Posted in #AvenueQ, #BeMoreChill, #BroadwayBountyHunter, #JerseyBoys, #JoeIconis, #LaMama, #NewWorldStages, #RockOfAges, #ThePlayThatWentWrong, #TheProm, #TonyAward, expectations, experiments in theater, high expectations, low expectations, New World Stages, performance art, performance piece, performance works, The Tony Awards, theater arts, Tony winner

Stayin’ Alive

Avenue Q went there after its Broadway run ran down. Now Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, and even The Play That Goes Wrong, have come to Worldwide Plaza’s New World Stages for a chance at a little longevity. The place offers off-Broadway alchemy to shows that still have a little more life in them, but aren’t filling the big house seats anymore.

They also offer the audience a new prospective: Avenue Q, for instance, was more enjoyable in the smaller house when we saw it. It had won pretty big at the 2004 Tony® ceremonies, of course, but we found the intimate setting at New World more appropriate to its tone and style. Worldwide has lots of stages where a fun show can frolic a bit longer.

Off off-Broadway has traditionally been the place where new and innovative get their start. The seeds of a more forward thinking theater have taken root on the stages of LaMaMa, a famously “experimental theater club,” or its ilk. Little but prominent theater companies have always flourished in NYC. Some of them have made advances in theater history, others have been playgrounds for more or less minor productions.

Of late, Broadway has taken on the tone of some of these “variety houses” with shows such as The Prom and Be More Chill hitting the great white way. The latter won its composer Joe Iconis a 2019 Tony ® for Best Original Score. For his fans the emergence of his next show, Broadway Bounty Hunter at the off-Bway Greenwich House Theater may have been great news; the show will close after a mere 48 performances on August 18th.

The off and off-off houses are more nimble than the main stem theaters. Production costs allow them to transform the audience experience, and try new things. A short run is less of a failure in this environment.

Shows like Be More Chill or The Prom might have had greater success at the old Promenade on 76th and Broadway, or The Little Shubert (now Stage 42). Neither of them thrived as full-on Broadway house productions; the former closed on August 11th after just about 200 performances all told; The Prom also closed on the 11th after332 performances including previews. Perhaps they too will find theimselves at New World Stages, a place where variety is really the spice of life, for a little extended life of their own.

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 acting, activists, actors, allegory, artist, aspiration, athletes, ballet, balletic, comedy-drama, committment, concert, Daily Prompt, dance, dancing, drama, empowerment, expectations, farce, film, high expectations, jazz, joy, memory play, Meryl Streep, mime, modern dance, monologues, movie, multi-disciplinary performances, music, musical theater, musical theatre, musicals, musicals and dramas, mystery, narration, off Broadway, Off or Off-Off Broadway Transfer, offbeat work, one act plays, one man show, one-woman show, opera, painting, pantomime, parody, performance art, performance piece, performance works, photography, play, play with music, public performance in public spaces, radio play, revival, revue, rock and roll, satire, scary stories, sci fi, screwball comedy, Short plays, sketches, skits, tango, tap dance, theater for the common good, theater lovers, theatrical events, tragedy, tragi-comic


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 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