Links Hall is devoting a month to a series of car-based performances, curated by the collective Seep, demonstrating the variety of effects that can arise when theater and traffic collide. Erik Fabian’s “The Bee, Direction, and the Driving Lesson” relies heavily on the interventions of its three-person audience: one passenger (this reviewer) serves as driving instructor, while he receives destinations from a second passenger and toothpick stings from a third, the Bee. Fabian’s ability to navigate the city while subject to these distractions (not to mention the occasional blasts of buzzing from the piece’s soundtrack) is impressive, if occasionally nerve-wracking. My drive exemplified the strengths and weaknesses of such interactive work, fluctuating between a heightened sense of reality created by serendipitous responses in and out of the car and stretches during which not much was going on. “Placement,” performed by Bridget Kies, David Jude Greene, and Liz Wuerffel, uses the car only tangentially, transporting the audience to a lakeshore spot at which we witness some rigmarole that may or may not be about travel. The performers display a striking visual sense. The sight in the far distance of Greene holding an umbrella and Kies with a suitcase, framed by the vast gray expanses of sky and lake (and abetted by the Whistler-like weather Sunday) testifies in its unsettling melancholy to the power of unconventional staging. The festival as a whole succeeds in altering, if fleetingly, our relationship to our vehicles and the city through which we drive them. (John Beer)
“Drive-By Performance” plays at Links Hall, 956 Newport, (773)281-0824, through November 19.