Posted in Daily Prompt

A tribute

adollshousevia Daily Prompt: Homage

Admiration can lead an artist, author, filmmaker or playwright to the ultimate act of adulation, imitation.

When something is written in the style of, it is most often considered an homage.

Over the last many New York theater seasons, Chekhov and Ibsen have each been given their due by a variety of writers and adapters.

cropped-theater.jpg
I tribute this meme to www.cafepress.com.

The latter was reimagined in the most imaginary way possible by Lucas Hnath in his A Doll’s House, Part 2, currently extended, with a mostly new cast, through January 7, 2018 on Broadway at the Golden. A Doll’s House, Part 2 is a totally original new work, but it draws its characters and their plight from the Ibsen masterwork.

Picking up a theme from a favorite writer and taking it in a different, new, or challenging direction is the ultimate tribute.

Elsewhere there are other tributes being paid as well….

For instance, in March 2018, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance will honor the legacy of Isadora Duncan. The New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns will take up the mantle of the great pioneer of the modern dance and reintrepret her work under the choreographic direction of Lori Bellilove, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company Artistic Director.

Playwright Sarah Ruhl writes a paean to her mother who was a Peter Pan interpreter in their local theater with For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday at Playwrights Horizons under Les Waters direction through October 1st. Kathleen Chalifant stars.

This is a short list. Many explications of Shakespeare begin with his work and carry forward in awe. Filmography is chock-a-block full of imitation, the sincerest form of flattery.

To learn more about and for tickets to A Doll’s House, Part 2, please vist their website.
Find tickets to For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday at PHnyc. Learn more about the upcoming spring season of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance by bookmarking and checking their site.

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Posted in modern dance meets ballet, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Sara Mearns

Meant to be

308px-Isadora_Duncan_(grayscale)
By Arnold Genthe (1869–1942) – Library of Congresshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Isadora_duncan.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=443628

Any true fan can see the possibility, but it took Paul Taylor and Lori Bellilove to realize it.

Sara Mearns, the New York City Ballet prima, and a favorite dancer of mine, will embody Isadora Duncan in the PTAMD spring season this coming March at Lincoln Center.  Her performance as Isadora Duncan had a sold out run in June at the Joyce.

What Taylor has envisioned is a reconstruction of works that Isadora Duncan performed, with the choreography reimagined by  by The Isadora Duncan Dance Company Artistic Director, Lori Bellilove. The program will be performed  during the 2018 Season of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance.

Duncan is being celebrated for her role as a pioneer of modern dance, a mission Taylor has taken very much to heart. Her influence was vast, with ballet makers like Sergei Diaghilev saying she was a “kindred spirit,” and artists across various disciplines seeing her as a visionary. John Dos Passos wrote that “Art was whatever Isadora d

Ms. Mearns is tall, elegant, and as befits a ballerina, graceful. More than all of that she is a skilled actress.She has always taken on roles, acting out the impulses of her art. Her role in the Peter Martins ballet-meets-modern Barber Violin Concerto may have been preparation. Or perhaps she needed no prior reference– just her natural talents– to become Isadora.

For more information on PTAMD, please visit their site. Tickets for the 2018 season are not yet available.

 

Posted in drama, forgotten plays, found plays, Irish drama, lost plays, love, love story, old, radio drama, Teresa Deevy, The Mint Theatre

Deevy Project

Generally when I hear a play has not been produced in lo these many years, I think perhaps its absence was a welcome thing.

Not so with the Deevy Project works, or for that matter most of the Mint Theater’s repertory.

The Suitcase Under the Bed, at the Beckett at Theatre Row extended through September 30th 23rd, refers to the place where Mint Artistic Director, Jonathan Bank found the treasures on this bill of four one-act plays. Thanks to his exacting curation, the program has a cohesion of theme and sensibility.

It opens with Strange Birth, a charming love story, with the very charming Ellen Adair playing the housemaid Sara Meade, the object of Bill The Post’s (Aidan Redmond) affection. The other three plays–In The Cellar of My Friend and Holiday House, and finishing with The King of Spain’s Daughter— are all in fact love stories as well. Some are wry, some are winsome, all eccentric to a degree particular in a Teresa Deevy play.

The cast of seven (in addition to Adair and Redmond, Gina Costigan, Sarah Nicole Deaver, Cynthia Mace, Colin Ryan, and A.J. Shively– each in a variety of roles) deliver their diverse characterizations superbly. There are lovely musical interludes as well as Entr’acte poems to mark the transitions from one play to the next. The scenic designs by Vicki R. Davis serve each setting with small but well detailed changes.

Each story is carefully defined and delineated with care under Jonathan Bank’s splendid direction.

For more information, and tickets for this and other Mint productions, please visit
http://minttheater.org/.

 

Posted in Playwrights Horizons, Sarah Ruhl, theater, theater about theater, theater folk, women playwrights

“I won’t grow up!”

Man, realizing that he could not remain forever young, bestowed immortality on his gods and let them frolic in their gardens. Then he became jealous of their frivolity, and searched for the fountain of youth, for his own opportunity to act with irresponsibility.

For J.M. Barrie, the hunt for that “Neverland” was led by Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. Peter Pan was played by a number of actresses over the years– Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, among them– and spawned a psychiatric syndrome not listed in the DSM.

In For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday, at Playwrights Horizons previewing August 18th and running through October 1st, Sarah Ruhl examines issues of immortality.

Her titular Peter is Ann (Kathleen Chalfant), an actress in community theater who played the boy 50 years ago in her youth. Those seeking to find their youth along with Ann are the “lost boys,” Wendy (Lisa Emery), Michael (Keith Reddin), Jim (David Chandler), John (Daniel Jenkins) and a dog named Macy. The cast, under Les Waters direction, is rounded out by The Father (Ron Crawford.)

For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday is the first play of the season at @PHnyc on their mainstage. On September 6th, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commission, The Treasurer by Max Posner will begin at their Peter Jay Sharp space.

To learn more and find tickets for the Playwrights Horizons 2017-18 season, please visit
https://www.playwrightshorizons.org/

Table read of The Treasurer (photo from PHnyc website.)
Posted in historical musical, historical musical drama, historically-based musical, musical, musical theater, musical theatre

The rise and fall of John Banvard

Source: The wide Mississippi

From Wikipedia: A moving image designed by John Banvard

Once upon a time, there were hucksters and rich artists. The latter grew rich sometimes with the help of a kind of door-to-door hucksterism wherein they shilled their works to the public.

In the case of Georama: An America Panorama Told in Three Miles of Canvas, the artist was one John Banvard, now unknown.

Who was John Banvard (P.J. Griffith)?  He was a showman, mainly because of the skills of his composer, Elizabeth (Jillian Louis) who worked the towns up and down the coast to promote and show off his new moving panorama of the Mississippi.

Success breeds imitation, and there are those who will take the opportunity. The huckster, who helped and then stole much of Banvard’s thunder, was Taylor (Randy Blair, in a very appealing role.) The businessman and showboat owner who remained Banvard’s friend through thick and thin was William Chapman.

To catch this musical by West Hyler (Hyler also directs) and Matt Schatz, with music and lyrics by Schatz and additional contributions to the latter by Jack Herrick, visit nymf.org. There are a couple of performances left through August 6th, which is also the end of the New York Musicals Festival.

Posted in famous, forbidden fruit, Poems, William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams apologizes

Source: William Carlos Williams apologizes

This is one of my favorite among my postings ever. It is in no way theater-related, except for the theatricality of the William Carlos Williams poem on which I comment in it.

Here you go (my words, for William Carlos Williams’ original, click here):

William Carlos Williams apologizes

He says he regrets he ate the plums

He knows they were meant to be served for breakfast

Is he really sorry that he enjoyed his fruit?

His apology seems more than a little insincere– I think

He enjoyed his late night snack, savored its deep flavor,

He recalls the taste of his forbidden fruit with pleasure

Posted in forgotten plays, Short plays, The Mint Theatre

Small treats

Intrepid archeologists find lost, forgotten, hidden, unsung or underappreciated treasure.
The explorers at the Mint Theatre Company are no less persistent in valiantly unearthing the charms from the past. Their hunt is among the history of theatrical productions.

In their search, they have uncovered many gems, especially several from the prolific pen of Teresa Deevy, an Irish dramatist active with Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in the late 1930s and ’40s. It’s always a special occasion when a Teresa Deevy  play is on view.

This year, they kick off the early fall 2017 with The Suitcase Under the Bed, a quartet of short plays found from whence they were stored. Three are world premieres and are presented here as part of the Mint’s Deevy Project.

The Suitcase Under the Bed began production on July 21st and runs through September 23rd at Theatre Row’s Beckett Theatre. For information and tickets, please visit The Mint’s website.