I have had in a long time. The show's creators, Joshua Kobak, Mickey Fisher, and Katy Pfaffl brilliantly combine beat poetry, narrative, music, and visual images to tell three stories about three different people that all take place on the subway.
Fisher plays several different characters that help to weave the various stories together. The fact that Fisher takes on several different roles throughout the two-hour piece does not diminish his power on stage. In fact, both he and Kobak play the two most moving characters, perhaps because they have the strongest stage presence as well as the greatest command of verse. Fisher is most poignant as the homeless man, always hitting home with his rhymes. He's fabulous performing several other roles, but it occurred to me that perhaps some of them could have been deleted to help shorten the piece.
The same could be said for Joshua Kobak, who plays Jericho. His story, that of a young man who has lost his love in September 11th is extremely poignant, but becomes somewhat lengthy after the character turns into a crystal meth addict. His verse and songs prior to this point make clear his pain, his loss, and his inability to go on without his one true love. Subway Train would be a more powerful piece if Kobak, Fisher, and Pfaffl gave the audience a bit more credit.
With that said, I urge everyone who has not seen Subway Train to run to the theatre in time to catch it before it closes on August 28th. Pfaffl is an absolute pleasure to watch and listen to. Subway Train is a rare piece in which everyone on stage more than holds their own. The musicians, Luca Benedetti, Danton Boller, and Sean Dixon, as well as the cast Mickey Fisher, Scott Hunt, Joshua Kobak, Marni Penning, and Katy Pfaffl are all extremely talented individuals.