Sunday, August 23, 2015

FringeNYC - The Submarine Show


As part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
 THE LYNN REDGRAVE THEATER presents
THE SUBMARINE SHOW
Created and Performed by
Cirque de Soleil's Jaron Hollander and Emmy Award winner Slater Penney

Sound Design:  Dan Moses 

The Lynn Redgrave Theater
at the Culture Project located at 45 Bleecker Street, New York City
Tickets available at www.FringeNYC.org and www.thesubmarineshow.com
August 23 - August 29

Jaron and Slater are acrobatic mimes depicting two explorers in a tiny submarine emitting extraordinary sounds that correlate with their surroundings beginning with the submarine. The physical entertainment is 80" nonstop and their adventure starts with a crash landing at the bottom of the ocean to somehow getting to land and discovering all kinds of animals and fowl, then becoming transformed into mythical creatures flying around the tops of trees, then back to their submarine. Can they repair the submarine and continue on their epic journey?  

It's really a fun show with interactive performance with the audience and lots of smiles and laughs.  I'd recommend this award-winning comedy that has been touring the world since 2009, winning "Best in Fest" at the San Francisco International Fringe Festival, “Best of Fringe” at the Kansas City Fringe Festival and “Hot Pick” by the Edinburgh Scotsman. And, who knows, The Submarine Show might win audience favorite at FringeNYC!

- Laura Thompson -

 

 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Planet Connections Awards Ceremony 2015


THE PLANET AWARDS CEREMONY presented at CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY

Playwright Catherine Filloux received the Planet Activist Award

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York's premiere socially conscious-eco-friendly theatre festival, which recently wrapped up its 7th season, presented its annual awards ceremony at Classic Stage Company, located at 136 East 13th Street, New York City on August 9, 2015.

The evening was emceed by Festivity participants David Stallings and Kara Young, directed by Lori Kee and produced by Brock Hill, who joined the Planet Connections team as Artistic Director this past season. Excerpts from some of the plays and musicals that were a part of this year's Festivity were presented, including playwright, Mario Fratti's The Colonel's Wife that opened up the ceremony on a very cheerful and fun musical note. Mario Fratti also received Outstanding Overall Production of a Revival Award for his play and a Congeniality Award. The focus of the evening was on playwright Catherine Filloux who has been an activist artist in the theater community and been writing about human rights and social justice for over twenty years.  She received the Festivity's Planet Activist Award in recognition of her long career. Please visit her website for more information: www.catherinefilloux.com

Overall, "This was a very good year for Planet Connections," Hill noted, "both in terms of the quality of the product we presented and in respect to ticket sales and press coverage. We can think of no better way to wrap up our current season and look forward to our next one by honoring the artistic and environmentally-friendly achievements of those who worked with us this year to make the Festivity a success on just about every level."

Named one of the Best Theatre Festivals in New York City by Time Out New York, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity works to help artists shine a light on the issues facing our society, and supports, via donations or a portion of the box office proceeds, those organizations working to make a difference. For more information and a complete list of award winners, please go to www.plannetconnections.org.
 
- Laura Thompson -

 

 

 

Friday, August 7, 2015

the dreamer examines his pillow


THE ATTIC THEATER COMPANY presents at THE FLEA THEATER
the dreamer examines his pillow
by JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY
Directed by LAURA BRAZA
Executive Director TED CAINE
Cast
Donna...LAUREN NICOLE CIPOLETTI
Tommy...SHANE PATRICK KEARNS
Dad...DENNIS PARLATO 

Company Manager: Noelle France
Scenic Design:  Julia Noulin-Merat
Costume Design:  Lauren Gaston
Lighting Design:  Dave Upton
Sound Design:  Beth Lake
Production Stage Manager:  Amy Pen
Technical Director:  Joe Cooley
Casting:  Judy Bowman Casting, CSA
The Flea Theater
41 White Street in TriBeCa, 3 blocks below Canal Street between Broadway and Church Street
Call 212-352-3101 or visit http://www.theflea.org
July 26 - August 15
Written by Pulitzer Award and Tony Award-winning playwright, Academy Award-winning screenwriter, and theatre and film director John Patrick Shanley, "the dreamer examines his pillow" is not one of the more audience friendly works by Mr. Shanley who is more known for "Moonstruck" and "Doubt" which were audience pleasers.

The story is about three unhappy people torn apart by the assumptions and fears on loving someone too much or perhaps lust is the right term that makes people crazy. It starts off with Tommy (Shane Patrick Kearns) and Donna (Lauren Nicole Cipoletti), an on-and-off again couple who argue, then make up by having sex but Donna is worried she's falling for a guy who is just like her Dad (Dennis Parlato), who apparently had a similar relationship with her mother that traumatized her during her adolescence. Hence, she seeks out her Dad to rectify things with herself as well as Tommy.

 
This is ornery material to be performed by actors over 90 minutes. The first act started out explosively with Tommy and Donna, then slowed down to a father daughter conversation about the meaning of relationships, sex, and reconciliation in the second act, then with the third and final act that ended in an absurd way as though the writer ran out ideas and steam to keep pace with his intense beginning, although riddled with poetic language throughout the play.  Kudos to the actors and Director, Laura Braza, for reviving this Off-Broadway play that originally debuted in 1986.

- Laura Thompson -

R/Evolution


THE ROBERT MOSS THEATER  presents

R/EVOLUTION

Book by WILLIAM MOULTON and M M De VOE
Music and Lyrics by WILLIAM MOULTON
Director:  RICHARD ST GEORGE
Choreography:  WILLIAM MOULTON
Projection Design:  DAVID BENGALI
Lighting Design:  AMITH CHANDRASHAKER
Set Design:  SCOTT DAHL

Sound Design:  EMERSON DALY
Costume Design:  ARI FULTON
Video Engineer:  JON BREMNER
Production Stage Manager: LINDSEY GRADWOHL

Cast:  MYKEL VAUGHN, DEBBIE WILLIAMS, ALISON ROSE MUNN, JAMES PARKS, CLARK WILLIAMS, ERIC PADILLA, JESSI ST GEORGE

Choreographic Ensemble:  GEORGINA BATES, MEGAN NORDLE, ALEXANDER BETKA, COLIN RANF, ARIEL THARPE, KEVIN PINERO
The Robert Moss Theater
440 Lafayette Street between Astor Place and East 4th Street, NYC
For more information, visit their website:   http://www.r-evolution-the-musical.com

May 30 - June14, 2015

R/Evolution is a new musical with dance and multi-media set 150 years into the future with a scientific bent centered around corporate domination versus our present system of countries with their respective governments ruling the world. The leaders in the corporate hierarchy have suppressed emotions caused by hormones and other factors and have created robotic-like humans in a very sterile environment. Psychothrobics was created through dance and movement to control emotions. However, through a successful clone from the DNA of a strand of hair from a woman 150 years before, emotions abound and a pair of scientists begin daring experiments that threaten their very existence as well as corporate domination. What will happen to the ruthless governing paradigm when freedom of expression is unleashed?

Overall, this story appeals to a general audience but also to research scientists who research the human genome which is the map of your DNA, the double helix that contains all your genes. Your genome is composed of 23 pairs of chromosomes and what the scientists in the play were experimenting with to create a human clone from the year 2015.

As a side note which is a tough comparison, I'm accustomed to watching dance choreography On Broadway and with the American Ballet so I think the choreography needs work but it could have been the stage was too small to accommodate all those dancers. If I were to imitate Neil Rosen's method of reviewing films, I'd give this Sci-Fi production two apples out of four.

- Laura Thompson -


 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

L'Amfiparnaso


THE WEST END THEATER  presents

L'AMFIPARNASO

A madrigal comedy from 1594 by Orazio Vecchi

THE WESTERN WIND
Sopranos:  MICHELE KENNEDY, LINDA LEE JONES
Countertenor:  WILLIAM ZUKOF
Tenors:  TODD FRIZZELL, DAVID VANDERWAL
Baritone: ELLIOT Z. LEVINE

with
Mimes:  CATHERINE GASTA & ALEXANDER REED

Stage Direction by GAMA VALLE
Set Design by BRADLEY WEHRLE
Lighting Design by  JASON FOK
Costumes by LUIS E. SANTIAGO


The West End Theater
The Church of Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, 86th Street between Broadway and West End Ave.

Call 212-873-2848 or visit http://www.westernwind.org
May 28 - 31, 2015

The Western Wind ensemble of singers sang Vecchi's madrigal comedy in delightful and witty notes characteristic of the 16th century commedia dell'arte form. For those who don't understand Italian, there were subtitles so one could follow the story. The traditional comic characters including Pantalone, Pedrolino, Dr. Gratiano, Capitano and the lovers, Isabella, Lucio, Lelio and Nisa were all interpreted by two very skillful mimes (Catherine Gasta and Alexander Reed).

It's a madcap revue about love, hurt, lust, greed, and playful seduction. The madrigal comedy genre was brilliantly sung by The Western Wind as the singers had to shift quickly from character to character in a tricky polyphonic alternation.

It's a short run and I'd recommend to see L'Amfiparnaso at The West End Theater. It's not often, you see a 16th century madrigal comedy in the 21st century! 

If you miss it, then you can buy The Western Wind CDs on their website. They're an acclaimed vocal sextet devoted to a cappella music and their repertoire goes from the Renaissance to medieval carols to jazz standards to avant-garde works. They've performed all over the world at distinguished venues, such as, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center and have won many awards, including the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award.

- Laura Thompson -


 

 

 

 

Der Kanarienvogel (The Canary)


THE CLARION THEATRE presents
 
DER KANARIENVOGEL (THE CANARY)
 
A new play by STEVEN CARL McCASLAND
Directed by STEVEN CARL McCASLAND
Cast
Elizabeth Schwarzkopf...Anna Kirkland
Mike Hamilton...Brian Piehl
Joseph Goebbels...Levi Morger
Maria Ivogun...Ellyn Stein
Karl Bohm...Mathew Martin
 Adolf Hitler...David Gautschy
Kirsten Flagstad...Kim Rogers
Richard Strauss...Rick Grossman*
Herman  Wilhelm Goring...Orlando Iriarte
Eva Braun/Assistant...Rachel Adams
*Appearing courtesy of the Actors' Equity Association
 
Creative Team
Director:  Steven Carl McCasland
Stage Manager:  Hailli Ridscale
Assistant Director:  Kristen Gehling*
Lighting Designer:  Jessical Creager
Costume Designer:  Somie Pak
 
The Clarion Theatre
309 East 26th Street
New York City
 
Tickets can be purchased at http://BeautifulSoup.Showclix.com.
View the trailer at www.tinyurl.com/InRepertory.
May 7th - May 31st, 2015
 
 
DER KANARIENVOGEL (THE CANARY) is a play featuring Arias by Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Strauss that explores the life and career of soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  (played by actual soprano Anna Kirkland) and how it collides with the inner circle of The Third Reich. Mike Hamilton (Brian Piehl) in academia interviews Schwarzkopf in her later years for his dissertation to prove how politics and music are inseparable. Schwarzkopf, considered a Nazi sympathizer, will do anything to have a shining opera career until her conscious awareness makes her realize she's associating with monsters only to feel like a victim herself. Kirsten Flagstad (Kim Rogers) another opera singer acts as her alter ego exposing her to the horrific events happening to the Jews. Richard Strauss (Rick Grossman)
unveils The Third Reich injustices and her guilty memories of not helping such a great composer yet she sings his arias to Adolf Hitler (David Gautschy) and her lover (Hermann Wilhelm Goring (Orlando Iriarte).
 
The playwright does not claim that this story is fiction and it is not intended to reflect actual circumstances and events.
 
If you'd like to see something from The Third Reich point of vue which really stretches your comfort zone, then go to Der Kanarienvogel (The Canary) at The Clarion Theatre.
- Laura Thompson -
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Summer and Smoke

Miss Alma and Dr. John, Jr

T. SCHREIBER STUDIO FOR THEATRE & FILM presents

SUMMER AND SMOKE

By TENNESSE WILLIAMS
 
Directed by TERRY SCHREIBER
 
Cast
in order of appearance
John Buchanan...Jacques Mitchell
Rev. Winemiller... Daniel Hawk Hicks*
Mrs. Winemiller...Cynthia Shaw
Alma Winemiller...Taylor Graves
Nellie Eweii...Bevin  Bru
Rosa Gonzales...Aida
Alvarez Roger...lvan  Sandomire
Dr. John Buchanan, Sr...Jim Cyborowski*
Mrs. Bassett...Kathryn  Fray
Rosemary...Kathleen Kuhn
Gonzales...Stephan Antonio Ortiz*
Vernon/Dusty...Philip Rosen
Archie...Evan Silverman*
 
*Appearing courtesy of the Actors' Equity Association
 
Production Team
Director:  Terry Schreiber
Producer/Production Stage Manager:  DaVonne Onassis Bacchus
Assistant Director:  Ana Galang
Set Designer:  Hal Tine
Costume Designer:   Hope Governali
Lighting Designer:  Dennis Parichy
Sound Designer:  Andy Evan Cohen
Props Master:  Salina Polanco
Master Electrician:  Kyrie McCormick
House Manager: Tiffany Jo McNerlin
Dialect Coach:  Page Clements
Publicity:  Bunch of People Press & Publicity (Judd Hollander & Cynthia Leathers)
Graphic Art and Design:  Karen Moreno 

T. Schreiber Studio for Theatre & Film
151 West 26th Street, 7th Floor
New York, New York 10001 

Visit:  http://tschreiber.org  Tel:  212-741-0209
May 6th - June 6th, 2015 

SUMMER AND SMOKE is about "spirit and sensuality" set in Glorious Hill, Mississippi in 1913.  A Minister's daughter, Alma Winemiller (Taylor Graves) is secretly in love with her next door neighbor's son, John Buchanan (Jacques Mitchell), a recent graduate from John Hopkins Medical School to follow in his father's footsteps as a doctor but loosely based morals, drinking, and gambling almost cost him his respectable lineage. Alma represents Puritanism and spirituality while John mendacity and the flesh, in essence, star-crossed lovers at opposite sides of the spectrum of mores.  How will this life-long loving friendship from childhood resolve itself? The cast performed well and Mrs. Winemiller (Cynthia Shaw) although a nut was quite aware underneath her facade--she added an element of fun and delight to this bittersweet story.

Any story written by Tennessee Williams is remarkable and I'd highly recommend to see Summer and Smoke at T. Schreiber Studio for Theatre & Film.

- Laura Thompson -