Thursday, June 2, 2011

‘WTC View’ a Lucid Window on a Still-Fresh Tragedy

Eric (Nick Lewis) and Alex (Patrick Edward O’Brien) sorting things out in “WTC View.” Photos by Carol Rosegg.


wisdom has it that traumatic events require distance in the retelling.

“WTC View” disproves this notion. With the perspective of just a few years, Brian Sloan created a simple, compelling memorial to 9/11. As “WTC View” illustrates, it is not too soon, even before the 10th anniversary, to look back at the days surrounding that tragic day.

The filmmaker has reworked “WTC View,” part of Americas Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters through Sunday (hurry!), since it premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2003. In 2006, BS adapted “WTC View,” his first play, into a movie featuring Michael Urie. (See video of the film at

The play is beautiful and moving, focusing on Eric (Nick Lewis ) who was close enough in his SoHo flat to watch the Towers fall. Eric had placed an ad, just days before that infamous September morning, for a roommate.

Eric (Nick Lewis) is looking for a roommate amid trouble in “WTC View.”

NL is very appealing, mastering a demanding role that keeps him centerstage for most of two intermissionless hours. He is subtle in revealing the feelings under Eric’s glib banter.

Loss and pain resonate in “WTC View” as each character adds his own story to the telling.

Among those responding to Eric’s ad is Kevin (Michael Carlsen), a wisecracking trucker who can’t go back to his Battery Park apartment. MC is exhilarating as the adorably punchy Kevin.

Despite the tinge of stereotyping of the characters who inhabit the play, some of them just voices on Eric’s answering machine, “WTC View” rises above cliché.

Josie (Leah Curney) is Eric's (Nick Lewis) Uptown friend in “WTC View.”

Eric’s best friend, Josie (Leah Curney ), for instance, is a bit of a type. The Upper East Sider took him shopping before 9/11 at Century 21 and brings him cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Max (Martin Edward Cohen ), a student from NYU, delivers a rant about the lack of respect for students, despite the many ways in which they have helped change the world. Will (a voice role for Jay Gaussoin ) is Eric’s concerned and protective ex-lover from Brooklyn who calls him “Honey.”

"WTC View” unfolds gracefully and naturally. BS’s artistry makes the story both personal and general. It is raw, intimate and emotional without being the least bit maudlin.

"WTC View" is a New Yorker's story about an event that belongs as much to the rest of the country as it does the locals who experienced it firsthand.

Visit to learn more about "WTC View."

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