In Mitch Watsons brilliant existential satire Klüb a revival of the Actors Gangs 1992 production a group of thespians at a rundown venue auditions their hearts out. Spoiled, squabbling egotists, they desperately compete for the approval of their director (Michael Schlitt) an omnipotent unseen presence whose voice thunders from the back of the theater, awarding points for performances he approves of, and deducting from those he doesnt. As suspense builds, the players become more ruthless. For years, moppet-haired Annie (Beth Tapper) a send-up of the Broadway icon has concealed her sex-and-alcohol-stained past; now its exposed by Noni (Hannah Chodos), her faithless longtime stage assistant. Suspicion of wrongdoing also hovers around the obsequious and oily Woodnard brothers (Michael Neimand and Joseph Grimm) and the companys puffed-up Shakespearean actor, Richard (Nathan Kornelis). Directed by Schlitt, the production has nary a false note. The spot-on ensemble play their manic roles to the hilt but never lose touch with the human element beneath. With its No Exit motif and carnival trappings, the play furnishes luminous commentary on the obsessive narcissism that impels, and ultimately imprisons, so many performers onstage and elsewhere. Complementing the garishly irrepressible characters are designer François-Pierre Coutures anarchical set and Sarah Browns colorful costumes.
Saturdays, 10:30 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: April 12. Continues through July 12, 2008