Dick Pix by Daniel McCoy

Lynne Marie Rosenberg and Erinn Holmes take us into the minds of professional art handlers in Dick Pix, a funny and smart piece of experimental theater at Theater Lab. Original photo by Jody Christopherson.

By Andrew Andrews

Something special is happening in the world of live theatre: playwrights have been finding the perfect formula for mixing just enough experimental elements into a traditional story to keep us interested, engaged and excited about what’s on stage!

Earlier this month, Sam Kahn delivered it in Chatter at The Tank, and now Daniel McCoy has done it again with Dick Pix at Theater Lab, just down the block in Midtown West.

Now, a title like Dick Pix surely conjures up some images about this story, and truth be told, they’re probably not far off.

Not far off… but incredibly incomplete.

You see, Dick Pix is a pretty straightforward story about a straight, white, cisgender male modern artist named Calvin (David Gelles), his partner/publicist Grace (Kate Abbruzzese), gender-nonconforming art dealer Fyn (Bruce Jones) and patron Mrs. Marblebatt (June Ballinger).

But despite the straightforward plot, the idiosyncrasies of its characters twist this story in directions you’ll never imagine.

And not just for the sake of being different, either: by reversing and challenging stereotypes, McCoy prompts us to evaluate our preconceptions and examine them in a different light.

Case in Point #1: the elderly Mrs. Marblebatt is forced to resign her position as headmistress at an exclusive boarding school when one of the students circulates a video of her “clandestine fingering in a stall in the faculty washroom.”

Case in Point #2: when Calvin and Grace recall a telephone conversation, Calvin recounts Grace’s words and vice-versa, allowing you to hear each message from the recipient’s perspective.

But it’s really Case in Point #3 that will blow your mind: Grace victimizes two professional male art handlers (played by female actors Lynne Marie Rosenberg and Erinn Holmes) with catcalls and innuendo that make them increasingly uncomfortable, until the situation explodes.

The deadpan portrayal of the profound minds of this blue-collar duo made us say, “Wait… what?” on more than one occasion.

With such a perfect script to work with and incredible talent under superb direction from Heidi Handelsman, this black-box production—no, make that a "white-box" production, since the set (Sarah Pencheff) is washed in it—delivers the absolute perfect mix of cheap one-liners and intelligent social commentary.

Definitely check it out, then come back and let us know what makes this piece stand out for you.

Not only do your comments help others decide whether they should attend; your ratings help us help you find upcoming productions you’re sure to love!

5

Andrew Andrews attended Dick Pix by Daniel McCoy at Theaterlab in New York on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 @ 7:30pm to write this review.