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Showing posts from August, 2021

Review: "God of Obsidian" Gleams Darkly

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Cover art by Kate Kosma God of Obsidian Written by Mac Rogers Directed by Jordana Williams Presented by Gideon Media on all podcast platforms Episode 1: August 27, 2021 Episode 2: September 3, 2021 Episode 3: September 10, 2021 If an intimate partner proposes any type of Bluebeard-style rule or, worse yet, expresses a lack of empathy for the service workers who deliver goods to his/her/their home, consider that a red flag. This applies doubly if the home in question stands at the end of a rickety bridge in the woods, as does Nathan's (Mac Rogers) sylvan abode in Mac Rogers's God of Obsidian . Rogers and Rebecca Comtois, as Nathan's significant other, Alice, reprise their roles from God of Obsidian 's 2017 stage debut as it transitions seamlessly into a free three-part audio play for this new production. Alice's first impression of Nathan's home elicits a comparison to the Brothers Grimm, and although subtle fairy tale elements indeed run throughout the play (Nat

Review: "Alma Baya" Gives New Meaning(s) to Pod People

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Alma Baya Written and directed by Edward Einhorn Presented by Untitled Theater Company No. 61 at A.R.T./New York Theatres 502 W. 53rd Street (at 10th Ave), Manhattan, NYC In-person: August 13 - 28, 2021 (masks and proof of vaccination required) Streaming on-demand: August 18 - September 19, 2021 Alma Baya Cast B - JaneAnne Halter, Maggie Cino, Nina Mann. Photo credit: Arthur Cornelius In Edward Einhorn's absurdist sci-fi drama Alma Baya , two's company; three's an ontological earthquake. Alma (Maggie Cino) inhabits a pod on a hostile alien planet with her assistant Baya (JaneAnne Halter), confined within due to the failure of their space suits, their lives measured by the alarms and bells of machines. Then a third woman (Nina Mann)* materializes outside, pounding on the airlock to be let in. Even before she emerges, naked, from the enclosed space of the airlock as if in a (re)birth, the Stranger's arrival, as she correctly observes later, has irreversibly changed ever

Review: "A Small Handful" from a Towering Poet

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A Small Handful Conceived and directed by Jim Petosa Presented by PTP/NYC via streaming August 13-17, 2021 Paula Langton. Courtesy DARR Publicity A Small Handful is the final of three online productions in what PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project) is calling its Season 34 ½. This filmed piece presents a trio of poems by Anne Sexton, a pillar of 20th-century American poetry who struggled with her mental health and died by suicide in 1974. Each of the three poems is spoken and then sung, providing distinct but complementary experiences of Sexton's words. Running under half an hour, A Small Handful is free, but reservations are required and can be made at Home | PTP/NYC (ptpnyc.org) . Donations in support of the company are of course welcomed. The poems performed come from the earliest and latest of Sexton's published volumes, beginning with "Where It Was At Back Then," from the posthumous 45 Mercy Street (1976); then reaching back to "Music Swims Back to Me,"

Review: #These Are Not Your Mother's Karens

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The Karens Written by Peter Gray Directed and edited by Michael Alvarez Presented by The Muse Collective via streaming August 13-27, 2021 Morgan Danielle Day, Felicia Santiago, and LaurenSage Browning. Courtesy Emily Owens PR. Watching the protagonists of Peter Gray's comedy The Karens market social justice as part of their personal brand strategies, it is hard not to think of Nancy Fraser's analysis in Capitalism: A Conversation in Critical Theory (co-authored with Rahel Jaeggi) that capitalism presents differences "as consumer of lifestyle options" (186) and that what she calls "progressive neoliberalism" has appropriated emancipatory politics in order to "'diversify'" the existing meritocracy rather than "abolish social hierarchy" (Polity Press, 2018, pp. 186, 203-204). The eponymous Karens here are not the entitled middle-aged, manager-and-police-summoning white women for whom the name became a shorthand in popular discours

Review: "Herstory" Is One of Repetition with a Difference

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  Herstory Co-created by Gisela Cardenas, Laura Butler-Levitt, and Heather Hollingsworth Written for the stage by Javier Antonio Gonz├ílez Directed by Gisela Cardenas Presented by In Tandem Lab and New Ohio Theatre at the New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher Street, Manhattan, NYC August 4-7, 2021 Laura Butler-Levitt & Heather Hollingsworth. Photo courtesy InTandem Lab Perhaps one reason that Shakespeare's late play The Tempest has consistently inspired responses and reimaginings is that its concern with who controls the narrative is more text than subtext, from Prospero's rehearsal to his daughter Miranda of her own past to his paternalistic perspective on his expropriation of Caliban's land and labor to his stage managing of more or less everything that occurs during the play. Herstory uses The Tempest , specifically Miranda, to initialize an exploration not only of (gendered) control over narrative and expression, including the narratives that we construct for ourselve