During the final week of the Mission Drift run in New York City, Heather Christian and I went over to the NPR Studios. We were both extremely excited, but Heather can testify to the fact that my face almost shattered I was so giddy. With eyes wide we followed Margot Adler as she gave us a tour of the studio. Almost everyone was out to lunch, but it didn’t matter. I saw the desk of Robert Krulwich. And we even waved at Zoe Chace and Chana Joffe-Walt from Planet Money.
We sat down with Margot and discussed the work, which she’d seen previously.
CLICK HERE to listen to the awesome story that she put together.
Here we are, a little past the halfway point of our 4-week NYC run. If you haven’t seen the show yet, or are wondering what your opinion of the show should be, here’s a roundup of some of the things that have been written about Mission Drift so far in the New York City press:
Of all of the art inspired by the global economic crisis, perhaps none is as lusty and energetic as Mission Drift, the new musical by New York theater company the TEAM.
Drifting Into American Myth, The Wall Street Journal
Mission Drift…succeeds in staging a staggeringly ambitious saga. The liveliest lesson on desire, destruction, and economics that you’ll see in many a year.
The Village Voice
There’s a lot about the company’s new project to take heedless, heady pleasure in… Pleasures aplenty.
The New York Times
Mission Drift examines heady concepts without ever losing its heart. Thanks to strong writing and powerful performances, the TEAM never forgets to have empathy for their subjects… Mission Drift captures the zeitgeist while daring to suggest hope for the future.
An example of a theatre company at their most muscular, tackling what theatre should be tackling… to the hauntingly remarkable musical atmosphere of Heather Christian.
Exactly what I want the theatre to do to me: take me someplace I don’t know how to get to on my own.
New York Theatre Review
And a great little piece about the trials and tribulations during the genesis of Mission Drift in the New York Observer: After Three Years at Sea, the TEAM Drifts Home
Mission Drift made the roundup of TONY’s suggestions for not-to-be-missed theatre shows this winter–right up there with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Willie Loman and Kevin Spacey as Richard III. We’ll take it.
One of New York’s premier troupes… The TEAM presents it’s latest theatrical brainstorm.
-Time Out New York, “20 theatre shows to see this winter”
“This is the perfect moment to welcome back to Edinburgh the young TEAM company of New York, with their mighty new show Mission Drift… brilliantly sustained by this whole eight-strong company of performers and creators, and cheered to the echo by an audience who know that America’s physical frontier has gone, but who can recognise the thrilling frontier of 21st-century theatre when they see it.”
-The Scotsman, Edinburgh
“The best show I’ve seen at the Fringe so far by a country mile is this beautifully inventive show from New York’s The TEAM”
-The Daily Telegraph, London
“The ambition here is breathtaking and the energy intoxicating. A must-see.”
-The Independant, London
“There is more than a touch of The Wizard of Oz in a show that has a magpie eye for bright and shiny cultural references, an ebullient sense of fun and a broken heart… The company fulfil all their much-hyped promise in this gorgeous, gaudy musical.”
Mission Drift – review
“The TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment) have slowly but surely become the artistic conscience of a younger generation”
The Wheel Ten Plagues Mission Drift Futureproof Roll up, roll up for a magical history tour
“TEAM’s Mission Drift: The money markets are in meltdown. Send for Elvis”
TEAM’s Mission Drift: The money markets are in meltdown. Send for Elvis
“Setting the whole enterprise to bluesy, gospel-tipped song, led by showgirl and beauty queen Miss Atomic, the razzlin’, dazzlin’, manipulative spirit of Las Vegas, the company finally achieve the huge, soaring size of their ambitions. The (collectively-done) writing is crisply poetic, and each performance sharp, focused and beautiful.”
-Edinburgh Festival Guide
The TEAM achieve the huge, soaring size of their ambitions
“The TEAM are theatrical excavators of American culture, American dreams and the American psyche, understanding the intimate connection between past and present, celluloid and reality… it is alive with ghosts, fractured, full of the winds of change, half-remembered dreams. It is tender, elegiac and tough.”
-The Guardian, London
“How stimulating to wake up in 2009 in the hands of a present-tense theatercompany who knows what it’s doing…[Architecting] considers, with a refreshing lack of judgment, just what allows people to survive catastrophe, acquiring a poignancy and humanity and quietly summoning entire lives of everyday loss…In the musical moments, characters of shifting identities seem, however briefly, secure. Their voices are their own, and they fleetingly rise above the chaos of life on earth in a ritual that transcends time.”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Enthralling and infuriating, funny and tragic, intelligent and downright lunatic – it is impossible to have a simple response to this extraordinary production… One leaves the theatre thrilled by a company so determined to push the boundaries of theatrical possibility.”
“We are constantly told that theatre is the medium of the present tense, but this company refines that notion with terrific insight and flair. What emerges in this marvelous show underlines how sharply TEAM understand that theatre is like a magnified version of the eye of the needle through which this complex weave of consciousness is threaded. And they demonstrate this wisdom in the wit, verve and pained insight with which they bring past, present, and future in a glorious mélange of jumble and judicious ordering onto the stage at the same time…Visionary in concept and execution, this show reminds you of Tony (Angels in America) Kushner and sometimes of Robert (The Dragons’ Trilogy) Lepage.”
-The Independent, London
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“Explosive youthful energy…sheer intelligence…sense of history…radical theatricalvision…the TEAM are not afraid to invoke the values and ideas that make the liberal dream of America worth fighting for: and it’s that willingness to express idealism and hope, as well as cynicism and despair, that gives their work its special richness, and its political edge…the current American crisis has driven the TEAM to new heights of controlled madness.”
– The Scotsman
“For anyone who has had it up to their Fox-scarred eyeballs with faith-based politics…Director Rachel Chavkin has a prescription…Particularly in the Heartland wants you to love thy frickin’ neighbor… the spirited TEAM soon explodes into the unexpected: They create people real enough to sustain an in-character audience Q&A and compassionate enough to infect a blasé public with their openheart- edness. Simultaneously intelligent, rueful, celebratory, delightful and devastatingly sad,the show actually lives up to its ambitions. If after Heartland we can’t put the “us” back in “U.S.,” we’ll no longer have Kansas to blame.”
– Time Out New York
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“Particularly in the Heartland,” this weekend’s offering Ice Factory, Soho Think Tank’s annual summer festival, makes a particularly strong case for the virtues and rewards of new theater. Created and performed by the shockingly talented ensemble, the TEAM, winners of the 2005 Fringe First Awards in Edinburgh, the piece is unconventional drama at its very best.
—Iris Brooks, The New York Sun, July 21, 2006, full article