Posted in comedy, comedy-drama, drama, performance works

Poetical theater and Frigid Fest: Coming soon….

Theater takes all sorts of license with reality. It reshapes what we know to give us a different perspective.  Plays give us new ways of seeing.

Carrying through on that trail, Poetic License 2015: subconscious is presented as an annual fesival by Poetic Theater Productions. This year, its fourth,  six readings of new poetic theatrical works and two full productions are being presented from February 5-22nd at the Wild Project.

Paradox of the Urban Cliché, a world premiere play  by Craig ‘muMs’ Grant, incorporates hip hop in telling a tale of a hustler struggling to get free of his environment.

Maurice Decaul has set Dijla Wal Furat: Between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the backdrop of the Iraqj war. Can the antagonists in this viscious and violent moment find their humanity?

9th Annual FRIGID New York Festival

Stay warm! This event runs from February 18-March 8th at The Kraine Theater and UNDER St. Marks. The Horse Trade Theater Group imports work from Manchester (England England, as they say in Hair), Canada, Ireland, Brooklyn for this winter fest of off-beat plays.

For instance there’s An Evening of Not-So-Quiet Despair with Satan in which the devil is in the details.  If you’ve ever left your pet at home with his friends, you can find out what they get up to in Dog Show, a French farce of the canine kind.  ERIK is a satiric version of “Phantom of the Opera,” written by John Patrick Bray. ERIK,  presented through the cage of a freak show, uses puppets and poetry to give new life to a familiar tale.

For those of you feeling football withdrawal, Richard the Third and Goal, or R3G is a mashup of Shakespeare and NFL star Ray Lewis in hiz own words. Richard the Third and Goal, or R3G, presented by New York’s own Bloody Shakespeare, is written and directed by Neal J. Freeman.

From March 12-28th, FRIGID extends its stay at the Kraine with Erica Lipiz’ The Tutors, a  Battalion Theatre production. In The Tutors, three friends with unsatisfying “day jobs” tutoring prep school princes and princesses battle the Social Media wars.

There is more FRIGID even as the weather warms in March. Check it out here:

FRIGID marches on, not part of the FRIGID FEST, but presented by the company that also presents the festival: “FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade will present March Forth Productions World Premiere of The Angels of Mons, a historical drama by Eric Webb, directed and conceived by Laura Archer. The production will run March 26-April 4 at UNDER St. Marks”

To learn more about the Poetic License: submission at the Wild Project, please visit

For more information about the 9th Annual FRIGID Festival at the Kraine Theater and UNDER St. Marks, visit

For more information on The Angels of Mons, please visit

Posted in dark drama

My (Trite) Old Kentucky Home

By guest reviewer Mari S. Gold

Middle front: Hayley Treider as Carolyn, Back middle: Chris Funke, Left: Rebecca Kuehl, Right: Ashleé Miller Photo by Sasha Karasev,
Middle front: Hayley Treider as Carolyn, Back middle: Chris Funke, Left: Rebecca Kuehl, Right: Ashleé Miller
Photo by Sasha Karasev,

Kentucky Cantata by Paul David Young is supposed to be about issues of important issues of our time including violence against women, race and immigration. However, it doesn’t rise to the importance of these.

The most unusual and attention-demanding detail in this multidisciplinary performance was the hair on the two wind musicians. Both women, accomplished musicians Ashleé Miller who plays the clarinet, and flautist Rebecca Kuehl, sport white- blonde pageboys. Unfortunately, the music, that includes Chris Funke on guitar, does little to enhance the work, in fact, it’s rather intrusive. The play’s story deals with a young woman who dreams of being an actress, encouraged by her teacher. She leaves her rural Kentucky home for New York City where she is raped and battered by an undocumented, disaffected Egyptian cab driver in a parking lot outside a Home Depot. The girl’s parents argue over her departure and relive their experiences of meeting and the subsequent sexual encounter that resulted in the girl’s birth.

Tony Naumovski as Kareem, Hayley Treider as Carolyn Photo by Sasha Karasev,
Tony Naumovski as Kareem, Hayley Treider as Carolyn
Photo by Sasha Karasev,

Hayley Treider, as Carolyn, the young, would-be actress and Marta Reiman, playing Dora, her mother, have been ill-served by director Kathy Gail MacGowan who hasn’t extracted much genuine emotion from either. MacGowan aims to use musicians and actors as “equal storytellers” but the story they relate is a one-note rag that lacks originality. There is little nuance and although Treider aims to project the menace she’s subjected to, it doesn’t come off nor is there any chemistry between Dora and her husband, Larry, played by Dan Patrick Brady. The best performance is by Tony Naumovski as Kareen, the taxi driver who manages a reasonable accent and conveys a sense of how grim his life is and continues to be.

Installation artist Franklin Evans has provided a set illustrated with words drawn from the text, photos of the actors and pictures the actors move around that don’t relate to the action. Overall, the production is fairly predictable in a college-level, artsy fashion. I wanted to like it but, sadly, that was a challenge.

Kentucky Cantata is at HERE Arts Center through February 8th. For more information about the production, please visit

About Mari S. Gold:

Mari S. Gold is a freelance writer who contributes to many magazines and websites. She writes on lifestyle, food, travel, health and is a regular contributor to New York Arts,

Her blog, But I Digress… , on travel, food  life experiences is at