Not even John Simon, in the midst of a spinal tap, could say anything mean about ”Live From the Edge Theatre” (P.S. 122, closed). This attitudinal two-part variety show hails from the Bronx and germinated at the Point, a cultural center that has revitalized a warehouse space in Hunt’s Point by creating an arts community. It’s that rare organization that walks it like they talk it. And talk it they do. The first half consists of Anthony DeMore and his band AD, whose Sights and Sounds of the Deaf, Mute and Invisible zigzags between Ice-T/Rollins Band rap fusion, DeMore’s solo pieces and poems, and a long skit. DeMore has plenty of raw charisma; his portrayal of an ambitious father who runs a ”hardware, deli, and grocery” is nuanced and fresh. A talk- show satire featuring black intellectual Uncle Toms holds your interest because it doesn’t treat its subjects as mere buffoons. DeMore’s got mad enthusiasm and the core of something special.
The second half, The Ride, presented by an even more effervescent, racially mixed group who call themselves Universes, is like a great day in a funky drama class. The five are as likely to kick some poetry as break out into a cappella singing, to orchestrate a vocal exercise as they are to burst into a step show. So what if they don’t know when to stop and don’t hit all the notes? Their energy and realness is unmatchable, even by people with more experience. You can’t dis folks who get onstage and say, ”Me and my crew love theater so much we got the masks of comedy and tragedy tattooed on our hearts.” Feeling up to it, Mr. Simon?