Written by Arthur Nersesian
New Yorkers of a certain stripe will recognize themselves in the work of Arthur Nersesian-The Fuck-Up's perennial fuck-up; Manhattan Loverboy's vowelly challenged Joey Ngm; Dogrun's dead-defying Mary Bellanova; Suicide Casanova's mugly Leslie Cauldwell; Chinese Takeout's Orphicular Orloff; Unlubricated's Off-Off Hannah; they're all dead-center in an ever-fraying fringe of those who've-as The Hold Steady sings-"lived through the '80s already," even if they did just get here.
See, when yesterday's already bygone, you needn't be one of those certain New Yorkers to recognize Nersesian's New York-its grit, its sturm and its drang. It still exists, thankfully, and he's still writing it, with a bat to the skull of every Brat who's ever pretended to the inky throne.
In East Village Tetralogy (Akashic, $14.95), Nersesian writes New York on to the stage, where many would argue the city belongs in the first place. That said stage is a wild world's away from Rent, which only makes it that much more matterful. New York may remain tuneful and moving, but for the great good of most of us, this town is not that kind of song and dance. Not even close.
This week Nersesian and others read "Rent Control," one of the four plays in East Village Tetralogy.
June 6. L.E.S. Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard St. (betw. Delancey & Broome Sts.), 212-431-0233; 6, free.