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Review: "Mine" Takes Audiences Down the Gopher Hole

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  Mine Created and performed by Shayna Strype Presented by Dixon Place via Theatermania.stream Streaming live April 21-24, 2021 and on demand April 26-May 3, 2021 Photo courtesy Michelle Tabnick PR Not many plays come to mind that feature a mountain as a central character. Creator and performer Shayna Strype, in her new show Mine , inhabits characters from said mountain to some sentient home appliances to a TV psychic by way of an eclectic mix of costumes, puppets, green screen, and more. Even her toes get to dress up and take part. Strype makes a wry gesture to the show's being livestreamed by replacing the usual request for audience members (here composed of claymation figures) to silence their cell phones with encouragement to close their other browser tabs. Visions , a psychic call-in show of the type that one might find on late-night cable and complete with a satirical commercial break, provides the frame for Mine 's meditations on ecosystems both actual and emotional. Wh

Review: Get Your Stinking Paws on Tickets for "Planet of the Grapes Live"

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  Planet of the Grapes Live Created by Peter Michael Marino Directed by Michole Biancosino Presented by Project Y Theatre Company and PM2 Entertainment via YouTube Live April 16-May 15, 2021 Photo credit: Mikiodo Even if you've somehow managed never to see 1968's Planet of the Apes , moments of which remain cultural touchstones more than 50 years later, that won't make Peter Michael Marino's Planet of the Grapes Live any less of a blast. Marino reimagines the sci-fi classic as a live hourlong toy theater production, blending the main beats of the film's story and its unintentional humor with some added comedy (yes, there are some grape puns; and yes, at least one of them made us laugh out loud). The show's website includes some great background on toy theater, as well as on the Apes film and the creation of this miniaturized parody, which viewers should make some time to peruse before or after their live Grapes experience. The plot finds a quartet of astro

Review: "What the Fuck Just Happened?" is a Great Show About a Not-So-Great Year

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What the Fuck Just Happened? Created and performed by Mike Daisey Presented by FRIGID New York at the Kraine Theater  85 E 4th St., Manhattan, NYC and via YouTube Live April 2, 2021; encore performance: May 7, 2021 Mike Daisey. Photo Credit Ursa Waz While it may be spring in the city, the East Village was feeling FRIGID this weekend. On April 2, indie theater stalwarts FRIGID New York opened the doors of the Kraine Theater on East 4th Street to a live audience for monologuist Mike Daisey's one-man reflection on the past year, What the Fuck Just Happened? Following the Kraine's health and safety protocols for reopening, in-person audience members were required to be fully vaccinated, to wear masks while inside the theater, and to adhere to pod seating. The Kraine has also installed a new ventilation system designed specifically to mitigate COVID exposure, and the mask-less Daisey performed at a minimum distance of ten feet from the audience. Having not yet ascended to the rank

Review: Press Play on "The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests"

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The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests Written by Michael Aguirre Directed by Sarah Norris Presented virtually by New Light Theater Project as part of 59E59 Theaters' Plays In Place March 29-April 11, 2021 Michael Aguirre. Courtesy New Light Theater Project. As restrictions for in-person events begin to loosen in New York, the virtual theater scene that has developed over the past year continues to assume intriguing variations. The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests anchors its storytelling in, as the title suggests, the communal experience of music. By the end of the play, audiences will have listened to the entirety of Jackson C. Frank's self-titled 1965 folk album, interwoven with narrative threads focused on Frank himself and on the relationship of listening party host Allen (playwright Michael Aguirre) with his brother, Rob. Audience members access the album themselves through their preferred platform (we used a copy on YouTube, which, i

Review: "Letter to My Father" Offers New Angles on Kafka

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Letter to My Father Written by Franz Kafka; translated by Hannah Stokes and Richard Stokes Developed by James Rutherford and Michael Guagno Directed by James Rutherford Presented by M-34 via Multistre.am February 19-March 28, 2021 [UPDATE: 30 Mar. 2021: Run extended through April 2, 2021] Michael Guagno. Photo credit: Eileen Meny Photography M-34's Letter to My Father represents a thoughtfully conceived and wonderfully acted example of the innovative forms that virtual theater can take. The production takes Franz Kafka's 1919 nearly 50-page letter to his father, returned to him by his mother rather than delivered to its intended recipient, as the text for a captivating live solo performance that allows audience members to shift at will among multiple views of the performance space. The browser-based livestream presents viewers with a trio of video feeds—one the sort of medium close-up that would be typical of a Zoom play; one a small portable camera that can be moved by actor

Review: "Sweat" Exposes the Blood and Tears of a Factory Town

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  Sweat Written by Lynn Nottage Directed by Brandon Walker Presented by The Seeing Place Theater Live via Zoom February 27-28, 2021 Streaming via YouTube February 28-March 3, 2021 The cast of Sweat . Image courtesy Kampfire PR NYC playwright Lynn Nottage's 2015 play Sweat vividly captures the kind of economically depressed community that would become the subject of greatly increased national analysis and discussion after November of the following year. The Seeing Place Theater's engrossing, empathetic virtual production of this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama benefits The Fortune Society , an organization that helps formerly incarcerated people to successfully reenter their community and runs Alternative to Incarceration and Education programs. The Seeing Place will host a free panel, "Action Steps - Racism and Economics: The Social Impact of Recession," featuring representatives from The Fortune Society on March 3 at 7pm EST on Zoom ( RSVP here ). The majority of Swea

News: Interactive Digital Edition of "Chaos Theory" Continues This Weekend

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  Image courtesy of Nichole Mottershead Chaos Theory begins as a lecture about chaos theory that quickly devolves into a series of interactive games inspired by the science of chaos theory, reality dating shows, middle school crushes, and the butterfly effect to end all butterfly effects: COVID-19. The audience is guided by mathematical scientist, Dr. Genevieve Saoch, whose personal life hilariously interferes with her ability to be objective about her research as a Chaologist. Through a series of participatory experiments, audience members are invited to embrace their inner chaos agent. Chaos Theory  is a NY Times recommended comedy show and winner of the Immersion Nation Best Social Immersion Award 2019. After a robust run as a live show pre-COVID-19 at Caveat, Here Arts and others, the digital adaptation premiered May 1st, 2020, in partnership with Caveat, NYC and now comes from NYC to Curious for a special two-week digital run Feb. 25th through March 7. Writer and performer, Jess