The Village Bike

June 11, 2014 12:35 AM

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The Village Bike

Indie film darling Greta Gerwig is already known for being a little bit of a risk-taker with her soul-baring modern women in movies such as Greenberg and Frances Ha, but with her starring role in The Village Bike (running at MCC's Off Broadway Lucille Lortel Theatre through June 28), she raises the notch even higher. In British playwright Penelope Skinner's strange, confounding and challenging import, Gerwig stars as a hormonal, pregnant wife desperate for sexual exploration. (The title is slang for the local tart, in very the same manner Austin Powers first described it in 1997.) It's the rare occasion in which a production never seems to fire on all cylinders, yet maintains an unmistakable grip on you some time later.

The Village Bike begins almost like a gentle Mike Leigh-flavored slice of life: Becky (Gerwig, in her NYC stage debut) is married to John (Jason Butler Harner), an enviro-minded actor who ignores the sexual advances of his wife in favor of extolling the virtues of organic eating (''Happy meat tastes...

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