The Rule of 7x7: Spooky Edition

Arcangel Gabriel (Thomas Muccioli) invites Mary (Layla Khosh) to discuss her impending pregnancy during Rule of 7x7: Spooky Edition at The Tank in Hell’s Kitchen.

By Andrew Andrews

New York City is awesome, isn’t it? On any given evening, there are dozens of live performances to be had in Manhattan, and even more if you’re willing to cross the river to one of the outer boroughs. Most nights you can even catch multiple performances—that is, if you’re willing to commit hours (and a small fortune) to the experience. But once every couple of months, you can have the best of all worlds: seven high-quality plays, performed back-to-back in a single theater, in less than two hours, for a price that won’t break the bank.

Oh, and you get a free beer, too!

That’s Rule of 7x7, and as we’ve said before, it’s one of our favorite recurring events—not only in Manhattan, not only in New York City, but anywhere we manage to venture. We try to catch every show, even though we don’t always review it. We trust it will be entertaining and we love the concept: each of the seven playwrights contributes one “rule” that must be included in every play, and the entire process takes about one month to bring it all together. Now, you might think that, given these constraints, the quality of each performance wouldn’t be all-that-great; however, producer/curator Brett Epstein really knows what he’s doing here.

In tonight’s first play, Life (by David Kimple, directed by Lana Russell), Death (Gina Ward) took the form of a gym instructor, subjecting Jean (Rachel Griesinger) to her own personal hell for eternity. Then, in Amy Gijsbers van Wijk’s Our #1 Best Silling Blush, Ria DiLullo directed Miranda Poett and Courtney McClellan through a comically-awkward “girls night in” between a woman and her sister-in-law. Next up, Thomas Hedlund, Camrus Johnson and Miller Tai starred as actors from the show Blue Man Group in Adi Eshman’s Blue Lives Matter, directed by Michaela Escarcega. And in the final piece before intermission, Briana Pozner directed David Jackson’s Mary, Too (see photo), featuring Layla Khosh and Thomas Muccioli as characters named Mary and Gabriel in a modern-day rendition of the Second Coming.

After the break, Maxx Brawer, Pierre Jean Gonzalez and Christin Eve Cato performed the most on-theme production of the evening: Krystina Bailey’s Blue Ivy, in which Glenn Quentin directed the three characters into a haunted house. Next, Becca Schlossberg wrote and directed Jaime Lamchick, Kate Karczewski and David Mangiamele through call-center hell in Robot Love. Lastly, Jake Beckhard directed Morgan Siobhan Green, Rachel McManus and Melissa Mahoney through Matt Minnicino’s The Shade (or) I Gave My Best to the Country I Love, in which Mahoney brought the ghost of General Stonewall Jackson to life for a Civil War history buff and her less-than-enthusiastic partner.

As always, the stories in tonight’s Rule of 7x7 presented that perfect balance of comedy and drama, making us laugh, scoff and contemplate sociopolitical themes throughout the night. And thanks to The Tank’s new, larger home at the south end of Hell’s Kitchen, there was plenty of room for the audience without sitting on the floors or blocking the aisles, and no need to push through the crowds of Times Square to get to the theater!

You can bet we’ll be back for Rule of 7x7’s next show on December 1st and 2nd, and you, too, should check it out and let us know what you think. Whether it becomes your favorite series in New York or you just can’t handle that much entertainment in one evening, your reviews help others decide whether they should attend, and your ratings help us help you find future events and activities you’ll love!

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Andrew Andrews attended The Rule of 7x7: Spooky Edition at The Tank in New York on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

Next Up:

Arden/Everywhere: The As You Like It Project

Baruch Performing Arts Center

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