The Wooster Group's North Atlantic, reprised
The main set platform is canted at steep and steeper angles, and feels even more imposing than it did at the old Performing Garage space. The upper ranking officers inhabit a cramped apron strip downstage, speaking into a mic like emcees. The set apparatus includes a narrow catwalk with rails fore and aft, between the apron and platform. On the platform is a long work table where the enlisted women (Frances McDormand, Kate Valk, Koosil-ja, Jenny Seastone Stern, and Maura Tierney, familiar from her many TV roles) spin reels of tape, tap on satisfyingly clickety but otherwise useless “keypads,” and brandish an unlimited supply of unsharpened pencils—the perfect metaphor for this neutered outfit pretending to be a decoy. They go from being the incessantly busy (if unproductive) heart of the operation to fulfilling the romantic fantasies, and less so the realities, of the men after an onstage costume change from khakis to cocktail dresses.