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Showing posts from November, 2019

Review: "Everything is Super Great" is, in Fact, Super Great

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Everything is Super Great Written by Stephen Brown Directed by Sarah Norris Presented by New Light Theater Project in association with Stable Cable Lab Co. at 59E59 Theaters 59 E. 59th St., Manhattan, NYC November 22-December 14, 2019 Celebration of the self-reliant individualist remains deeply rooted in American culture, such that a need for mental or emotional support can be regarded as weakness or inadequacy. This dynamic is on clear display in Stephen Brown's Everything is Super Great, a play in which 19 year-old protagonist Tommy (Will Sarratt) denies that he has any "problems," "[j]ust like, anger and depression" and his co-worker Alice (Lisa Jill Anderson) insists, "I'm fine" even as she cannot locate the neurologically deteriorating mother for whom she acts as sole caretaker. Everything is Super Great explores the role of these kinds of isolating self-protective mechanisms in the face of loss as it treats audiences to a finely drawn and co…

It’s Wet, It’s Violent, It’s Queer, and It’s Worth Seeing: "Virgo Star" Takes Us Back to the Wild West

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Virgo Star Written by Daniel Diaz, Annabella Lenzu, Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte,  Agosto Machado, and Philip Treviño Directed by Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte Presented by Pioneers Go East Collective at La MaMa's Downstairs Lounge 66 E 4 St., Manhattan, NYC November 14-December 1, 2019 Queer cowgirls and boys. What could be more exciting than an experimental romp through a Manhattan basement with guns “firing,” men licking other men’s boots, getting blindfolded and made to listen to others’ sexual fantasies, and the cackling of a crazed Spanish-speaking madam resonating over the whole thing? Well, that’s exactly what you will get at Virgo Star, an experimental, interactive performance piece performed by Pioneers Go East Collective and running at La MaMa in the East Village through Dec 1.

From the beginning, the performance frustrates definition and convention. The audience is asked to remain in the lobby until someone comes and ushers us into the basement-level performance space.…

Review: "Unsex Me Here" Offers "Macbeth" via "Mad Max" and Non-Normative Casting

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Unsex Me Here: The Tragedy of Macbeth Written by William Shakespeare Directed by Maggie Cino Presented by Obvious Volcano at The Brick Theater 579 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NYC November 8-23, 2019 William Shakespeare's Macbeth is no stranger to productions that experiment with gender. Fab Marquee Productions' 2015 Macbeth (of the Oppressed) (reviewed by us here), which gave Macbeth a husband and cast several of the other lead characters as women, and Red Bull Theater's 2019 Mac Beth, in which all the roles were played by a small cast of young women, come to mind as recent examples. No doubt the play's strong gender-oriented throughlines invite such reimaginings: from the start, for instance, Lady Macbeth—never identified other than by her title and her husband's last name—leverages constructions of masculinity against her husband and famously wishes to renounce the expectations of her sex. It is from this request, Lady Macbeth's invocation of spirits to repla…