Kate Mueth, director of "EVE," wasn't lying in her promotional material. So much more than a show, "EVE" is a "dance theater immersion experience," and one that should not be missed. The experience starts in the parking lot as you pull in, red lights flash and music seeps from the second floor of the LTV Studios building. You follow twinkling lights up to the box office, don your mardi gras mask and EVE bracelet, and wait behind a curtain for further instruction. Three masked guides dressed in black give instruction for the evenings performance, the most important rule is that the audience feel free to explore all the rooms during the show.
That's right, rooms. The production encompasses the entire floor of the building, each room has its own theme, lighting, and interactive experience. To add to it, the actors are never in the same room at once! So 100 people can see the show and each one can take away from it something completely different, and I definitely recommend seeing it more than just once.
Mueth has such an interesting take on this ancient story, I love her use of the "serpent" character to temp not just Eve, but Man as well. The "Tree of Life" has much more than just the apple, but Twinkies, Vanity Fair magazine, and most importantly a baby nestled in its branches. Eve's journey takes her from creation, to friend, then blushing bride, red carpet diva, and ultimately she yearns to be a mother and create life herself.
The set design and execution of this epic production left me in complete awe. Before the performers even came out we were allowed to explore the rooms and try to piece together where the performance would go. It was an experience in and of itself just wandering from room to room, reading the poetry written on the mannequins on the walls, and leaving your own make in the chalk room.
Ana Nieto, who plays Eve, had such a beautiful strength and poise throughout her performance. She probably had a total of five lines but she spoke volumes with her eyes. Her relationship to the people and places she was surrounded by changes from song to song as she grew and began to find her true self amidst the cacophony of modern life.
Graham Connor Buford played the role of Man with such intensity and he utilized his incredible acrobatic talent and muscle control as he contorted, flipped, and walked on his hands all over the place. My favorite scene of his happened in the kitchen room, where he and Eve played out a hot and spicy "newlywed" scenario. They locked eyes and never stopped staring hungrily at each other as they danced and cooked and shimmied happily in their honeymoon moment. Though the room was full of wallflowers spying on this intimate moment, they couldn't see anyone but each other in that crowded room.
"EVE" runs Friday through Sunday at (75 Industrial Road, Wainscott) at 8 p.m. There is also a closing night party with food, drinks, performance and a DJ. For tickets visit www.evehamptons.com. And seriously — do not miss this show.