Posted in comedy, dance, drama, theater

Game theory

Photo by Simon Hayter for "Winners and Losers"
Photo by Simon Hayter for “Winners and Losers”

Challenging each other in assessing who is successful and who is not, their game soon devolves into name calling. The two friends become abusive about each other and their families. In Winners and Losers, every choice either of them has made is scrutinized in light of the eponymous appraisal. Marcus Youssef and James
Long have created a satirical and acerbic view of how we judge ourselves and others.

At Soho Rep in its New York premiere from January 2nd through February 6th, Winners and Losers is produced in conjunction with John Adrian Selzer, and Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre. The play, written by Youssef and Long is directed by Chris Abraham.

More at sohorep.org.

Over at the New Ohio, the New York Neo-Futurists are playing the dating game. Dylan Marron found people willing to share their on-line dating experiences. From these first hand accounts of love in the age of internet, he has woven The Human Symphony.

If you have never seen a Neo-Futurist production, expect the unexpected.The Human Symphony is set in four movements and performed by a cast randomly selected from the audience.

The Human Symphony begins performances on Thursday, January 22 for a limited engagement through Saturday, February 14

Visit www.nynf.org.

Dating leads us not so directly to a marriage gone awry with Marc Palmieri’s The Groundling is performed by the Axis Company from February 11 through March 8, 2015. In The Groundling, landscaper Bob Malone is inspired by a production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” to write and stage a play about his failing marriage.

Please go to www.axiscompany.org.

At the COIL 2015 Festival, where there are soem 13 productions in 15 days, we go back to dating again. This time with the darkly funny, The Blind Date Project (Jan 7–17) from Groundbreaking Theater Productions, at the Parkside Lounge. Starring Australia’s Bojana Novakovic (Rake, Shameless); The Blind Date Project is a real event in a real bar on a real blind date between two people in need of a real connection.

See video at https://www.youtube.com/user/PerformanceSpace122

Space 122’s tenth annual festival of contemporary dance, theater, and performance works runs from January 2 through the 17th in venues all over town, from the Vineyard and the New Ohio Theatres.  It is kicked off with a free installation at Times Square with the world premiere of Sebastian Errazuriz’s A Pause in The City that Never Sleeps, running daily from 11:57pm to midnight the entire month of January. A Pause in The City that Never Sleeps,co-presented by Times Square Arts, the Times Square Advertising Coalition, is a video of a giant and contagious yawn.

ps122.org

Posted in theater lovers

Putting pen to paper

life_is_a_movie_direct_it_well_journal

You know someone like me (no hint intended) who feels something’s missing without a pad of paper handy. Help them feel complete with these very cool notebooks.

The covers speak to a passion for theatre, directing, and.. life. They may inspire great thoughts within. Or terrific and ambitious to-do lists.

Some of these journals may come to be used to pen the great American novel, or lively poesy. Others will be repositories of thoughts and feelings. Whether they are used as diaries or reminders what to get from the store, these notepads present a handsome facade.

theatre_journal

“LIfe’s a movie…” offers an admonishment to take really good care of what is important to us. Those of us directing a movie or life, need to have those Cecil B. DeMille-worthy
seats like the ones on this book.

We know that for some of us, it really is all about comedy and drama, tragedy and farce
which brings us back to the dictum of the t- shirt and hoodie, “Theatre, It’s a Stage I’m Going Through.” (Visit CafePress for theater-minded journals and other items bearing clever slogans.) (See also https://t.co/p1Ax1O6KCP
f
or more theater inclined gift ideas.)

Journal-keeping is also highly recommended by our friends in the therapeutic community. These are among other things good repositories for your wishes, your dreams, your memories, your aspirations, and your epiphanies.

director_chairs_journal

Along with a journal this good-looking, you could use a pen as sharp. With Pearl Paint and Art Brown closing here in NYC, it might prove a bit more difficult finding a pen to go along with the paper.All is not lost, however. Lee’s Art Shop is still open, and stationers can be found around town. Fine writing implements can be gotten on line from places like The Fountain Pen Hospital  as well. Another web-based resource for extremely cool, and very vintage pens are available from NYCpens.com, 

Voila, you’re ready to put pen to paper!

Posted in drama

The Life and Death of a Small Town in “Pocatello”

T.R. Knight (standing next to) Elvy Yost,  with (seated R-L) Jessica Dickey, Cameron Scoggins, Leah Karpel and Danny Wolohan in a scene from Samuel D. Hunter's "Pocatello" at Playwrights Horizons. Photo © Jeremy Daniel
T.R. Knight (standing next to) Elvy Yost, with (seated R-L) Jessica Dickey, Cameron Scoggins, Leah Karpel and Danny Wolohan in a scene from Samuel D. Hunter’s “Pocatello” at Playwrights Horizons. Photo © Jeremy Daniel

Living in a world of sameness can be very disorienting. It is our differences that define us. It’s hard to know who we are when nothing is any longer specifically about us.

As the landscape of his hometown melds, Eddie (T.R. Knight,) the manager of a chain restaurant in Pocatello, Idaho, has lost his connection to his world. In Samuel D. Hunter’s new play, Pocatello, at Playwrights Horizons through January 4th, Eddie is a dreamer, who sees good in everything and everyone. He desperately wants to manufacture positive outcomes.

Like Eddie’s dad, Pocatello, the town, is dead. It isn’t the home in which Eddie can find himself and know he belongs. Chains have taken over any local enterprise, so that there is no individuality, no personality left in the town.

Eddie’s brother Nick (Brian Hutchison) has moved on to greener pastures. The staff in the restaurant are those left behind. In an effort to keep his place afloat, Eddie conceives a Famiglia Week when staff invite their loved ones to eat.

Cast of "Pocatello." Photo © Jeremy Daniel
Cast of “Pocatello.” Photo © Jeremy Daniel. Scenic design by Lauren Helpern.

His lifelong friend, Troy (Danny Wolohan,) serves his wife Tammy (Jessica Dickey) and their teen-age daughter Becky (Leah Karpel) and his father, Cole, (Jonathan Hogan) while Eddie waits on his mother Doris (Brenda Wehle) and his brother Nick, visiting for the holidays with his wife Kelly (Crystal Finn.)  Isabelle (Elvy Yost) says she’s almost glad her parents died years ago so she doesn’t have to participate. The other waiter, Max (Cameron Scoggins) is outcast from his family.

Jonathan Hogan, Leah Karpel and Danny Wolohan in a scene from "Pocatello." Photo © Jeremy Daniel
Jonathan Hogan, Leah Karpel and Danny Wolohan in a scene from “Pocatello.”
Photo © Jeremy Daniel

Pocatello, like life, is messy, but we seek better resolution from our dramas. It’s entertaining and extremely thought-provoking.  The acting is natural and therefore superb.

The ensemble, under Davis McCallum’s fine direction, tells their stories well and clearly. It’s just hard to see where these tales will lead.

For tickets and more information, click here to visit PH.

Posted in comedy, musical theatre, opera

From the creators of… a little python for the holidays

–Monty Python that is.

Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) is based on “The Life of Brian.” Eric Idle and John DuPrez, the creators of Broadway’s “Spamalot,” a musical based on another Monty Python classic, are behind this comic oratorio.

The production, at Carnegie Hall on the 15th and 16th of December at 8pm, features  Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s as well as  The Collegiate Chorale.CollegiateChorale

“Hail to the Shoe,” and “We Love Sheep,” are just two of the musical numbers in a pastiche of styles that range from pop to hip hop to doo wop in Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy).

For tickets, please visit www.carnegiehall.org.