The headline of Janet Maslin’s review of the film version of subUrbia in The New York Times reads, “Seeking the Meaningful in a Store’s Parking Lot.” This description essentially sums up Eric Bogosian’s play. The author presents six people in their twenties whose major tie is that they attended high school together. Five of the six are aimless and unmotivated. Still in the process of finding themselves, they congregate in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store run by a brother-sister team from Pakistan, Norman and Pakeeza. They litter the parking lot with trash that reaches monumental proportions as the action of the play mounts. They play boom boxes at ear-shattering volume. Their xenophobia and racism become apparent as their relationship with Norman deteriorates. The men are unrepentant male chauvinists.
The sixth youth, Pony, is making a name for himself as a rock music artist whose recently released album sold more than ninety thousand copies. Another album is planned. In contrast to Buff Macleod, who arrives on the scene on rollerblades, Pony and his publicist, Erica, a pampered, oversexed Californian from Bel Air, arrive in a chauffeur-driven, black stretch limousine. Pony is in town briefly for a gig that his former classmates choose not to attend.
In his review of subUrbia, David Richards calls it a play in which “a lot goes on but nothing happens,” an apt assessment. The play is noisy and active, but Bogosian has purposely and appropriately deprived it of forward thrust. The principals are aimless: drinking, littering the area outside the 7-Eleven with their trash, slinking behind it to the decrepit van they use for their frequent assignations, but always returning to where they were. There is a sense of eternal recurrence in their lives. At times they dream dreams: Sooze of going to New York and...
(The entire section is 767 words.)