Friday, April 10, 2015

Unmentionables


NYLON FUSION THEATRE COMPANY  presents the WORLD PREMIERE of

UNMENTIONABLES

By JOSEPH SAMUEL WRIGHT

Directed by MONTSERRAT MENDEZ

Starring:  JEANINE BARTEL, JIMMY BETTS, DANIELLE BOIVIN,

HEATHER E. CUNNINGHAM, MEGHAN JONES, CHRISTINA TOTH, RICK ZAHN

 

Creative Team:

Scenic Designer:  KYU SHIN

Sound Designer:  ANDY EVAN COHEN

Costume Designer:  DEBBI HOBSON

Stage Manager:  LAURA MALSEED

Publicist:  BUNCH OF PEOPLE PROD.

Assistant Stage Manager:  KIM FLORES

Props Master:  GREG KANYICSKA

Fight Choreographer:  JIMMY BETTS

Dramaturgy:  JANET BENTLEY

Management Consultant:  FORM THEATRICALS

(ANTHONY FRANCAVILLA & ZACHARY LAKS)

 

Nylon Fusion Theatre Company
Theatre 54, located at 244West 54th Street

Visit http://www.nylonfusion.org
April 2 - 18

UNMENTIONABLES is a story depicting life in Hollywood in 1937 with undercurrents of another  possible war looming on the horizon in Europe. However, the essence of the story revolves around top talent agent and lawyer James Johnson (Rick Zahn) and his top film star Joan Madison (Jeanine Bartel) on how to land the biggest deal of his life securing starring roles for his long time yet aging client. But Joan has secret plans of her own and something secretive about James has been revealed that could ruin his career. His office assistants are caught up in messy office politics and scandals and Gertie Fowler (Meghan E. Jones) is blackmailed to find the culprit because she's savvy to the secrets that are more than skin deep. Many truths are revealed and it's a bittersweet ending.

If you're interested in scandalous stories with a bit of humor about Hollywood in the late 1930s, then I'd recommend to see Unmentionables at Nylon Fusion Theatre Company.

- Laura Thompson -

The Nomad


THE FLEA THEATER  presents the WORLD PREMIERE of

THE NOMAD

Book and Lyrics by ELIZABETH SWADOS and ERIN COURTNEY

Composed and Directed by ELIZABETH SWADOS

Featuring the Bats:  KYRA ATEKWANA, TOMMY BERNARDI, SYDNEY BLAXILL, MATTHEW BOVEE, GLENNA GRANT, RYAN NEAL GREEN, MICHAEL LAPINSKY, TERI MADONNA, MIKE NELSON, NEIL REDFIELD, DAVE RESULTAN,                     BEN SCHRAGER, RYAN STINNETT

 

Musical Direction by TREVOR BACHMAN
Musical Arrangements by KRIS KUKUL
Set, Props, Costume and Puppet Design by LYDIA FINE

Lighting Design:  DAISY LONG
Sound Designer: JANIE BULLARD


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
February 19 - April 6

Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney's THE NOMAD is a musical based on the true story of writer and journalist, Isabelle Eberhardt (1877 -1904) who lived the life she wanted to live in an era where women's desires were more or less suppressed. She dreamt of living an adventurous life in the Sahara, converted to the Muslim religion, and dressed like a man to give her freedom to travel and work.  In Algiers, Isabelle associated with the French colonists as well as advocated for the rights of the disenfranchised citizens who were being occupied by the foreign power. In short, Isabelle was a rebel and she desired to live by her own rules.

The Flea is known for its theatrical productions overcoming boundaries and this performance was filled with energy. Isabelle (Teri Madonna)  acted and sang with tremendous force backed by the talented Bats Ensemble. I think there were some superfluous acts but was impressed with the puppetry (Lydia Fine) and how the cast ingeniously used the props on the set. The music transported you to accompany Isabelle on her journey through the Saharan desert where her quest was joined by holy men, kief smokers, spies, soldiers and tribes of nomads. Sometimes, I thought the portrayal of the Arabs a bit stereotypical but not enough to be offensive.

It's the first desert musical I've seen and if you're interested in this young rebellious iconoclast's true life story, then I'd recommend to see The Nomad at The Flea Theater.

- Laura Thompson -


 

Antioch: Skirmish at the Gates


13TH STREET REPERTORY THEATER  presents

ANTIOCH:  SKIRMISH AT THE GATES

A new play by JACK McKEANE

Directed by CHERYL KING

Produced by CYNTHIA KEANE

 

Fight Direction and Choreography: JACK McKEANE
Sound Design: CHERLY KING and ALEX CHMAJ

Technical Director: ALEX CHMAJ
Saracen Costume Design: KC WEAKLEY

Set Design: CHUCK McALEXANDER
Door Construction and Assistance: JEREMIAH BROWN

 

Song"Uamh An Oir" by Talitha MacKenzie


13th Street Repertory Theater
50 West 13th Street, New York City

For information, contact Cheryl King at cking3@gmail.com
February 18, 19, 25, March 2 & 11, 2015

Jack McKeane's ANTIOCH: SKIRMISH AT THE GATES is a new play, 50 minutes long, about an age long conflict that began during the Crusades between a Christian Crusader, Ronan (Jack McKeane), and a Muslim Saracen Warrior, Youssef (Ali Sattar) at the gates of heaven. It's a never ending duel whereby Ronan and Youssef engage in sword fighting with fast, sharp techniques combined with flowing, deep and acrobatic moves.  The two warriors are later joined by a modern day American Soldier, John (Alex Mahgoub) killed in the Iraqi war.

When Ronan and Youssef aren't fighting, Ronan helps John who is also a Christian figure out where he is and in return, John helps Ronan and Youssef figure out how to enter the gates of heaven which proves to be a big mystery difficult to solve. Each of them needs to prove they're worthy to enter the doorway to heaven. John is too tormented and disappears into no man's land while the Christian and Muslim battle it out until they resolve their karma and figure out if it's possible to be a warrior and be free of sin.

It's an interesting take on values and mores across time and how one resolves to enter the gate of heaven.

Pity the play had such a short run as it was entertaining with impactful meaning.

- Laura Thompson -


 

Pillow on the Stairs


the cell in association with Thursday Productions,  presents

PILLOW ON THE STAIRS

By Brona Crehan

Featuring

BRONA CREHAN, JAQUELINE KEALY, JOHN McCONNELL


Directed by JOHN KEATING
Stage Manager: MACKENZIE MEEKS
Lighting Designer: GERTJAN HOUBEN
Sound Designer: M. FLORIAN STAAB
Photography: CAROL ROSEGG
Graphic Design: AMY McLERAN

Pre-show music: The Chieftans, and "Sweet Ellen" composed by Mary Crehan, arranged and performed by Daniel Angioli

the cell
338 West 23rd Street (between Eighth & Ninth Avenues)
www.thecelltheatre.org
February 11-28, 2015; Opening Night -02/11/15

Brona Crehan's PILLOW ON THESTAIRS is a play about love, innocence, denial, and betrayal.  A slice of life in Dublin, Ireland that connects three people for a lifetime but all is not rosy. The starting point of the story revolves around the question--what would your life have been like if you made one decision differently.

A minimalist stage setting. Three chairs. Three actors. It was like a stage reading but their unique point of views expressed poignantly one at a time, the others not knowing their counterpoints side of the story. This format deeply engaged the audience one character at a time.

Annie (Brona Crehan) jilted her boyfriend, Jim (John McConnell), who wanted to marry her. His rebound lover, Margaret (Jaqueline Kealy) ends up getting pregnant and is coerced by Jim to what would be the right thing to do morally, or so they both thought. Haunted by this one decision for the rest of their lives and the consequences on their subsequent partners, they delve into the world of secrets, denials, and betrayal of trust.


The story gives insight into the realities of everyday relationships and ends up leaving the audience in suspense as another twist to the intrigue is later revealed at the end of the play. The audience stays thinking there is another act after the intermission but this is where the story stops leaving it up to the audience's imagination as to how the characters continue on with their lives. I'd recommend seeing Pillow on the Stairs in the quaint theatre setting of the cell.

- Laura Thompson -


 

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

League of Professional Theatre Women Awards Celebration


THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN, promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in the professional theatre presented its second annual AWARDS CELEBRATION, March 16, 2015 at The Pershing Square Signature Center on 480 West 42nd Street in New York City.

The event was emcee'd by Tony-nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). Kristine added a sense of humor and a fun element to the award ceremony. Overall, this was the league of extraordinary women with great accomplishments in the theatre world as playwright, director, producer, musical arranger, theatrical set designer, actress, dramaturg, and much more. Additionally, it felt like a community of friends across ages both on and off stage. Think of most Broadway plays and musicals and these women made a difference.

Kathleen Chalfant, an actress who has received numerous awards across TV, Film, and Broadway received THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented to by her best friend, Sybille Pearson. Kathleen is actively involved in giving back through various nonprofits.

Mary-Mitchell Campbell, a musical director, orchestrator, arranger for musical theatre, and Founder of ASTEP-Artists Striving to End Poverty received THE LEE REYNOLDS AWARD which is given to a woman or women whose theatre work helps social, cultural, or political change.

Donyale Werle, Brooklyn-based theatrical set and urban garden designer received THE RUTH MORLEY DESIGN AWARD which celebrates artists who set design standards for years to come.

Sandra A. Daley-Sharif, producer, director, actress, playwright, dramaturg, and Obie award winner received THE JOSEPHINE ABADY AWARD focused on the work of cultural diversity for more than five years.

Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director, received THE LPTW LUCILLE LORTEL AWARD given to an aspiring woman who show's creative promise and deserves recognition and promise.

The evening was a celebration of these outstanding women in the theatre world and the award ceremony was followed by cocktails called the Big Mingle to encourage people to network.

There is also a LPTW ONLINE AUCTION with 125+ ITEMS, including Hugh Jackman's personalized voice message. All proceeds help support the League of Professional Theatre Women.  Bidding remains open until March 17th at 11:59PM EST.


 
By Laura Thompson            http://www.loralia.com

Friday, January 3, 2014

DEF Jam

Continuing with the ABC's.  Now, it's DEF.  D is for Daring.  E is for Elegant. F is for Francophile.  Daring, Elegant Francophile!  It's fun to play with words.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One New Year's Resolution for 2014!

May you all have a joyous, peaceful, successful and healthy New Year!  This year I'm going to keep all my social media posts simple.  One of my resolutions is to post once per day either on Twitter (my favorite), Blogger, Facebook and LinkedIn depending on the information I would like to share with you.  It will be positive, cheerful, insightful, along with some new ideas even if they seem a bit kooky.
 
So I'd like to start the new year with ABC.  A for Adventurous! B for Brave! C for Courageous!  Watch the watch the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and you'll find out more about the ABC's and also, be entertained.
 
Best wishes,
Laura