With plenty of network television in reruns thanks to the writer’s strike, it’s easy to yearn for time with some of your favorite, imaginary friends. Starting Sunday, however, you’ll no longer have to go without your weekly fix.
That evening, “3800 Elizabeth,” a new live-action “sitcom for the stage” will premiere the first of six brand new episodes (and one rerun) at The Battle Ranch, a performance space in Williamsburg.
Combining the ideas of serialized theater and of friends gathering together to watch television each week, writer, director and producer Aaron Baker decided to stage the show. Baker’s “3800 Elizabeth” focuses on the adventures of a bartender named AJ, his ex-girlfriend Sonja (played by Iracel Rivero, above) and his childhood friend Mike.
“Part of what I wanted to do with that was give an example of what I think sitcoms should be like,” Baker, a Bushwick resident, told GO Brooklyn. “I think contemporary comedy has fallen into a tendency of resorting to humor that I don’t think is very funny, especially stereotype-based humor. I was looking at comedy that draws more on absurdity and weirdness.”
Baker, who said that his only previous directing experience was behind a camera on “short films that no one has seen,” chose Williamsburg to stage his show because of his experience working with experimental theater groups in the area, such as the Brick Theater.
“I think Williamsburg has a good demographic for the show,” he said.
And while sitcoms on the regular old television can reel in millions of viewers for each episode, the space where Baker is staging “Elizabeth 3800” can only hold 40 viewers — so instead of just setting your TiVO, you’ll actually have to get there early. But, as of press time, Baker promised his live action sitcom wouldn’t have commercial interruptions.
“Elizabeth 3800” will premiere at 8 pm on Feb. 3 at The Battle Ranch (111 Conselyea St. at Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg). Additional episodes will be performed on Sundays at 8 pm through March 16. For information, visit www.3800elizabeth.com.