A play with less than 10 pages of dialogue that lasts 25 minutes.
It may seem like a recipe for disaster, but the original performance of “The Bed” at the Caffe Cino in Greenwich Village was one of the most popular of the era.
This may have something to do with the fact that the show features two mostly naked men in bed together, which may have also been part of what drew the famously bisexual Andy Warhol to use footage from the piece in his 1966 film “Chelsea Girls.”
The show is being put on this week in the Whitney Humanities Center in conjunction with the conference on Postwar Queer Underground Cinema, 1950-1968. The first performance, tonight, will be followed by a panel discussion and screening of the Warhol film open to those registered for the conference, with a repeat 10 p.m. performance open to students.
Director Mike Leibenluft ’10 — who with actors Brendan Caldwell ’11 and Jacob Liberman ’10 traveled to New York to confer with playwright Robert Heide — says the unique challenge of the show was to honor the piece’s history while simultaneously breaking new ground.
“We were recreating something historically, not working on a piece for the first time,” he said. “I’ve been thinking a lot about the original production and how we can both recreate that and also reconceptualize.”
“The Bed” aims to invoke the ambience of 1960s and ’70s Caffe Cino by transforming the Whitney space into a cabaret, complete with coffee and cannolis.
The performance is at 10 p.m. tonight in the Whitney Theater.