‘The Building: Under Lockdown’ is a New Show Set on the UWS, With Some Storylines Ripped from the Headlines


Alexandra Napier in a scene from “The Building: Under Lockdown”.

The fictionalized travails of a group of people quarantined in a building on 84th Street and Riverside Drive are the subject of a new web series starring actors and actresses who are normally working on the stage. The series was filmed entirely on Zoom.

It’s called “The Building: Under Lockdown” and it hits very close to home. Some storylines include the troubling story of a doctor banned from the building because he’s working directly with Covid patients — a story that played out in similar form on Central Park West at the start of New York’s Covid nightmare.

Other storylines include the difficulties of couplehood during quarantine, another subject we’ve explored on West Side Rag.

The series was written by playwright and television writer Ed Napier with co-direction by Emmy winning television producer Jesse Green and actress/filmmaker Jodie Markell. In fact, Napier had planned the series as a play before the Covid crisis hit, but quickly changed course.

“For artists the need to create is just basic. We really needed a reason to get out of bed and do something,” Napier said. “Creating a show that could be shot entirely on Zoom was born out of my desire to create something now and in the moment.”

The cast includes many local theater actors, including Pun Bandhu, Laura Esterman, Bobby Lupone, Jodie Markell, Kathryn Grody, Alexandra Napier, Kevin R. Free and Joe Delafield.

We’re no theater critics, but the show is… good! This is very tough to pull off but it flows. (Again, we’re not TV critics.) The first episode is below. Future episodes will apparently be released on the Facebook page, or at least they’ll probably link you to those episodes there.

ART, NEWS | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Sam says:

      Love it

    2. Jan Lindemann says:

      Hilarious! Can’t wait for the next episode.

    3. Leon says:

      Definitely is very familiar. The elderly yenta reminds me of many people in the neighborhood.

      I enjoyed it but the two married couples both have zero chemistry. For one, that is the point, but for the other, they seem to barely know each other.

    4. Jan says:

      Perfect! …in fact …”f-ing” perfect! Love the griping about coop board. Great shots and editing!

    5. Jesse Green says:

      Love this, thank you West Side Rag!

    6. Howard says:

      YAWN!!!

    7. Bloomie says:

      Very fine! Especially considering social distancing requirements. Really good timing and editing. Bravo!

    8. Gg says:

      Looks great. Will give it a try.

      What doesn’t look great? Another shooting last night at 93/Columbus. The gang activity around there and around FD houses has to stop. It’s getting bad.

    9. stephen smith says:

      Hits very close to home, which is the point! Looking forward to episode 2!Timing and dialog is excellent! Had me riveted to each character! Thanks

    10. Maria says:

      Terrific! Characters are very relatable. I love the creativity and ambition to pull this off and am looking forward to the next episodes!

    11. Robyn says:

      How wonderful to live in a building with such talented and creative neighbors who actually interact with each other. Will you let me know when a 2B 2 1/2 Bath apartment becomes available?

    12. MB/UWSer says:

      Captures the beauty in a hard reality of 2020.

      Each and everyone of us has had our own individual experience during this time. Nothing for me to imagine, I am a part of this time. I can say “I remember…”

      Humor and truth exist simultaneously.

      Look forward to more.

    13. Joan says:

      Are you sure you didn’t zoom it in my building? Can’t wait for the next episode.

    14. Robin Rice says:

      Fabulous!!! As a playwright who just finished a drama, CLIMBING THE GOOD WALLS, about quarantine during the pandeminc here on the UWS, I fully appreciate this!

    15. Chase says:

      i made it to 1:25. green screen fail.

    16. Wijmlet says:

      not worth the time

    17. RobbieTheK says:

      It was very realistic until the line about getting a $400 delivery from Whole Foods. We could never get a delivery! But have spent $400 several times!!!

    18. J.S.R. says:

      Thank you! Looking forward to the next episode!

    19. Ada says:

      Just brilliant!

    20. Kathleen says:

      Meh. I used to live on 84th Street ½ block down from Riverside so I thought this would be fun, but not so much. Nice for all the people who are enjoying it, though.

    21. This was excellent. So well done. Great performers. Hits the nail on the head. I’m originally from NY but now live in California. But I felt right at home/

    22. Claire says:

      Enjoyed this

    23. Frank Joseph Routman says:

      Compelling! FULLY ENGAGING SCRIPT AND CUTS. QUALITY WORKMANSHIP.

    24. MTS says:

      I was expecting this kind of production to suck but it’s actually really good! I was busting a gut thru the whole thing. I’ll def be sharing this. Great job all around! The bit about the Fairway mac n cheese had me rolling.

    25. Barb says:

      Kudos to the performers. Fantastic show!! Very talented group
      Really appreciate all the coordination that went into this show.
      Thanks for posting on the West Side Rag.

    26. nancy says:

      I thought this was terrific! Can’t wait for the rest of the episodes. This resonates anywhere in the world regardless of religion…just substitute your own experience.
      I’ve had a wonderful laugh in the midst of the pandemic. And god knows, we need a laugh! Thanks to all who are involved.

    27. Kudos to the makers of this!Great to see these wonderful actors in action:the faces and places that aren’t on the news, but are the real daily stuff of our lives- really captures the current moment. Funny and familiar 😂