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Showing posts from 2022

News: "Love Alone: Elegies for Rog," Adapted from the Poetry of Paul Monette, Plays Dec. 3-5

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Love Alone - Workshop 2020. Photo by Zaire Baptiste The Tank NYC, a home for emerging artists, will present the first full production of Love Alone: Elegies For Rog at its theater at 312 West 36th Street in New York on Saturday December 3rd at 3 pm, and Sunday and Monday, December 4th and 5th at 7 pm. These performances will coincide with the observance of World AIDS Day. All performances are available for in-person viewing, while December 4th and 5th include the option for livestream viewing. Love Alone: Elegies for Rog tells the story of Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz, partners for 12 years until Roger died of AIDS in 1986. In the five months that followed, Monette wrote an exquisite cycle of poems that traces an epic journey from grief back to the land of living, full of rage, humor, and a love that transcends death. Paul Monette was a noted memoirist, poet, novelist, and gay rights activist. In addition to his acclaimed books of poetry, he wrote the memoirs Borrowed Time: An AIDS

Review: "Scissors" Cuts to the Heart of the Human Condition

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Scissors Written by Cornelius Boeder Directed by Luísa Galatti; Associate Director: Stella Rae Presented by Luísa Galatti at Teatro LATEA 107 Suffolk St., 2nd fl. November 21-27, 2022 Hannah Abdoh, Aedan Jayce, and Cornelius Boeder. Photo courtesy Luísa Galatti Albert Camus identifies whether to commit suicide as "the one truly serious philosophical problem," and it is one that hangs over Cornelius Boeder's new play, Scissors , currently part of the New York Theater Festival . Suicide is not the only avenue open to the characters of Scissors as a response to life's absurdity, and these options range from human connection to more dubious impulses, with the line separating them sometimes blurred at best. Darkly funny, Scissors takes a keenly absorbing look at one existential question that can never be satisfactorily answered: What now? Casper (playwright Boeder) and Cleo (Hannah Abdoh) are already seated at a table, making quiet but animated first-date conversation wh

Review: "George Kaplan" Dissolves the Boundaries Between Man and Myth

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George Kaplan Written by Frédéric Sonntag Translated by Samuel Buggeln Directed by Max Hunter Presented by The Bridge Production Group at New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher St, Manhattan, NYC November 15-December 3, 2022 George Kaplan , featuring Christina Toth, Elisha Lawson, Max Samuels, Michael DeFilippis, & Campbell Symes. Photo credit: Nancy Fallon Individual identity is arguably more fraught than ever, surveilled and sold, for example, by the same corporations that provide platforms for its curation, some of which in turn have ties to national governments. Frédéric Sonntag's play George Kaplan , written in 2011 and first staged in France in 2013, approaches identity at its intersections with storytelling and mythmaking. George Kaplan 's New York City premiere comes courtesy of an excellent production by The Bridge Production Group, which brings a galvanizing energy to Sonntag's twisty mélange of human drama, satire, and postmodern philosophical provocation. One of

Interview: Broken Box Mime Theater Artistic Director Becky Baumwoll Talks About This Week's Pop-Up Shows "Asks Why" and "Frankenstein"

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Image from Broken Box Mime Theater Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) is a New York City-based collaborative theater company that performs original, contemporary short plays entirely through movement. Founded in 2011 and winners of New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Movement/Choreography, Performance Art, and Ensemble, BKBX reimagines French pantomime through the lens of contemporary U.S. American theater. This week, Broken Box Mime will present special pop-up performances of BKBXKids! Asks Why running in rep with A BKBX Frankenstein . Performances will take place at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street) from November 17-20, and tickets are available for advance purchase at www.brokenboxmime.com (with free admission to BKBXKids! Asks Why for anyone under 5 years old). BKBXKids! is a division of Broken Box Mime Theater that aims to inspire unplugged creativity and shared imaginative experiences in children and families by way of joyful, movement-based

Review: “She Remembers her Amnesia” Extracts Art from the Abyss

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She Remembers her Amnesia Written and performed by Janis Brenner Presented at Arts on Site 12 St. Mark's Place, Manhattan, NYC November 9-10, 2022 Janis Brenner. Photo by Julie Lemberger. Lighting by Mitchell Bogard. Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane” accosts the audience in the opening number of Janis Brenner’s solo show She Remembers her Amnesia , and we know we are in for a ride. Sashaying playfully around the stage, Brenner strums a cardboard guitar with avid skill and sings about the time that, as a member of a panel of artists in 2017, she experienced prolonged amnesia, even as she continued speaking with others. As she describes how she began to wake up from her disorientation, she breaks playfully into a Talking Heads voice: “How did I get here!?” Indeed, how did she get here? The immediate aftermath of this dramatic episode of extended memory loss in 2017 saw Brenner wading through her own whirling existential questions as well as inscrutable medical-speak offered by

News: "Death of a Salesman" sequel "Mrs. Loman" Continues Through Nov. 20

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Photo credit: Mari Eimas-Dietrich The world premiere of Mrs. Loman , a play by Barbara Cassidy and presented by More Loud, imagines what Linda Loman from Death of a Salesman does after her husband commits suicide. This satirical critique of misogyny in Miller’s world runs through November 20 at The Tank and is directed by Meghan Finn, the theater's the Artistic Director. “ Death of a Salesman is such an important play of the American canon,” notes playwright Barbara Cassidy. “While having great admiration for it, I have always had immense trouble with the female characters and the misogyny. I decided I wanted to make a play about a Linda Loman who becomes a very different person after Willy’s death.  Mrs. Loman  is a play which, in Juvenalian satirical fashion, struggles with the world - first, Miller’s fictional world, then, our historical past, and ultimately, the here and now." Barbara Cassidy’s plays have been performed at The Flea Theater, Margo Jones Theatre, Playwrigh

Review: "What Passes for Comedy" Depends on Who's in Control

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What Passes for Comedy Written by G.D. Kimble Directed by Rick Hamilton Presented by the Chain Theatre 312 W. 36th Street, 3rd Floor, Manhattan, NYC October 28-November 19, 2022 Andrew O'Shanick, Alain Pierre, Jordan Elman, and Rory Lance. Photo by Reiko Yoo Before ensconcing us in the pressure-filled writers' room of a popular late-night television show, the Chain Theatre's excellent world-premiere production of G.D. Kimble's What Passes for Comedy positions theatergoers as part of the live studio audience for that program, The Jackie Harrod Show . The year is 1963, and the faces of The Jackie Harrod Show , a successful enterprise that pulls big-name guests, are White host Jack Harrod (Michael Filisky) and Black bandleader Bunny Brown (Ryan Brooke Taylor). But it is an insult to another group during the show's live broadcast that precipitates a catalyzing crisis for the play's nuanced and powerful exploration of race, representation, and, of course, comedy. Mi

News: "Good Jew" Plays One Night Only, Nov. 16th, as Part of United Solo Theatre Festival

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Image from https://good-jew.com/ Direct from hurricane-ravaged Florida, Peculiar Works Project presents Frank Blocker as Holocaust survivor Henryk Altman in Good Jew , Official Selection of the 2022 United Solo Festival. Written by Murray Scott Changar and Frank Blocker, this verbatim solo play is based on multiple interviews with the late Mr. Changar’s late father, Henryk, and directed by Jamibeth Margolis, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.  Good Jew  will be performed  one night only  on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 7:00pm EDT, at Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY. The show runs 70 minutes, and extremely limited $42.50 tickets are available at  https://bfany.org/theatre-row/shows/united-solo-theatre-festival-2022/. He escaped the Treblinka death-camps, twice, joined the Resistance, navigated from the ghettos of Warsaw through Germany and onto Norway, but Henryk Altman doesn’t see himself as a Good Jew. No one survives war by being good. There will never be enough s

Review: Looking to Burst Some Bubbles, "Metra" Sings the Revolution

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Metra: A Climate Revolution Play with Songs Written by Emily and Ned Hartford Directed by Emily Hartford Songs by Ned Hartford Presented by Flux Theatre Ensemble at Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street), Manhattan, NYC October 28 - November 12, 2022 Metra featuring Rebecca Ana Peña. Photo credit: Isaiah Tanenbaum Anecdotes are not data, etc., etc., but having seen the climate apocalypse play Metra on a humid 75-degree November day certainly did nothing to contradict the urgency of its message. Metra , subtitled A Climate Revolution Play with Songs , looks back in order to look forward, drawing on Greek myth (via Ovid) to imagine paths to revolutionary action in a not-at-all-too-distant and all too plausible future dramatically shaped by climate-related factors such as severe heat, famine, water scarcity, and mass migration. While both that mythic past and imagined future are pretty grim, Metra ultimately advocates against despair, and it deploys an enlivening blend o

Review: Telling is Power(ful) in Phenomenal Dark Comedy "FUKT"

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FUKT Written by Emma Goldman-Sherman Directed by Janice L. Goldberg Presented by B&C Productions and AND Theatre Company in association with The Tank at The Tank 312 W 36th Street, NYC, Manhattan October 27-November 13, 2022 Julia Mack, Bridget Ann White, and Eileen Sugameli. Photo by Valeria Terranova The set design for FUKT is dominated by a large collage on the back wall that, depending on how one looks at it, could suggest either a flower or a wound; the tension between–and perhaps the simultaneity of–these possibilities provides a useful symbol for the show itself, which powerfully mixes sportive comedy and forthright reckonings with cruelty and abuse and filters it all through self-aware play on the conventions of both solo shows and trauma narratives. Written by Emma Goldman-Sherman, FUKT , bending that fourth wall right from–and even before–its opening moments, finds Emma (Bridget Ann White) running into some difficulties on the opening night of her autobiographical one

News: Live Tapings of "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - Live!" Nov. 5th

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A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - Live! , written by Kyle Jarrow (based on a concept by Alex Timbers) and directed by Sean Pollock, features a jubilant cast of children celebrating the controversial religion in uplifting pageantry and song. The actual teachings of The Church of Scientology are explained and dissected against the candy-colored backdrop of a traditional nativity play. The pageant is a musical biography of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, with child-friendly explanations of Hubbard’s notion of the divided mind (embodied by the lovely identical twins Emma and Sophie Whitfield in matching brain outfits) and a device called the e-meter (or  electropsychometer), used to monitor the human psyche, which is demonstrated  by stick puppets. Grade school children, portraying Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, and other less starry Scientologists, brings the controversial Church of Scientology to life in story and song.  This NBC Live!-style musical br

Review: FEARfest 2022 Serves Up Seven Bite-Sized Explorations of What Frightens Us

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FEARfest 2022 Playing with Matches , by Jennifer Downes and John Peña Griswold; dir. John Peña Griswold Hot Blood Sundae , by Aly Kantor; dir. Mia Y. Anderson Fear Floor , by Caitland (Caky) Winsett; dir. Todd Butera Black, White, & Blue , by William Oliver Watkins; dir. Sara Berg The Hand , by Erin Moughon; dir. David Adam Gill Do You Remember? , by Nina Tolstoy; dir. Jonathan Wong Frye The Man in Red , by Mandy Murphy; dir. Mandy Murphy Presented by New Ambassadors Theatre Company at TADA! Theater 15 W 28th Street, 2nd floor, Manhattan, NYC October 26-30, 2022 Mandy Murphy and Raquel Valiente in The Hand . Photo courtesy New Ambassadors Theatre Company The horror and comedy genres often benefit from brevity, making them a good fit for a short play festival such as this year's installment of New Ambassadors Theatre Company's FEARfest, which features hefty doses of both, along with a strong measure of dystopian sci fi. The fears that rear their discomfiting heads in the fe

Review: "Space Nunz of the Rescue Mainframe" Makes a Flawless Touchdown in Brooklyn

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Space Nunz of the Rescue Mainframe Written by Elizabeth Wong, based on material generated by Hook & Eye Theater Directed by Chad Lindsey Presented by Hook & Eye Theater at The Mark O’Donnell Theater at The Entertainment Community Fund Arts Center 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NYC October 26-November 13, 2022 L to R: Parnia "Nyx" Ayari, Afsheen Misaghi, and June Lienhard. Photo courtesy The PR Social No, Space Nunz of the Rescue Mainframe is not the latest film to be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 . Rather, this delightfully titled work is the latest production from Hook & Eye Theater, a sci-fi comedy with a melancholic streak that also incorporates audience choice at selected points, in the manner of a choose-your-own adventure book or video game conversation tree. With Space Nunz , the redoubtable Hook & Eye balances the riotous and the reflective in an entertainingly energetic exploration of outer and inner space. In an opening scene that ma