Don’t You Forget About Me: A Breakfast Club For The New Millennium

By Kessa De Santis

New York, NY April, 2005. About twenty years ago, John Hughes created a film called The Breakfast Club, influencing both popular culture and the generation that came of age in the 80’s. Eighteen years ago Dana Discordia began envisioning a play based on the Hughes film. In 2004, Mr. Discordia’s NYC-based theater company, EchoHill, in hopes of launching their first production, presented a showcase based on the popular film. Nearly a year later, that satirical play, YOU SEE US AS YOU WANT TO SEE US…REFLECTIONS FROM THE BREAKFAST CLUB is going strong.

In the summer of 2004, eight hundred people attended a workshop production of REFLECTIONS at the NYC nightclub Opaline. This short run caught the attention of Daily Candy, and sparked enough nostalgia with the New York Post to result in a full page spread on this irreverent incarnation of an 80’s phenomena. A more formal run of the play opened on December 10, 2004 at the Kraine, one of those quirky E. Village venues located in a brownstone housing both the KGB Bar and a second, smaller theater space known as the Red Room. This run was set to end in January. After some initial design troubles, EchoHill found their footing and steady ticket sales, so they extended the run by a month. As closing night approached, Horse Trade Theater Group, the folks responsible for running the Kraine, invested in the show, becoming co-producers. This was followed by an additional extension and a second wave of press coverage that attracted everyone from Scheckys.com to Variety and The New York Times. Currently, REFLECTIONS is not scheduled to end until May 7.

Years in the planning stages, perhaps it is not so surprising that Mr. Discordia’s ode to The Breakfast Club has been a hit with New York audiences. The remarkable part is that this production attracted media attention without employing an outside press representative or spending any money on advertising aside from printing posters and those ubiquitous postcards. In a very real way REFLECTIONS has had the rare theatrical success that comes from positive word of mouth, and that je ne sais quoi that got all the right media outlets intrigued. Could the interest be in supporting the underdog, or the undiscovered? Or are we so hungry for proven formulations, nostalgia and cerebral comfort that we, as culture vultures, are just naturally drawn back to the standards even when the whole point is to lampoon? Whatever the explanation, the results are tough to come by, even with big money backers and all the hype that publicity dollars can buy.

The names have not been changed. The scenes are the same, only heightened to realize the full comic potential of parodying a classic. The play is called YOU SEE US AS YOU WANT TO SEE US…REFLECTIONS FROM THE BREAKFAST CLUB and you still have a few weeks to see what all of the buzz is about.

You See Us… Plays Fridays and Saturdays at 10:45 PM. The Kraine Theater, 85 E. 4 St. Tickets: (212) 868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.  To find out how to get a special ELJ reader special, read our review.  More info: www.horseTRADE.info.

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