Posts

Showing posts from 2024

Review: Shakespeare Downtown’s “Macbeth” a True Ensemble Piece

Image
 Macbeth Written by William Shakespeare Co-directed by Geoffrey Horne and Alec Baldwin Presented by Shakespeare Downtown at Castle Clinton National Monument The Battery (Battery Park), Manhattan, NYC June 13-23, 2024 Tickets are free and available at the door of Castle Clinton National Monument at the Battery at 5:45 p.m. on the day of the performance. Billie Andersson & Alfredo Diaz. Photo by Amy Goossens While Shakespeare’s tragedies generally encourage focus around one (or two) tragic figures, Shakespeare Downtown’s Macbeth , directed by Geoffrey Horne and Alec Baldwin, cogently reminds that, like the comedies, they are truly ensemble pieces necessitating a large and adept cast to effectively tell their stories. In a production such as this (indeed, with Shakespeare in general), with very minimal set and other effects at its disposal, the actors must do the lion’s share of work to make it a success. Alfredo Diaz’s Macbeth and Billie Andersson’s Lady Macbeth certainly shone in k

News: "Before the Drugs Kick In" Returns June 19th-30th

Image
Before the Dru gs Kick In , which takes the form of a stand-up set by a woman named Lynn T. Walsh ( Maria DeCotis ), is returning to NYC for a limited run at The Lynn F. Angelson Theater (136 E 13th Street, New York, NY 10003). You can read our review of an earlier run here .  Tickets are available here , and showtimes are as follows: Wednesday, 6/19, 7pm (preview) Friday, 6/21, 7pm Saturday, 6/22, 7pm Sunday, 6/23, 4pm Thursday, 6/27, 7pm Friday, 6/28, 7pm Saturday, 6/29, 7pm Sunday, 6/30, 4pm

Review: "The Employees" Stages Some Spectacular Science Fiction

Image
The Employees By Olga Ravn Translated by Martin Aitken Adapted by Jaclyn Biskup and Lauren Holmes Directed by Jaclyn Biskup Presented by The Mill and Theaterlab at Theaterlab 357 W 36th St, 3rd Floor, Manhattan, NYC June 13-30, 2024 Aurea Tomeski. Photo by Pelenguino Photo Some strains of science fiction have long used their imagined worlds, beings, and objects to explore social and metaphysical questions. The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century , The Mill's world premiere stage adaptation of Danish writer Olga Ravn's 2020 novel, makes one of its primary concerns clear in its title. Here, interstellar exploration is not a romantic adventure but a job, and one which permits even less of a "private" self than globalized neoliberalism allows for us current-day, Earth-bound laborers. But rather than an endpoint, this fascinating, formidable production's critique of the dehumanizations of the workplace acts more like a hub, the center of a web of compell

Review: Jamie Brickhouse Finds the Beauty and the Bawdy in a "Pearl Necklace"

Image
Pearl Necklace: A Gay Sexcapade Written and performed by Jamie Brickhouse Presented at UNDER St. Marks 94 St. Marks Place, Manhattan, NYC June 14 and 23, 2024 Jamie Brickhouse cruising in Dangerous When Wet . Photo credit: Mikiodo Early in the solo show Pearl Necklace: A Gay Sexcapade , writer and performer Jamie Brickhouse wryly observes that the show's title and subtitle should act as their own trigger warnings. At the same time, by the end of this funny, genuine, and engrossing show, the "pearl necklace" will come to symbolize simultaneously a life built with another person and an ongoing refusal of a monogamy-centered model of sexuality rooted in heteronormativity, to use the sort of jargon that the show lightly mocks at one point. Pearl Necklace is currently part of the 2024 Queerly Festival, presented by FRIGID New York and curated by FRIGID Co-Artistic Director Jimmy Lovett. Founded in 2014, the festival, which provides a space for queer teams and artists both on

Review: Faith American Brewing Company and Kelsey Grammer Bring a Mid-Century "Much Ado" to the East Village

Image
Much Ado About Nothing Written by William Shakespeare Directed by Thomas G. Waites Presented by Faith American Brewing Company and Kelsey Grammer at the Gene Frankel Theatre 24 Bond Street, Manhattan, NYC June 7-30, 2024 [Update: Extended to July 7, 2024] The cast of Much Ado About Nothing . Photo by Rob Klein. With a minimalist set and a mere nod to the 1940s in its costuming, Much Ado About Nothing at the Gene Frankel Theater, directed by Thomas G. Waites, overwhelmingly relied on its cast to make one of Shakespeare’s most iconic romantic comedies legible for a modern audience. Led by a stellar Beatrice (Aislinn Evans), a charming and versatile Don Pedro (Jacque Coqueran), and some genuinely hilarious minor characters (Matt McGlade as Borachio and Ursala, Arnie Mazer as Dogberry, and John Galligan as Verges) and supported by the original musical stylings of Cedric Allen Hills as Balthazar, the acting in this production ultimately underscored the uncomfortable moments in the play th

News: Venus in Waves Productions Presents "Asexuality! The Solo Musical" as Part of the 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
 Venus in Waves Productions will present Asexuality! The Solo Musical , written by Rebecca McGlynn and directed by Heather Dowling  (she/her), a Soaring Solo instructor and an award-winning writer and actress. The production will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival, FRIGID New York’s annual celebration of LGBTQA+ artists, at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009). What does it mean to be a man in the 21st century? How does toxic masculinity affect those of us assigned male at birth? What’s so great about sex, and why won’t people shut up about it for two goddamn seconds and just let me play my video games in peace?! Written and performed by Rebecca McGlynn (she/they), a transgender queer writer, actor, songwriter, and filmmaker working in film and TV production in Los Angeles,  Asexuality! The Solo Musical  is an autobiographical musical comedy about McGlynn’s pre-transition life. The story follows Robert, an asexual man navigating a hypersexual world. Throu

Review: Shakespeare Grows in Brooklyn with Smith Street Stage’s "Love’s Labor’s Lost"

Image
Love Labor’s Lost Written by William Shakespeare Directed by Raquel Chavez Assistant Directed by Mahayla Laurence Presented by Smith Street Stage at Carroll Park  Court Street and Smith Street, Brooklyn, NYC June 5-23, 2024 Photo courtesy of The PR Social Deftly highlighting for a modern audience Shakespeare’s satire of lovers and especially bad love poetry, Smith Street Stage’s free production of  Love’s Labor’s Lost presents a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s early comedy in the vein of a Love Island / Bachelor -inspired, campy reality show. Reconfiguring the Princess of France’s attendant Boyet as the orchestrator of both the ladies’ games and the men’s wooing attempts and the attendant Moth as a stage manager who assists Boyet, the production eliminates the original play’s side plots in order to focus solely on the lovers. The reality-show concept ultimately heightens not only the comedy in the play but also, through contrast, the somber turn at the play’s end when the Pr

Review: "The Mascot Murders" Unholsters No-Holds-Barred Noir Parody

Image
The Mascot Murders Written by Michael Zielinski Directed by Ken Wolf Presented by Manhattan Repertory Theatre at the Chain Theatre 312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor, Manhattan, NYC June 7-9, 2024 Dave Silberger as Tom and Nathan Cusson as Matt. Photo by John Sarno For a brand, a mascot does nothing but trumpet identity, but for the person inside a mascot costume, complete anonymity is the diametrically opposed effect. There's also something inherently humorous and yet a little creepy about these ungainly, unspeaking, masked characters (think about how many horror movie villains fit that description). Michael Zielinski's new play, The Mascot Murders , notwithstanding its title, mines these contradictory elements not for fright but for full-tilt farce, as a pair of hapless private investigators face repeated–and varyingly outrageous–attempts on their lives by someone concealed within the fuzzy exteriors of various mascot costumes. Nathan Cusson as Matt and Geoffrey Grady as Biff B

News: Theater Resources Unlimited Presents Live Town Hall, Barely Visible: Native American Theater Artists, on June 27th

Image
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), a nonprofit organization and the leading network for developing theater professionals, has announced Barely Visible: Native American Theater Artists, a live town hall on June 27, 2024. The town hall will be co-hosted by actor-writer Shaun Taylor Corbett, a mixed-race artist of Amskapi Pikunni (Blackfeet), Scandinavian, and Black heritage and a member of the Kaa Nux Im mii Taaks (Blackfoot Crazy Dog Society); Danielle Jagelski (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe), a composer, music director and creative producer; John Scott Richardson (enrolled Haliwa-Saponi (Tutelo)/Tuscarora lineage), actor, public speaker and cultural educator; Julia Keefe (Nez Perce), internationally acclaimed actor, recording artist, educator, jazz singer and band leader for the Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band. Barely Visible will be co-facilitated by Nicolette Blount (enrolled Chickasaw with Seminole ancestry), writer, composer, lyricist, performer, and produce

News: Leif Larson's "Shake the Disease" To Be Presented as Part of the 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
Shake the Disease , a new play written by Leif Larson and directed by Matthew Pezzulich, will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival, an annual celebration of LGBTQA+ artists, with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009). Currently a Fellow in Literary Arts with the Lucas Artists Residency Program, Larson is a Queer playwright born in L.A. during the Summer of Love when Charles Manson was assembling his Family. Cults were everywhere, and he was born into one. He recently woke up and got out. Now, he writes plays to share his experiences with his community in the spirit of strengthening its sense of empathy and understanding for each other. In addition to writing, Larson and his husband, visual artist Christopher M Tandy, publish a bi-annual fagazine, Blood of a Fresh Kill . In  Shake the Disease ,   River, a server at a resort, opens a vortex of queer power and rage after subverting a gay bashing. Part historical, part horror, Shake the Disea

News: "Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant" to Play 2024 Queerly Festival June 14 and 17

Image
Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant , by Tarek Ziad, an L.A.-based queer Afro-Arab comedian, actor, and writer, will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York  at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009), with performances on Fri June 14 at 9pm and Mon June 17 at 7pm.  In Groundlings SNL Scholar and Yale grad  Ziad’s Give Me The MacArthur Genius Grant , the idea of The MacArthur Fellowship—a shining $800,000 symbol of validation and achievement for creatives—becomes a gateway into discussions of success, failure, self-obsession, and how they all fit under one scary umbrella: Financial Security. In his 50-minute solo comedy, Ziad juxtaposes larger notions of what exactly a “genius” is with his own feelings of accomplishment (or lack thereof) as a budding-yet-broke queer artist of color. Faced with an uncertain future and the reality that no one is promised anything, Ziad begs the absurd—potentially satirical—question, “why not give ME the Genius G

Review: "How To Eat an Orange" Cuts into the Life of an Argentine Artist and Activist

Image
How To Eat an Orange Written by Catherine Filloux Based on the writing of Claudia Bernardi Directed by Elena Araoz Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club at The Downstairs at La MaMa 66 E 4th St., Manhattan, NYC May 30-June 16, 2024 Paula Pizzi. Photo by Steven Pisano How To Eat an Orange , making its world premiere at La MaMa, does in fact include a real orange as a prop, and its multifarious symbolizations–evoking at different points cultural specificity, family history, matriarchal inheritance, and even a skull–are representative of the play's boundary-blurring, non-linear presentation of memory. The memories in question belong to visual artist, educator, and activist Claudia Bernardi , who lived through several years of her native Argentina's military junta, which held power from 1976 to 1983, before departing her country and eventually settling in the United States. How To Eat an Orange , from Catherine Filloux, a French Algerian American award-winning playwright,

News: The Firebird Project Presents Romeo and Juliet Retelling "Nurse!" June 15-23

Image
The Firebird Project, an independent theater and arts education company dedicated to innovative original productions and the reinterpretation of classic plays, is excited to announce its upcoming production of Nurse! ,   Ayun Halliday ’s retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ...and she has some corrections! The production is set to run from June 15-23 at Actors Guild Hall, The Bechdel Project, New York Society Library, and Quimby’s Bookstore. Inspired in part by the life of Kate Claxton, ingénue turned entrepreneur-of-a-certain age, who made misfortune into a meal ticket, spending decades recounting the events of the Brooklyn Theatre Fire to sold-out crowds, Juliet’s Nurse hits the lecture circuit to set the record straight. Teenagers! Aging! Sex! Shakespeare! Nurse demands the last word on the greatest love story ever told. Ayun Halliday is the co-founder of Theater of the Apes, creator and host of its book-based variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domain , and Chief Pr

News: Solo Show "Flayed" Makes East Coast Debut June 16-17 at 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
Flayed ,   written and performed by L.A.-based actor and writer Josiah Blount and directed by David Bridel, Founding Artistic Director of The Clown School, as well as an artist, scholar, author, and educator, will make its East Coast debut as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009) with performances on Sunday, June 16 at 7pm and Monday, June 17 at 9pm.  Flayed is the story of a man on the verge of a breakdown, or maybe spiritual enlightenment. Joshua is fresh out of pastor's college and delivering his first sermon to a conservative church in Southwest Virginia. This trial-run sermon will determine if he joins the church staff as an Associate Pastor, something he's longed for his whole life. However, Joshua is queer, deeply closeted, and on the precipice of a mental breakdown. As his sermon progresses, his pristine public self begins to falter, and his messy, complex, internal world is revealed. His mind is

News: Butch Mermaid Productions Presents "A Bit Too Much Hair" as Part of June's 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
Butch Mermaid Productions will present A Bit Too Much Hair ,   written by Ania Upstill and William Duignan, as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009) with performances on Tuesday, June 18 and Monday, June 24 at 7pm. Butch Mermaid Productions believes that representation matters - you can’t be what you can’t see. Putting positive queer and trans stories on the stage helps us not just survive but thrive, so Butch Mermaid makes art that celebrates the beauty of embracing your authentic self because visible joy is a political act in the struggle for equality. With  A Bit Too Much Hair,  Butch Mermaid invites audiences to join “a big, silly party where transness is centred and everyone is welcome!” (Theatreview).  A Bit Too Much Hair  is a gender-euphoric musical cabaret for thems, mens, femmes, and everyone in between. The 2022 New Zealand premiere was nominated for Excellence Awards for Theatre for Social Change and

News: Adjusted Realists, in Association with Weber State University, Presents Dystopian Climate Drama "Red Days" May 31 - June 9, 2024

Image
Grace Maria Hernandez and Taylor Garlick. Photo: Lily Hilden Adjusted Realists , in association with Weber State University, presents the New York premiere of Red Days from Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 9, 2024, at the Jeffery & Paula Gural Theatre A.R.T. / New York Theatre, 502 W. 53rd Street, NYC.  Set near Salt Lake City,  Red Days , the searing new play from Utah writer Rachel Bublitz, directed by Jeremiah Maestas and Steve Kaliski, may sound like another entry in a long line of dystopian visions, but the climate forecast here isn't vague or distant. Instead, it's already happening. In a story determined to find hope and perseverance in a precarious status quo,  Red Days  follows high school athlete Dianna and her overbearing coach, who is also her mother, as they attempt life-as-usual. There are gritty practices, first loves, and summer internships, but as conditions worsen and designer masks can do only so much, Dianna must face the reality of her adolescence i

News: Laurizarry Presents "If I Did, You Deserved It" on June 21st as Part of the 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
Indie theatre company Laurizarry will present If I Did, You Deserved It , written by Jess Lauricello - an NYC-based playwright, theatre director, indie theatre and film producer, dramaturg, actor, and tree-hugger who believes in you and aliens - and directed by Casey Kelly, as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009) on Friday, June 21 at 7:00pm. Tickets (up to $25 on a sliding scale) are available for advance purchase at www.frigid.nyc . The performance will run approximately 90 minutes. A party seemingly thrown by no one that you definitely wouldn’t have been invited to full of people that you hate, followed by eternal damnation! Come judge other people for fun. Don’t worry, you totally have every right to. If I Did, You Deserved It  is a new play from award-losing playwright Jess Lauricello that’s probably a comedy. It’s a new take on No Exit that explores morality, shame, redemption, and generally fumbling the b

News: Free 2024 LUNGS Summer Theater Festival Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9

Image
Vít Hořejš and his marionettes LUNGS  (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens), a grassroots community gardens-based organization uniting the many volunteer-run community gardens in the Lower East Side and the East Village,  FRIGID New York , and nonprofit arts organization GOH Productions present the third annual LUNGS Summer Theater Festival, a festival featuring the work of International and LES artists, on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 from 2 pm-5:30 pm at the 6B Garden (located at Avenue and East 6th Street in New York City). Admission to the festival is completely FREE. In 1956, Joe Papp began the outdoor theater tradition on the Lower East Side when he introduced “Shakespeare in the Park” in East River Park Amphitheater. From the 1950s to the present, the Park was the site of frequent free Evening-in-the-Park concerts and plays. In 2022, LUNGS launched the first free annual LUNGS Summer Theater Festival and continues to honor the tradition with the third annual festival this

Review: Adult Film Hatches a Splendid New "Sea Gull"

Image
Sea Gull Written by Anton Chekhov Translated by John Christopher Jones Directed by Ryan Czerwonko Presented by Adult Film at Rutgers Presbyterian Church (236 W 73rd St., Manhattan, NYC), May 8-June 1, 2024, and Stone Circle Theatre (59-14 70th Ave., Queens, NYC), June 2, 2024 The cast of Sea Gull . Source: https://www.adultfilm.nyc/ Anton Chekhov's The Sea Gull (1895) was unquestionably innovative in its time, becoming a milestone in world drama, and Adult Film's new production of the Chekhov classic, Sea Gull , channels that innovatory spirit in a fleet, engrossing staging. Using a new translation by film and theater veteran John Christopher Jones, Sea Gull opens with a filmed segment that would fit comfortably in an arthouse film and that draws from the work's abortive play-within-a-play, a recontextualization that invites hearing its imagery of the cold emptiness of extinction, the horror of material existence, and the contrast between ever-changing matter and ever

News: Phillipe Andre Coquet's "The Ho Must Go On" To Be Presented as Part of the 2024 Queerly Festival

Image
Cauldron MultiMedium will present The Ho Must Go On , written, directed, and performed by Phillipe Andre Coquet. The production will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009), with performances on Saturday, June 29 at 9:30pm and Monday, July 1 at 7pm.  Phillipe Andre Coquet is a 55-year veteran of stage and screen, and a multi-threat actor/singer/dancer/playwright/director. He was featured in the Broadway musical, Her First Roman which starred Leslie Uggams and Richard Kiley, and appears in the book Broadway’s Greatest Flops , and a revival of T he Time of Your Life at Lincoln Center. He has acted and directed a ton of regional theater in quite a few cities, and his plays have won a few Fringe awards, including ‘Fringe of the Fringe’ and ‘Show that Breaks the Most Rules.’ He is also a co-star of the acclaimed Netflix-produced cult “cult” documentary Holy Hell , now available on Prime.  The Ho Must Go

News: Romeo and Juliet Cabaret "Masque of Night" Returns to NJ and NYC in June

Image
  Photo courtesy of Kampfire PR The New Place Players ’ The Masque of Night , a cabaret of contemporary and Elizabethan songs intermixed with, as Stephanie Pietros put it, " Romeo and Juliet ’s most iconic set-pieces" returns in June for performances in New Jersey and New York City. (you can read Stephanie's review of an earlier NYC performance here ).  The Masque of Night comes first to ​Princeton, NJ on June 7th and 8th, featuring Actors Studio lifetime member Clara Tristan as Juliet and recent Actors Studio MFA graduate Jorge Carrion Alvarez as Romeo. The performances will take place at the enchanting Hopewell Mountain Christian Church, near Princeton, New Jersey, a beautifully preserved wooden structure dating back to 1844. The Masque of Night  offers a unique and intimate experience for theater enthusiasts. The venue's interior balcony, grand piano, original bell, and seating for forty guests create an enchanting atmosphere that complements the magic of Shakespea

News: Neurodiverse Theater Company Actionplay Present "Total Bummer Summer: A Paranormusical" May 18-19

Image
Actiomplay in rehearsal for Total Bummer Summer: A Paranormusical You’ve never experienced a summer camp like the one in Actionplay’s new musical Total Bummer Summer: A Paranormusical , which will run for three performances on May 18 – 19, at the Nagelberg Theatre in the Baruch Performing Arts Center. Welcome to Farmer Flood's Fun Camp! It's got canoeing! Obstacle courses! Ghosts! When summer camp is taken over by a fiendish phantom, the campers must work together to unearth the ancient secrets of the campground and save the day. Actionplay is proud to present a truly ghoulish musical, complete with haunted woods, phantasmic possessions, and ghastly dance battles. Bring a brave friend. The script was devised and created by neurodiverse actors in Actionplay's Action Improv Musical Series (AIMS). The show is directed by Kate Trammell, with music direction and composition by Shane Dittmar, and choreography by Kimberly Hale. Actionplay is now in its 11th year of producing new m