RED BANK: A RIDE FROM OHIO TO AUSCHWITZ

Playwright Lisa Kron performs her one-woman show 2.5 MINUTE RIDE, opening this weekend at Two River Theater. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson. Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

In the hands of its creator, it’s a thrill ride unlike any other, a midway attraction that clatters up a rollercoaster track in Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park and hurtles down the other side on a grim pilgrimage to the concentration camps at Auschwitz.

Although it lasts a bit longer than its title suggests, 2.5 Minute Ride is an experience that’s more of a trip through time than space — a “funny, complex meditation on tragedy, grief and family,” in the words of the promo material, that unfolds exclusively through the spoken-word performance of Lisa Kron, the play’s sole cast member and the author who netted an Obie Award during its inaugural Ride in 1999.

Returning to the one-woman show for the first time in five years — and reuniting with Mark Brokaw, who directed that 1999 production at NYC’s Public Theater — Kron comes to Two River Theater for a new staging that opens this weekend and continues through the second week in May. Going up inside the mainstage Rechnitz Theater at the Bridge Avenue artspace, it’s a Ride that also re-teams the Tony nominee with Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias, who co-produced the Broadway production of her play Well in 2010.

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