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A fault in their ‘Stars’: Immersive show is pretty but pointless

Follow the leader: The immersive show “Stars in the Night” starts with the Man in the Orange Tie, who leads the audience through Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Brooklyn Paper
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If you see a dozen people wandering through Dumbo looking lost, best not to talk to them. They might follow you home.

That’s especially likely if they are audience members in “Stars In the Night,” an oddball mess of a play that takes place five times a night through Oct. 14, along a half-mile stretch of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dumbo. The “intimate, immersive production” takes no more than 12 audience members on a journey, with actors leading the group from one spot to another.

Some performers speak directly to the crowd, and ask questions — your answers won’t matter, since this is an immersive, not interactive show. Others ignore you entirely, and you watch them like silent ghosts.

Between segments, there is a bizarre adjustment period, as you wait in a crowded public space for the next character to appear. Is this person part of the show? No? How about this one? Is this an actress, or are we just following a random woman as she has an ostentatious but not-especially-interesting conversation on the phone?

Fortunately, those awkward moments decrease as the night goes on, as you stumble from park to studio apartment to a cocktail party.

And if you persevere through two mostly inaudible monologues, delivered by actors standing beneath the Manhattan Bridge while trains rattle overhead, you will find a few moments of beauty — a pretty song, a breathy soliloquy in the dark, and an excellent old-fashioned cocktail (provided by sponsor Van Brunt Stillhouse, an actress manages to note without breaking character).

But it adds up to not much at all, moments strung together by a flabby, vague story about family members who don’t get along, and who might be better off if they stopped trying.

Actress Davonna Dehay, as over-the-top real estate agent Alice, is a breath of fresh air, as she leads the crowd through the streets, turning every pothole and flaw into a neighborhood perk.

When she left us at the end of the show, the audience members bonded as we tried to piece together the story, speculating about which characters were related, and poring over the program for clues. But $125 is a steep price tag, if the real show was the friends we made along the way.

“Stars in the Night” in Dumbo (starting point revealed when you buy a ticket, www.starsinthenight.net). Tue–Sun at 7 pm; 7:30 pm; 8 pm; 8:30 pm; and 9 pm, through Oct. 14. $125.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, September 20, 2018
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