The East Village’s Theater for the New City and Executive Director Crystal Field present “Bike Shop” -- a musical that depicts a time, not so long ago, when bike messenger fleets zapped throughout New York City’s streets in lighting bolt fashion. The production chronicles the trauma, trails and trials of Bobby (Elizabeth Barkan), former NYC messenger bolt in empowered-lady form. Bobby’s biker life comes to a backpedaling halt during one fateful New York minute. She then suspends her bike and slowly unravels in her Williamsburg bike shop oasis, as life rolls on for several years. Barkan conceived and bravely performs the solo role in this well packaged and equally well delivered 90-minute snapshot of a complicatedly simple, grunge-era New York life.
The production’s musicality binds its quirkier parts with nostalgic bits for a harmonious fusion. The Bicycle Band performs all sound effects and live music. “Streetwise” and “Spinning Rabbi” are the catchiest tunes; Barkan’s confidence radiates while she enthusiastically performs both songs. Even under the most doleful of narrative circumstances, Barkan manages to flash the audience her stunning set of teeth and performs with a minimal palette that includes two shades of happy: exuberant and vivacious…and aptly so, “Bike Shop” is a musical!
Through July 6 at Theater for the New City.