Best Theater of the Absurd - 2006
The Dark Room
Nobody going to the Dark Room is going to the theatah, meaning no one is pulling out nice snacks and preordering wine for intermission (and God help you if you must use the bathroom during a show). But co-owners Jim Fourniadis and Ty Mckenzie aren't out to lure the highbrow Union Square crowd: They just want their kids. The duo ushers in weird shows by the truckload, such as Impossible Productions' improbable episodes of Batman and The Twilight Zone, along with inspired versions of The Princess Bride and the game Clue. The Gong Show, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Fun: The Concept (starring Zippy the Pinhead) have all had successful runs, but many Dark Room hits simply feature local folks armed only with their wits; spring's The Sex Diaries, for example, presented everyone from Will Franken, Sean Owens, Sherilyn Connelly, and Mike Spiegelman onstage, sharing tales of life between the sheets. And the crap films in the theater's weekly Bad Movie Night continue to be popular, no doubt due to this evocative line from the Web site: "Patrons are allowed to brown bag their own refreshments."