‘Why should it be loved as a city? It is never the same city for a dozen years altogether,” wrote Harper’s Monthly in 1856, complaining of New York’s endless flux. Live in the city long enough, and you’ll inevitably lose something irreplaceable—a favorite dive bar, a beloved park. Lost Lounge—a cheerfully elegiac cabaret, starring Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches, itself a cherished downtown institution—mourns vanished Gothams, and celebrates survival.
Shaw and Weaver bicker, flirt, and harmonize their way through romantic vignettes, meditations on aging, and playful love songs (Vivian Stoll accompanies on keyboard). Silhouetted against the white walls of Dixon Place’s brand-new theater—Shaw in tuxedo, Weaver in crinoline—they look like lonely, elegant clowns. (Talking about bygone days in freshly renovated digs is an irony not lost on the duo.) Projected time countdowns register the piece’s own swift passage; Weaver consoles spectators on their personal New York losses. In the end, their wry recollections begin to seem like solace for the city’s relentless pace of change.