What are beautiful people? Are they humans like the rest of us, or are they more like well-made objectsbetter gazed at than spoken to? This is the question driving Katalina Mustateas new play, The Model, a confusing parable of obsession and stiletto heels, in which an unlucky couple discovers an abandoned model on Houston Street, and adopts herwith disastrous results.
Reclamation Project Runway?
By Katalina Mustatea
Incubator Arts Project
131 East 10th Street
In Mustateas conceit, Trevor and Mercedes beloved new housemate is kind of a cross between a highly pedigreed pet and an heirloom settee. (Kate Garfield plays her as a live mannequin, who struts, preens, and flails around with a blank look in her eyes.) Harboring a hunch that shes authenticwe never learn exactly what this meansher doting foster parents summon an authenticator, a bumbling professor type given to unintelligible reveries. To Trevor and Mercedes disappointment, the ungrateful model attacks him, and eventually flees, leaving the couples marriage on the rocks.
But why? Mustateas play feels as undernourished as a celery-chomping fashionista: Its unclear why this model is so thrilling, or why the couple cares so much. Are models an endangered species? Do Trevor and Mercedes long for offspring of their own? Either way, The Model isnt quite runway-ready; a little spiffing-up is in order before Fashion Week arrives.