Theater archives

Playful and Surreal, Daily Life Everlasting Celebrates Its Subject


Like the everyday rhapsodies it depicts, downtown ensemble Witness Relocation’s Daily Life Everlasting eludes easy description. This is deliberate: Made up of 28 brief sequences, each a kind of theatrical molecule — a dance, a poem, a song — the piece values presentness over retrospection. Instead of worrying about plot, Witness Relocation wants you to bop along with what’s happening right now.

Pairing a patchwork script of lyrical fragments by Charles L. Mee with director-choreographer Dan Safer’s witty dances, the work stages the ebb and flow of ordinary experience. Moments of solitude, in which performers recite idiosyncratic epiphanies about love or passing time, alternate with duets by turns tortured and tender and raucous group numbers celebrating the ecstasy of belonging.

The movement between solos and society becomes a poignant meditation on the push-pull paradox of human life. We private beings yearn to be understood by other equally private beings, even if that entails accepting angst along with the fellow-feeling.

This doesn’t mean the piece is ponderously existential. Far from it: The vibe is rowdy and playfully surreal. Actors throw themselves around the stage with abandon, leaping into each other’s arms to kiss or fight. They convene for a strobe-lighted bacchanal (joined by a couple of saucy Easter bunnies). The urgency is key: Daily life, humdrum in its routines, can feel everlasting — until, suddenly, it’s over.