Posted in 2001, academia, ambition, arts and events, award winning, ballet, balletic, boys, boys and girls, dance, dance making, dancing, Ellen Robbins, girls, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, lessons, music, narration, new work, performance works, teens, young cast, youth

Ah, youth

Photo © Lina Dahbou

Is it true that youth is wasted on the young? Perhaps not, at least this group of youngsters is making the most of their time and talents. And yes, I am a little jealous.

There is a good deal to be said for getting an early start. Youth is lithe and agile. It is a great season for dancing, Movement can be the lingua franca for the young; it is their body language as it were.

Ellen Robbins’ Dances By Very Young Choreographers at Live Arts, on January 26th and 27th, will be showcasing works by children as young as 8. The dance-makers, ranging in age from 8 to 18, study modern dance and choreography with Ms. Robbins.

The program ranges across the many styles of dance performance, from the humorous, narrative, to the lyrical. The music selections, chosen by the choreographers, include folk, jazz, classical, contemporary.

Ellen Robbins has been teaching dance sine 1966 and has received honors for her work with children. She has taught dance education at Sarah Lawrence and been on the faculties of Bennington College, the 92nd Street Y, and other distinguished institutions. In 2001, Dances By Very Young Choreographers was on the program at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

After the matinee on January 26th, there will be an evening concert by the Alumni of Dances by Very Young Choreographers, which presents work by dancers who studied with Robbins from 1982 to 2016.  

Posted in #pointofview, 11 Tony Award winning musical, activists, aspiration, award winning, based on a true story or event, based on a true story or event and historical documents, based on true events, DC politics, economics, famous, fictionalization_of_real_events, Hamilton, long running Broadway musical, musical theater, musical theatre, musicals and dramas, Pulitzer Prize winning musical, riff, Tony winner

A Safe Place…

Tickets to Hamilton may (probably not) be available this holiday season thanks to a non-controversy P-E Trump fracked up from a non-incident at the theater. (As it turns out, Trumpistas did not relinquish their tickets en masse, and the show is sold out in all the cities across America in which it is playing.)

When VP-E Mike Pence attended a performance recently, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon used the curtain call to petition his elected official on behalf of the other half of our country. P-E DJT took offense, and a sort of boycott was born.

For the record, VP-E MP said he was not offended: “And I nudged my kids and reminded them, that’s what freedom sounds like,” Pence said, according to news reports from CNN to the NY Daily News.

The play, which won 11 Tonys last year, has been a hot ticket since it started its Broadway transfer in the summer of 2015.

Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s paean to America, in which the Founding Fathers (and some Mothers) are portrayed by a racially diverse cast, and issues of states’ rights and federalism are rapped.

As with everything emanating from this inclusive show, the Hamilton curtain call was a model of restraint.Witness what was said below:


Posted in award winning, far out, Festival Fringe-bound and Festival Fringe-found, fringe worthy, monologues, musicals, odd

Going to the Edge: Fringe Festivals

Darian Dauchan in “Death Boogie” with music by The Mighty Third Rail

You have to go a little further these days to deliver cutting-edge. Tricks of the trade from happenrings and multi-media presentation to theater of the absurd have become standards in all staged productions, and not just the experimental ones.

Playwrights reciting monologues, incorporating video into their stories, engaging — or surrounding– the audience are all part of the main stage and the “fringe” scene. These days, it’s probably content more than style that distinguishes “fringe” entertainments from the mainstream.

And speaking of going far, some of you will go as far as Scotland to the venerable 65-year old Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This year, we’ve already previewed a very small sampling of what you should see at Edinburgh Festival Fringe while East to Edinburgh was at 59E59 Theaters earlier.

Some of us are staying closer to Broadway at downtown’s New York International Fringe, celebrating its sixteenth anniversary from August 10th to 26th.

First for the NYC homebodies: At FringeNYC, there is a plethora of events including 1200 performances ranging from monologues to musicals.  Among them, a New York premiere of the intriguingly-titled “The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children,” starring Matthew Trumbull, running from the 11th to the 24th of August at The Players Theatre.The Players, of course is just one of the many venues at which FringeNYC is being shown.

Matthew Trumbull in “The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children,” photo (c) Kyle Ancowitz 

“Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood,” an  award-winning fringe-fest musical, with an equally interesting title, is playing at The Players Theatre from the 15th through the 26th.

 “Mother Eve’s Secret Gardent of Sensual Sisterhood”

Jennifer Jajeh’s “I Heart Hamas…” on the program at Edinburgh from August 14-25th, takes a fresh perspective in describing her experience as a Palestinian American. There’s humor and a direct honesty in her interesting solo show. (Visit to see more.)

Appearing from the 14th to 27th of August at the Scotland Fest, “Death Boogie” is a provocative multi-media musical, starring Darian Dauchan and the musicians of The Mighty Third Rail. “Death Boogie” has a distinctive and original point of view. (See for details.)

Sandro Monetti’s monologue about Hollywood’s big names, “Clooney, Cowell, Pitt and Me…” is tabloid newstand fun. He’s performing only on August 18th. (Learn more at  It will come as no surprise to hear that naricism comes with being celebrated in tinsel town, but it is nice to hear about it from Monetti’s first-hand encounters.  

“Eat Sh*t, How Our Waste Can Save The World” definitely falls into the far-out subject matter bucket.
The playlet, presented by Shawn Shafner’s The Poop Project, is in fact a bit polemical, if very sincere. It will be at Edinburgh from August 15th to 27th. (Visit to find out more.)

Visit to see Edinburgh Festival Fringe program schedules. For more information and tickets for FringeNYC, go to