Adam Goldberg embodies Adrian Jacobs, a pretentious avant-garde composer and leader of an experimental musical trio called New Sound Ensemble, in Jonathan Parker's send up of Manhattan's art world.
Adrian is a kind of ultimate artsy poseur — he has an especially selfish passive-aggressive personality — whose cacophonous compositions include John Zorn-inspired touches like popping bubble wrap and rattling chains in tin buckets. His successful artist brother Josh sells his bland style of corporate art through his girlfriend and local gallery owner Madeleine Gray (Mary Shelton).
After a performance by Adrian's trio, attended by Josh and Madeleine, she strikes up an affair with Adrian and gets him a well-paying sound installation commission for a upcoming prestigious art showing at her gallery.
The performances are perfectly deadpan, and the overall comic tone cohesive in a satire that dares to show multiple sides of the art industry. Egos, etiquette and envy go a long way in this atypical comedy of manners.
In showing the sincerity beneath the absurdity of the experimental art world, Parker gives a window of empathy for the brittle characters on display. Grade: B
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