"It's those quiet moments you have to yourself that can, surprisingly, put you on the spot and make you the center of attention. A single peep, body gesture or even a thought can change the energy of people surrounding you. This is a powerful theme that emerges from all of the seven anonymous strangers in Michael Leoni's "Elevator," currently playing at the Hudson Guild Theatre.
Trapped in between space and time, a septet of men and women find their Friday plans are spoiled when the office building elevator they enter shuts down mid-transport. A CEO Woman (Deborah Vancelette), Assistant (Erica Katzin), Businessman (Alex Rogers), Musician (Mikie Beatty), Maintenance man (William Stanford Davis), Hot girl (Karlee Rigby) and Goth girl (Rachael Page) all wait feverishly as the problem is fixed. But the true technical difficulties are within the steel of the elevator. Human insecurities, prejudices and friction run amok.
Michael Leoni's direction of his actors has a classical stroke. But what I especially liked was how he added an element of style with Hip Hop influenced sound design and clever, repetitive leifmotifs that are sure to pull some delight from the audience. Leoni and his cast have full control over the audience.
On the boards and blogs, I notice Elevator is categorized as a comedy. Perhaps a comedy of errors because there are measures of truth among the characters. Speaking of truth... truth be told, Elevator will effortlessly make you feel like you're trapped inside, battling these demons alongside them. Get ready for the ride because this is a beautifully acted and expertly directed play."
"Elevator," an 11:11 Experiment is Produced by Michelle Kaufer and Schoen Smith & Directed by Michael Leoni (from his own play).