Posted in history, John Leguizamo, lessons, one man show

Class is in session

With Columbus experiencing a re-think, historically speaking, the mnemonic fed us as children seems less and less useful.

Forget the Nina, the Pinta, and “fourteen hundred and ninety two.” Sit back while Professor Leguizamo gives you a lesson in Latin History for Morons, playing at Studio 54 through February 25, 2018.

Teaching dummies about Latinos has been a John Leguizamo Broadway (and off) project for some time. 2011’s Ghetto Klown was not the first time he scored points on how little we non-Latinos know about his people. As in his Tony-nominated Freak, he talks about the deeply personal in Ghetto Klown, while revealing interesting tidbits about his Hollywood exploits. The confessional tone of many of his previous stage outings is on display in Latin History for Morons as well.

If we did not like Leguizamo so well, we might resent being called Morons, but we’ll let it pass. It must be galling to hail from one of the Hispanic isles — the Bronx or P.R. for example–and have us flaunt the myth that America was “discovered” by an Italian in service to his Spanish Queen. On top of that we’re yelling “speak English” these days and building walls to keep out other Latino groups.

Sure, his is a one-man show, but Leguizamo can’t do it all by himself. Latin History for Morons is directed by Tony Taccone, with sets by Rachel Hauck, costumes by Luke McDonough and original music/sound design by Bray Poor, and lights by Alexander V. Nichols.

For more information and tickets, please visit https://latinhistorybroadway.com/

Also see for further thoughts on:

Post: In the Classroom of Prof. Johnny Leggs, ‘Latin History for Morons’ Is Delivered With Light, Heat and a Lotta Heart
Link: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2017/11/in-classroom-of-prof-johnny-leggs-latin.html
Blog: The Wright Wreport

 

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Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in backstage documentary, drama, one man show, opera, weekend plans

What To Do?

So much to do, so little time. If this familiar refrain has you wondering how to plan your weekend, here are some suggestions from T&B On The Aisle:

Check out “ONE NIGHT STAND,” opening April 26 and playing through May 2nd at the Quad Cinema, a backstage documentary, chronicling the production of The 24 Hour Musicals in which teams of top-notch musical theater talent have 24 hours to create, cast, rehearse and put on a live benefit show. See Cheyenne Jackson, Richard Kind, Rachel Dratch (among other performers) and directors like Sam Gold, along with writers and composers like Jonathan Marc Sherman and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

A scene from “ONE NIGHT STAND”


The pressure cooker environment behind the scenes as 4 short musicals come to life was echoed by the crews behind the  camera as they plunged into  a sleepless shoot. Produced by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton with the assistance of 10 shooters, four production assistants, and three editors, “ONE NIGHT STAND” is a wonder of improvisation and inspiration.

Rachel Dratch and Richard Kind in  a scene from “ONE  NIGHT STAND.”


Visit www.onenightstandthemovie.com to learn more about “ONE NIGHT STAND.”

The Wild Project, a production and venue for emerging artists and new theater, film and visual arts, has on-going programming to entertain and enlighten. Catch Kara Manning’s “SLEEPING ROUGH,” through April 27th, for instance in which an American woman spews graffitti of discontent all over London. Next, “ALONDRA WAS HERE” by Chisa Huthcinson, takes the stage, from May 4th to the 18th, with a tale of politics and brutality.

For more information about these and other productions at The Wild Project, visit www.thewildproject.com.

You think you can dance goes on parade with the Shakedown Dance Collective, a gang of 55 people of all shapes and sizes, ages and aspirations, under the tutelage of professional dancers Jamie Benson and Deborah Lohse

Deborah Lohse. Photo by Peter Sperling

 The Shakedown consists of weekly 2 hour dance rehearsals that prepare would be dancers for performances throughout New York City.Lohse and Benson have declared Sunday, April 28th “International Dance Day” with a Gala at Dixon Place. On May 18th, join Shakedown for “DANCE PARADE NEW YORK,” from 1pm to 7pm from Broadway to Tompkins Square Park.

This is what a Shakedown class looks like! Photo by Bonny Kahane.


For more infomration about Shakedown Dance Collective, please visit www.danceparade.org and go to 
http://7thannualinternationaldanceday.eventbrite.com/# for tickets for the International Dance Day Gala.

“I AM AN OPERA” in a photo by Tim Hailand.

“I AM AN OPERA,” at Dixon Place through April 27th, takes us from a large crowd to a one man show, in which Joseph Keckler, writer/performer, sings arias of lament and exultation. “I AM AN OPERA” details Keckler’s life as a portrait of the artist taunted by demons, tripping on hallucigens, and  suffering through day jobs.

Joseph Keckler in performance. Photo by Gerry Visco.

 To learn more about “I AM AN OPERA,” please visit dixonplace.org.

Posted in chronicle, memoir, one man show, Shakespeare, solo show

"In Acting Shakespeare"– Tales From A Life

James Da Vita in a photo by Jacob J. Goldberg from “In Acting Shakespeare.”

For those of us smitten with it, the theater is an uplifting and enriching experience.

James Da Vita’s ” In Acting Shakespeare,” at The Pearl Theatre through February 3rd, stands on the shoulders of Sir Ian McKellan, on whose one man show his own is based, and Shakespeare, whose body of work inspired Da Vita to “a life in the theater.”*

“And that , I think,” Da Vita says, “was Shakespeare’s true gift. He wrote us. He includes all of us in the question of what it is to be human.” 
 
Da Vita, an undeniably smart man, wisely opens with Shakespeare’s great villain Richard III. Contorting his boy into the deformed figure of the would-be King, Da Vita recites his honeyed and poisonous lines with a clarity and deep understanding. James Da Vita knows his Shakespeare!

James Da Vita in “In Acting Sharkespeare” in a photo by Jacob J. Goldberg.

In fact, the excerpts he plays out from the Bard’s work, are the most entertaining sections of his memoire in tribute to his profession.Da Vita is a savvy theatrical technician.

Photo by Jacob J. Goldberg

 

Once a fisherman, the handsome and charismatic Da Vita went from gutting fish to hoisting petards. and writing plays and novels. He is now also the literary manager, and a core member, of American Players Theater in Wisconsin.

Shakespeare’s legacy is of course undeniable and it apparently includes James Da Vita. His stage is  peopled with characters from Hotspur to Polonius, John Shakespeare and young Will himself. “In Acting Shakespeare” is about Da Vita’s journey from unschooled Long Island boy to actor.

*“In Acting Shakespeare” borrows nothing from David Mamet.

To find out more about The Pearl Theatre Company, and “In Acting Shakespeare,” please visit http://www.pearltheatre.org/. Next up at The Pearl, “Henry IV, Part I.”