Posted in Brits Off Broadway, Cafe Carlyle, Dominic Chianese, Isolde, Lucie Arnaz, off Broadway, Richardd Maxwell

What’s Happening? The Shortlist

photo from Richard Maxwell’s “Isolde”
by Simon Hallström

April 2: Dominic Chianese at The Café Carlyle

April 3- May 4: “The International” plays at the cell

April 10-26: “Isolde” (US premiere) at the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street)

April 15 through 19: Lucie Arnaz at The Café Carlyle

April 23 through May 18: “Peddling” part of Brits Off Bway at 59E59

May 30 through July 5: Summerworks Festival at The Wild Project                                             

April 2: Dominic Chianese at The Café Carlyle

He may always be “Uncle Junior” to some of us, but Dominic Chianese has long been a man of many talents. He is a singer and guitarist, who has released two albums and performed in cabaret, as well as on stages on and off-Broadway. In his Café Carlyle debut, An Evening with Dominic Chianese, he will perform songs running the gambit of American music, from country to the Great American Songbook, as well as standards in Italian and Spanish. 

www.thecarlyle.com

April 3- May 4: “The International” plays at the cell

“The International” is inspired by events in the Bosnian War of 1992-95. Tim Ruddy’s award-winning and probing three-character play looks at the same events taking place during an ethnic-incited conflict through the eyes of three different people in three different parts of the world. Origin Theatre Company’s production is directed by Christopher Randolph and stars Timothy Carter, Carey Van Driest and Ted Schneider. 

http://www.origintheatre.org (Running time 80 minutes)

April 10-26: “Isolde” (US premiere) at the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street)

Based on the legend of Tristan and Isolde, Richard Maxwell’s “Isolde” is about Patrick, the owner of a successful construction company and his wife, Isolde,  a successful star.

Patrick and Isolde appear to be happly married. But Isolde finds herself increasingly unable to remember her lines. To occupy herself, she decides to build her dream house and her husband is eager to help. The project is jeopardized by Massimo, an award-winning architect that Isolde hires.

Written and directed by Maxwell for his company, New York City Players,  “Isolde” marks 15 years of new plays by Maxwell in New York. The production features Jim Fletcher, Brian Mendes, Tory Vazquez and Gary Wilmes.

www.abronsartscenter.org, (Runs 90 minutes without intermission)

 April 15 through 19: Lucie Arnaz at The Café Carlyle

“Spring is Here” is  Lucie Arnaz’s new show. The talented daughter of one of show business’ most prominent couples, Lucie Arnaz has forged a distinct career of her own,  starring in roles on Broadway, television and film, and has won awards including an Emmy, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award. 

www.thecarlyle.com

April 23 through May 18: “Peddling” part of Brits Off Bway at 59E59

Henry Melling, known as Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter franchise, has written a fascinating new play featured in the 10th annual Brits off Bway Festival. In “Peddling.” a peddler wakes up in a field, somewhere in London, surrounded by the burnt and empty remnants of the night before. With no memory of how he has come to be there, he knows he must go back to ‘the very start of it all’. His attempts to retrace events from the previous day lead him on a haunting journey where everything comes into question: his life, his world, his future.

Harry Melling’s remarkable debut play follows the day in the life of a man on the fringes of society as he battles difficult questions and attempts to come to terms with the answers. 

www.59e59.org

May 30 through July 5: Summerworks Festival at The Wild Project

The 2014 fest features plays by Jenny Schwartz, Ariel Stess, Peggy Stafford. Summerworks 2014 features “41-derful”, written and directed by Jenny Schwartz; “I’m Pretty Fucked Up” by Ariel Stess, directed by Kip Fagan; and “16 Words Or Less” by Peggy Stafford, directed by Portia Krieger. 

Summerworks 2014 will also feature various free events, including a collaborative piece and individual readings written by Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group: Jaclyn Backhaus, Adam Blodgett, Tasha M Gordon-Solmon, Ken Greller, MJ Kaufman, Dan Regelski, and Ariel Stess. Further details on these events will be announced soon.

www.clubbedthumb.org       

Posted in 59E59, Brits Off Broadway, Bull, bullying, domination, humiliation, Mike Bartlett, teamwork, work environment, work place

Work is a special kind of hell in "Bull"

Sam Troughton and Eleanor Matsuura in Mike Bartlett’s “Bull,” part of Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters.
Photo by Carol Rosegg

If the only intriguing thing about Mike Bartlett’s “Bull” were that he had a recent success off-Broadway with a play called “C**k,” it might be enough for some of us. But “Bull” is far from a mere companion set-piece, offering the cutely indulgent possibility of being labelled “C**k” and “Bull.” 

Eleanor Matsuura and Adam James in Mike Bartlett’s “Bull,” part of Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters.
Photo by Carol Rosegg

“Bull,” in a Sheffield Theatres production at 59E59 Theater’s Brits Off-Broadway festivities, through June 2nd, is in fact, a rather brilliantly brutal study of humiliation and dominance.

Sam Troughton and Adam James in Mike Bartlett’s “Bull,” part of Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters.
Photo by Carol Rosegg

Thomas (Sam Troughton) is alternately bewildered and out-manned by his co-workers, Isobel (Eleanor Matsuura) and Tony (Adam James) as he struggles to survive at work. The team is about to be pared down by their boss, Carter (Neil Stuke) whose visit the three are anticipating in an office made to look like a fight ring, designed by Soutra Gilmour.

Sam Troughton, Neil Stuke, Adam James, and Eleanor Matsuura in Mike Bartlett’s “Bull,” part of Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg


“Bull” is a cage match, with Carter as reluctant referee. Thomas’ being cut is a foregone conclusion. Carter, unctious and self-assured, describes his mission to downsize as “a cull to save the species, by which I mean the rest of us, from extinction.”

Eleanor Matsuura, Sam Troughton, and Adam James in Mike Bartlett’s “Bull,”, part of Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg. Choreography by Allistair David and Fight Direction by Christian Thomas.

The actors move about aggressively– or in Thomas’s case defensively– with choreography by Allistair David and Fight Direction by Chrisitan Thomas, in a Darwinian dance of death. The ensemble, under Clare Lizzimore’s direction, is superb.

“Bull” creates the very definition of a hostile work environment.

For more information about “Bull,” visit www.59e59.org.

Posted in 2-hander, Brits Off Broadway, bullying, David Harrower, nuclear testing, Scots Festival

"Good With People"

Andrew Scott-Ramsay and Blythe Duff star in David Harrower’s “Good With People,” launching the 2013 Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theaters. Photos by Carol Rosegg


Having a nuclear test site in your town might put a damper on tourism. Helensburgh, Scotland has been made relatively desolate. 

People come, but just for day trips, as Helen Hughes (Blythe Duff) laments in “Good With People,” David Harrower’s play enjoying a NY premiere at 59E59 Theaters, through April 21st.
Helen works at the Seaview Hotel where Evan Bold (Andrew Scott-Ramsay) is one of the few guests. Evan, who’s been in Qatar and Peshawar as a charge nurse for many years, has returned for his parents’ remarriage.

Blythe Duff  and Andrew Scott-Ramsay star in David Harrower’s “Good With People,” launching the 2013 Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theaters. Photos by Carol Rosegg

Evan and Helen share an unpleasant history since Evan, out of loyalty to his dad’s job at the naval facility, was one of the boys from the base who bullied her son Jack after he protested nuclear testing.
The actors are both very good story tellers, holding the attention, despite a minimal story to tell.
Puns and misapprehensions provide some modicum of amusement in “Good With People,”
but Harrower’s very short script seems a bit self-indulgent. Long pauses seem like superfluous dramatic tics in a play that is just an hour long.

“Good With People” is the Scots part of 59E59’s annual Brits Off Broadway festival. It is produced by Traverse Theatre Company and Datum PPaines Plough.
For more information about “Good With People,” and Brits Off Broadway, please visit 59e59.org..