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Showing posts from August, 2019

Review: Don't Pass Up This "Bad Penny"

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Bad Penny Written by Mac Wellman Directed by Kristan Seemel Presented by The Flea Theater 20 Thomas St., Manhattan, NYC August 24-October 7, 2019 [extended through October 13, 2019]  A woman ponders the ontology of the sky. Later, she delivers a florid and impassioned oration about a yet-to-be-discovered cheese. A confrontational man with Montana roots carries a whitewall tire. On the margins of other conversations, a trio of women speak quietly in unison. Welcome to the Central Park of Mac Wellman's Bad Penny, a place that one character characterizes as a place of lunacy that provides an escape from the even greater lunacy of city life. The Flea Theater's current production of Bad Penny makes up part of its Mac Wellman: Perfect Catastrophes, A Festival of Plays, a celebration of the work of Wellman, award-winning playwright, novelist, professor, and co-founder of the Flea. In addition to Bad Penny, the festival will feature productions of Sincerity Forever (reviewed by us her…

News: Raised Spirits Theater Company Seeks Donations for Producing New Play "Henslowe!"

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Raised Spirits Theater is  producing its first original piece, Henslowe! and is currently seeking donations to reach the $10,000 needed to stage the production.

Raised Spirits describes Henslowe!:

"Henslowe! is a look at Phillip Henslowe, the Elizabethan entrepreneur who built the Rose Playhouse where Shakespeare’s early plays were first performed. It tells the story of one man’s struggle for meaning and recognition in life, something we all can identify with. It opens our eyes to a little known period of Renaissance history and pulls back the curtain on how theater actually works, both then and now. It is a remarkable, in-depth portrait of a deeply driven man. After an extensive workshop process that included two readings and innumerable rewrites over fourteen years the piece is at a critical juncture in the production process. Henslowe! will have its world premiere at the Torn Page at 420 West 22nd Street here in NYC on October 1st." 

Raised Spirits explains that the show …

Review: Hilarious "Bedtime Plays" Talk About All the Good Things and the Bad Things that May Be

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Bedtime Plays:Everything We Need to Talk About Before We Talk About Sex Written by Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell and directed by Rakesh PalisettyTeeth Written by Ciara Ní Chuirc and directed by Kelly O'Donnell Presented at The Tank, 312 W. 36th St., Manhattan, NYC August 22, 2019
Considering that there are entire industries dedicated to sex advice, it seems safe to say that most people have at one time or another felt embarassed about saying or doing something in the bedroom. Bedtime Plays, part of the third annual LadyFest, featuring new work by woman-identified artists at The Tank through August 28th, brings together two very entertaining short plays by playwrights in the Columbia MFA program about couples with communication issues when it comes to sex. The plays, Everything We Need to Talk About Before We Talk About Sex and Teeth (not, to be clear, a reference to the 2007 film of the same name), not only complement each other well thematically but also both make their deeper points wi…

Review: "Bury Me in My Leggings" Eschews Easy Answers

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Bury Me in My Leggings Written by Scarlett Grace McCarthy Directed by Margaret Baughman Presented at The Tank 312 W. 36th St., Manhattan, NYC August 22, 2019 While the the inextricability of brand loyalty from consumers' (and employees') personal identities is by now ubiquitous, companies such as Apple, SoulCycle, and Lululemon, corporations that lend themselves easily to the public signification of a certain "lifestyle," offer particularly clear examples of this phenomenon Scarlett Grace McCarthy's new play, Bury Me in My Leggings, part of the third annual LadyFest, featuring new work by woman-identified artists at The Tank through August 28th, takes us back to an earlier point in that development, to what seems like the distant past of the summer of 2007, as the iPhone is about to make what one character calls humorously but not inaccurately its "historic" debut. Inspired by a true event in 2011, McCarthy's play focuses on a small group of twenty-…

News: Sour Grapes Productions' "Silent But Deadly: A Mime Experience" Goes Monthly at UNDER St. Marks

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Sour Grapes Productions has announced that its show Silent But Deadly: A Mime Experience, will now be playing permanently in UNDER St. Marks Theater (94 St. Marks Place, New York, NY, 10009) on the first Thursday of every month at 10:30pm, as part of FRIGID NY's monthly lineup. 

Silent But Deadly, created by Chris Weigandt and Genny Yosco and directed by Yosco, is described by Yosco as "a mixture of dance, clown, and mime, all with the intent to make audiences laugh without any of us having to learn our lines - I mean, er - using body language? Yeah, that's it, body language. Artsy stuff like that. Using our head, shoulders, knees, and toes, we'll be contorting and wiggling into your hearts and nightmares." The company features artists Leyla A, Dorie Casper, Danny Epstein, David Yurch, Ellen Ko, Saturday Lawson, Hadas Pacholder, Katherine Yacko, and Genny Yosco, with special guests every month.
Co-founder of Sour Grapes Productions Genny Yosco has currently direct…

News: "Stay Mad, Make Art: A Benefit Concert for Immigrant Families Together" Coming September 16th

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The Three Angry Ladies (Shayna O’Neill, Emily Louise Perkins, and Emma Clarkson) will present Stay Mad, Make Art: A Benefit Concert for Immigrant Families Together at The Center at West Park (165 West 86th Street at Amsterdam Avenue., New York, NY 10024) on Monday, September 16, 2019 at 8pm (doors and bar open at 7:30pm). Tickets ($25 General; $50 VIP; $1000 Angel, which includes front row seating and unlimited drinks) are available for advance purchase at staymadmakeart.brownpapertickets.com. All proceeds will support Immigrant Families Together, a network of Americans committed to rapid response unification of families separated by the ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

The Three Angry Ladies are New York City-based women working in the arts who recognize the urgency of the political and social crises of 2019, and seek to effect positive change in the wider community by tapping into the resources—and the desire for action—of the theatre and arts community. O’Neill is a freelance AEA Stage Man…

News: Award-Winning Dark Comedy "Cooking with Kathryn" at LadyFest Tonight Only

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NYC-based, award-winning comedy actor, writer, and professionally trained clown Kate Owens’s similarly award-winning dark comedy Cooking with Kathryn has played throughout NY (Solocom, The PIT, The Tank, Dixon Place, The Shitshow, Personality Test) as well as at the PortFringe Festival (Critics Choice for Best Acting) and Los Angeles (Moving Arts Theatre), and tonight, August 17, it comes to The Tank's LadyFest for one night only. The play follow a down-home, liquored-up southern belle as she stumbles her way to her own birthday party with more wine in her veins than Jesus. Kathryn rewards her party guests with an easy-peasy egg-bake cooking demo… the problem is, she can’t even see straight, much less teach a cooking lesson.

Kate Owens has been developing this Amy Sedaris-inspired character for the past three years, and the PortFringe review team called Cooking with Kathryn “A no-fear comedy, this show is a must see,” as well as “Furious, gratuitous, and moving" and maybe &q…

Review: Catch "The Plague"

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The Plague Written by Rachael Carnes Directed by Heather Arnson Presented at The Tank 312 W 36th St., Manhattan, NYC August 14-15, 2019
Zombies have become a ubiquitous signifier, used by artists in various media to comment on everything from consumer capitalism to militarism, social inequality, race relations, queerness, and the nuclear family. Rachael Carnes's The Plague, however, a new play in development, may be the first time that the critical lens provided by the zombie has been brought to bear on sexual harassment in the workplace. The Plague is being presented in the form of a staged reading as part of the third annual LadyFest at The Tank, which features new work by woman-identified artists, and Carnes writes in the program, "This play was born of my experience being sexually harassed by my supervisor, in a professional working environment, for more than a year." The Plague filters an examination of this all-too-common experience through the dynamics not only of…

Review: Hip to Hip Brings "Richard III" from Park to Park

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Richard III Written by William Shakespeare Directed by David Frederick Mold Presented by Hip to Hip Theatre Company at various locations July 24-August 25, 2019 When we arrived at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens for Hip to Hip Theatre Company's free outdoor production of William Shakespeare's Richard III, actors were guiding a group of about ten young children through some rudimentary stage fighting reactions as part of the "Kids & the Classics" interactive workshops that precede Hip to Hip's summer repertory shows. Families (and to a lesser extent, picnickers) were a strong presence in the audience, and at the end of the workshop, the participants and other children in the audience were given a "Bingo" sheet with stickers to be removed when corresponding events in the play occurred. This Richard III, playing in rep with A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by S.C. Lucier), is part of Hip to Hip's Free Shakespeare in the P…

News: CUNY Dance Initiative and Mari Meade Dance Collective Announce September Premiere of "immigration stories"

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The CUNY Dance Initiative and John Jay College, in collaboration with Mari Meade Dance Collective/MMDC, have announced the world premiere of immigration stories on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 W. 59th Street, NYC.
MMDC's residency and performance at John Jay College is part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies; and immigration stories, a series of dances based on true experiences about relocating to the United States, opens up the vastly different paths people take to come this country. What began with a frustrating phone call for choreographer Mari Meade to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has evolved into a full evening of personal stories, music and dance. From a young man who was born in Germany and lived in Ghana before making his way to New York to a Russian woman who moved to Florida as a teenager, these i…

News: New York Innovative Theatre Awards Announce 2019 Nominees

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On Monday, July 29, 2019, The New York Innovative Theatre Awards announced the 2019 nominees for the annual Off-Off-Broadway awards in a ceremony at (Le) Poisson Rouge. The NYIT Awards have celebrated NYC's vibrant and creative theater community for the past 15 years, and this year's nominees were announced by six celebrated artists and producers from the community: Jazmyn Arroyo, Jennifer Betite Yen, Iyvon Edebiri, Chris Ignacio, Ashley Rogers, and Erez Ziv. “Fifteen years is a big milestone for our organization, and we are making the most of it. We are looking forward to sharing some amazing surprises over the next few months,” said Executive Director Shay Gines.

This year’s nominees include 147 individual artists and 64 productions presented by 73 theater companies (see below for a list of nominees). Two honorary awards, “The Founders Award” were presented by the co-founders, Shay Gines and Nick Micozzi, plus Akia, to publicist Katie Rosin and volunteer Christopher Borg fo…

Review: “A White Man’s Guide to Riker’s Island” Delivers a Stellar Performance But Gets a Bit Preachy

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A White Man's Guide to Rikers Island Written by Richard Roy and Eric C. Webb Directed by Thomas G. Waites Presented at The Producer's Club 358 W 44th St, Manhattan, NYC July 18-September 29, 2019 By any account, Rikers Island is an awful place. From the infamous violence and deliberate mismanagement to the fact that 85% of those in Rikers have not been convicted of a crime, Rikers consistently ranks as one of the worst “correctional” facilities in the country on any list. Most of those held at Rikers are there because they cannot afford bail. It really defies belief that such a place still exists, let alone in New York City—a city that has prided itself for being on the forefront of progressive movements. It is also impossible to ignore the fact that the vast majority of Rikers’s population is black and Hispanic. The city’s mayor recently announced his intention to close the facility and disperse those held there throughout the boroughs, but that plan is more of a stated inten…