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Review: "Pocket Curiosities" Serves Up Two Courses of Bite-Sized Theater

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Pocket Curiosities Definitely Not a Pirate Show ,  w ritten by Rachel Weekley , directed by Nazlah Black Novae , written by Rachel Weekley, directed by Zeynep Akça Presented at The Kraine Theater 85 E 4th St., Manhattan, NYC June 25, 2022 Rachel Weekley. Courtesy Emily Owens PR Whatever curiosities most of us might pull from our pockets, they are probably not compactly crafted works of theater. Not so for playwright and performer Rachel Weekley, whose Pocket Curiosities comprises two short plays (running around 40 minutes in total). Both are entirely self-contained, although their juxtaposition allows the identification of some continuities, such as questions of self-definition, under an umbrella of prevailing tonal contrast. Pocket Curiosities is part of FRIGID New York's 8th Annual Queerly Festival, which runs from June 15 to July 3 and celebrates "all things" LGBTQIA+ while providing a variety of queer artists an unfettered space for self-representation. A livestrea

Review: How "Spektorology" Works: You Peer Inside Yourself

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Spektorology Created by Marie Anello Presented by Marie Anello and Chevy Lace at The Kraine Theater 85 E 4th St., Manhattan, NYC June 23, 2022 Marie Anello. Photo by Karina Parker Mura The title of Marie Anello's cabaret show Spektorology plays on the title of a single from musician Regina Spektor's new album (coincidentally released today) that is included late in the performance. Spektor's work is at once the object and a vehicle for the -ology of the title, and Anello assembles Spektor's idiosyncratic piano-centered indie tracks, tagged by some as art-punk, into a (self-)reflective musical journey. Spektorology is part of FRIGID New York's 8th Annual Queerly Festival, which runs from June 15 to July 3 and celebrates "all things" LGBTQIA+ while providing a variety of queer artists an unfettered space for self-representation. A livestreaming option is available for most of the festival shows; and both in-person and streaming tickets can be purchased at

News: Sarah Ruhl's "Melancholy Play" to Be Presented by Invisible Disco June 24 and 25

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Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play  tells the story of Tilly, a beautiful yet sad woman objectified by everyone around her. Tilly uses her sadness and its characteristic sexiness to her advantage, even as it breaks her heart to do so. It is the story of a woman who must reclaim her sexuality and fins her own happiness even though no one around her wants her to. This story does not exist in a vacuum: it has been told many times in many different ways throughout the history of art. Tilly sees the world as an enormous work of art, and that takes a psychical form in this production through consistent visual reference to art throughout history.  As director John Trindl puts it, "Our production leans into this artistic legacy, with an emphasis on what the playwright, Sarah Ruhl, calls a 'sense of the iconic and cinematic.' Using the theatrical elements of light, sound, movement, and design, we aim to draw inspiration from and pay homage to works of art that have been inspired by s

News: "Prince Charming, You’re Late" Makes Its World Premiere June 29-July 23

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  Billy Hipkins. Photo by Billy Hipkins. TigerBear Productions (Producer, Jerome Joseph Gentes) will present the world premiere of Prince Charming, You’re Late , a solo show written and performed by Billy Hipkins and directed by Perry Dell’Aquila ( I Never Promised You...Rose Garden at The Triad) at Theatre Two at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036), from June 29-July 23. Billy Hipkins appeared on Broadway for ten whole weeks in Anna Karenina, The Musical , toured as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and had lines on every soap opera that began with a vowel. His first solo show, The ALSO-RAN is viewable on his YouTube channel (along with several Miss Lindsey Graham videos), and when not posting snarky/informative videos, he happily works in Broadway wardrobe departments–27 shows to date. Prince Charming, You’re Late is Hipkins' true-life fable, a one-man middle-age-ed cautionary tale warning us to be careful who you crush on, or you might just get crushed.  Once u

Review: Matrilineal Memories Inform a Coming of Age in "Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares"

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Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares Written and directed by Christine Stoddard Presented by Quail Bell Productions at the Gene Frankel Theatre 24 Bond St., Manhattan, NYC June 15-26, 2022 Photo from MI ABUELA, QUEEN OF NIGHTMARES: A STAGE PLAY BY CHRISTINE STODDARD - Home (weebly.com) Family and culture, each in its own way, serve as sources of mythology, and Christine Stoddard's Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares brings together both varieties in a matriarchal meditation on intergenerational inheritances. Based on a 2018 chapbook of poems and winner of a national playwriting competition held by Table Work Press, which published the play in 2020 , Mi Abuela infuses folkloric elements into a young Salvadoran-American woman's reckoning with her past, a rendering of personal history in which her mother and grandmother loom large. The result is a magical-realist memory play that kindles a unique atmosphere while addressing traumas that are, for women (of color) particularly, all too com

Review: "Saint Joan" Displays Her Virtues in Lower Manhattan

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Saint Joan Written by George Bernard Shaw Directed by Geoffrey Horne Presented by Shakespeare Downtown at Castle Clinton 26 Wall St., Manhattan, NYC June 16-26, 2022 Billie Andersson as Joan. Photo by Amy Goossens George Bernard Shaw's 1923 drama Saint Joan , chronicling the exploits of the fifteenth-century Jeanne d'Arc during the Hundred Years' War, premiered (in New York City, as it happens) a few years after the eponymous Joan's canonization by the Catholic Church. Just shy of the play's 100th anniversary, NYC's Shakespeare Downtown theater company brings a revival to Battery Park's Castle Clinton. The production is presented free to the public, and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at 5:45 pm on the day of each performance, which begins at 6:30 pm.   Saint Joan begins in 1429 with an argument between Captain Robert de Baudricourt (George Eve) and his steward (Davide di Cagno-Hagen) over a lack of eggs. The latter blames a curse

News: Amnesia Wars Presents a Wholly Uncontainable Devised Theatre Experience “Avant Prov”

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Photo from https://amnesiawars.net/ Amnesia Wars presents Avant Prov , an exhibition and performance in which musicians, dancers, and actors devise a unique, immediate event, as decreed each night by international individual and collective conceptual artist Køvvånng. Køvvånng is based worldwide but currently soul-situated at the mast-point of Ales Stenar on the Kåseberga ridge in Scania.  This exhibit uses Køvvånng’s signature performance medium: Cipher Art, an experimental process by which The Artist’s prompts are dictated remotely, then interpreted and executed on the spot by a team of performers. The resulting performance piece resembles a dizzy mélange of an art installation, a modern music-dance concert, and an improvisational comedy spectacle. The obfuscation of Køvvånng’s identity for this Cipher is intentional and necessary. Avant Prov will be executed by Crystal-Marie Albertson, Dorit Elena K, Blanca Franck, Erin Krom, Carly Northup, Josh Pesin, Laura Petit, Rob Reese (the Pri

News: LaMicro Theater Returns to Live Performance with "Third Wing"

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Under the direction of José Ignacio Vivero, the cast of Third Wing at a recent rehearsal. Photo by MVO After two years of virtual events (and three years in total away from live performance) due to the coronavirus pandemic, NYC-based Latino indie theater company LaMicro Theater returns to the in-person stage with a production of Third Wing (or The Story of an Absurd Attempt) , an award-winning play from renowned Argentine actor and playwright Claudio Tolcachir. Written originally in Spanish, under the title Tercer Cuerpo , the play was translated into English by Jean Graham-Jones, and it will be presented in English. The play takes place in a decrepit public office, a couple’s home, a bar, and a medical office. It’s about the lives of five people, all bounded by loneliness, estrangement, and the need for love. Five people who all want to fall in love; five people who are unable to cope. Meanwhile, they go on living, working, trying. In spite of everything, every day, they want to live

Review: In "Mercado Libre," the Invisible Hand is Also a Fist

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Mercado Libre Written by Luis Araújo Directed by Ismanuel Rodriguez Presented by Boundless Theatre Company at Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center 1680 Lexington Ave., Manhattan, NYC June 2-12, 2022 Photo courtesy Lalaboy PR At different moments in the opening scene of Spanish playwright Luis Araújo's Mercado Libre ( Free Market ), a woman, B (Diana Pou) identifies the man, A (Gerardo E. Gudiño), with whom she has just had a sexual encounter in exchange for payment, as a gentleman and as a beast. These identities and the relationship between them will have gained additional vectors of meaning by the time that A brings up the beast again–this time in relation to prey–much later in the play. Simultaneously a story of a wealthy beast and a beastly system of wealth, Mercado Libre , which debuted in Spain and has been produced in Puerto Rico as well, makes its New York premiere (performed in Spanish with English supertitles) in a riveting production from Boundless Theatre Compa

Review: "Sky of Darkness" Looks to Get at the Heart of China's Presence in Africa

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Sky of Darkness Written by Siting Yang Directed by Rakesh Palisetty Produced by Zhe Pan and Devin Ray Ramirez at Theaterlab 357 W 36th St, 3rd floor, Manhattan, NYC June 2-12, 2022 L TO R: HanJie Chow and Malcolm Opoku in Sky of Darkness . Photo by Maria Baranova Playwright Siting Yang's Sky of Darkness , currently in its world premiere run at Theaterlab, begins with talk of rivers: the Charles River, the Niger River, even the sky as a kind of river. These invocations are fitting not only because Yang's play loosely adapts Joseph Conrad's 1899 river-journey novella Heart of Darkness but also because their simultaneous embodiment of stasis and change, fixed place and ceaseless movement, nicely mirrors the dynamics of neo-imperialism (as well as, perhaps, of personal histories) that Sky of Darkness explores. As part of this exploration, the program notes, "the work is based on actual, first-person accounts of Chinese nationals who found themselves in the service of a h

Review: "The Refugees" Crosses the Borders Between Ancient and Modern, Us and Them

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The Refugees Written and directed by Stephen Kaliski Presented by Adjusted Realists in association with Weber State University at A.R.T./New York Theatres 502 W 53 St., Manhattan, NYC June 4-26, 2022 Carolina Đỗ, Rachel McPhee, Jonathan Nathaniel Dingle-El. Courtesy Adjusted Realists Just as we begin a " very active " hurricane season and another summer predicted to be hotter than normal, with a "severe" wildfire season and continued "severe drought," The Refugees brings an imagined climate-driven refugee crisis to the New York City stage. Written and directed by Stephen Kaliski, who is also an educator and the co-founder of the Adjusted Realists theater company, The Refugees unfolds in a world that is simultaneously our own and that of classical Greek drama. As a modernized House of Atreus struggles internally with how to deal with the refugees who have made their way to an Argos spared by chance from climatic disaster, this movingly clear-sighted sho

News: Girl Be Heard’s 2022 Musical Mainstage Production to Give Teens and Young Adults a Platform for Dialogue and Social Change

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Girl Be Heard , a Brooklyn based organization that amplifies and celebrates the voices of girls and young women through socially conscious theatre-making, storytelling, and performance, presents Voices Be Heard: The Musical , its 2022 Mainstage production, June 21-22 at The Space at Irondale. Written and performed by an international cast of 12 professional young “artivists” ages 17-24, the work features original music and personal narratives of mental health, women’s rights, immigration, identity, justice, and issues facing our communities today. With the company returning live to the stage for the first time in over two years and presenting its very first full-length musical, Voices Be Heard: The Musical follows the lives of six girls living separately in an old New York City apartment building, facing their own day-to-day struggles of survival in the bustling city. In this multi-disciplinary production, which includes live performance of monologue, music, and movement, paired with

News: FRIGID New York presents the 8th Annual Queerly Festival June 15-July 3

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Image source: https://www.frigid.nyc/festivals/queerly/ FRIGID New York will present the 8th Annual Queerly Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) from June 15-July 3. Most performances will also be available to livestream from home. Tickets ($25 in-person; $20 streaming) are available for advance purchase at www.frigid.nyc . Now in its eighth year, and curated this year by Jimmy Lovett, Queerly is FRIGID New York’s annual celebration of all things LGBTQIA+. Queerly strives for diversity on and off stage, seeking out queer artists of all kinds as well as a wide range of shows and performances. Its goal is to provide a space for queer artists who’ve rarely or never seen their identities portrayed on stage to be able to represent themselves and tell their stories, their way.  The shows:  Funny Never Gets Old Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm Join Carole Montgomery, the creator of the Showtime series Funny Women Of A Certain Age , as she brings to you so

News: Day-Long "Opa! São João," a Taste of the Brazilian Festas Juninas, at House of Yes on June 12

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Image courtesy Kampfire PR Brazilian theater company Group Dot BR and House of Yes are pleased to announce Opa! São João, a taste of the Brazilian Festas Juninas also known as Festas de São João (June Parties/Saint John Parties). The day-long party will occur on Sunday, June 12 from 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm at House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237). Tickets are $20-$35 and available at https://www.group.br.com/opasaojoao . Kids accompanied by parents or legal guardians are welcome from 3 - 6 pm, with free entry for kids under 12 years old. The event will be 21+ after 6 pm. The eight-hour long party will feature live music with Forró in the Dark and Mambembé , and DJs Greg Caz , Victoria Mussi , Gaspar Muniz, and Tietta will be spinning the best Brazilian beats. The party will also include traditional food and drink from Andrea's Brazilian Homemade Goods , Mari Tamiozzy Vegan Chef and Yubakery . Performances by Group Dot BR will include the character of Santo Antônio urg

Review: "The Legend of The Waitress & The Robber" Will Make You Forget About Checking Your Phone for 70 Minutes

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The Legend of The Waitress & The Robber Written by Renee Philippo Music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn Directed by Eric Nightengale and Renee Philippi Presented by Concrete Temple Theatre , Playfactory Mabangzen , and Yellowbomb, in partnership with the Korean Cultural Center NY at Dixon Place 161A Chrystie Street, Manhattan, NYC May 25-29, 2022 R to L: (standing) NamPyo Kim, (on table) James A. Pierce III, and Lisa Kitchens in The Legend of the Waitress & the Robber at Dixon Place. Photo by Stefan Hagen. The Legend of The Waitress & The Robber , a transnational collaboration between theater artists based in Seoul and New York City, first began to take shape in 2018 and now makes its pandemic-delayed New York City premiere at Dixon Place - a venue which is, incidentally, celebrating its 35th year showcasing adventurous theater. The Legend of The Waitress & The Robber , performed in English and Korean, with supertitles in each when the other is spoken, offers a distinctiv