This Round’s On Us and Il Buco

The six-year-old indie Nylon Fusion Theatre Company has a festival of well-chosen short plays four times a year. Led by Ivette Dumeng and a glamorous team of actors, the evening has an unexpected effervescence. An open bar near the stage encourages audience – and cast – to down a few drinks and be happy. The plays are all funny, and there’s an uninhibited party atmosphere, but also serious acting going on.

In Searching for Armstrong by James Harmon Brown, two brothers divide up their father’s estate, each accusing the other of having stolen a thing of value: a signed photo of Neil Armstrong in his space suit. Finally one of the brothers fesses up.Lucas Beck and Adam Belvo look nothing alike but were totally convincing as brothers, and kept us rooting for both of them.
Racine Russell and Andrew MacLarty

There was an intermission after Owed, by Joseph Samuel Wright – a wife meets her husband’s “bimbo,”as she calls her, face to face. Pooya Mohseni and Kate Garfield are both amazing in this gem, directed by Shira-Lee Shalit. These brief plays go as far as they can go, and there isn't a dud in the bunch.

While audience members mingled during the intermission, some with complimentary gin, others with a glass of the Nylon Fusion’s “signature sangria,” a fight broke out backstage between actors and spilled out onto the bar area. It seemed unlikely to come to blows. Yet, for a minute or two, it was believable enough that audience members took cover. It’s a testament to the freshness of this company that they’d even attempt something like that – and carry it off.

Right down the street from the Gene Frankel Theatre, and close to the Public Theatre, is the highly esteemed Il Buco, where everything you taste will be exceptional, including the bread dipped in olive oil.

The décor is Italian country kitchen. The menu is a poem. You’ll notice that all the main courses are similarly priced, so there’s no point in ordering chicken when you can have fluke or something exotic. The Italian kale version of caesar salad and a half portion of risotto or pappardelle will run you about fifty dollars, with one glass of the sommelier-choice wine at ten dollars a glass. You have to be prepared to pay the piper, but after dining at Il Buco, you’re excited to start cooking better at home, and that perhaps should be the test of a great restaurant experience today.