Interview with Daniel Alexander Jones

The transcendent Black Queer Artist Daniel Alexander Jones (aka DAJ) puts his “slashes” to good use. The multi-hyphenated artist is having a very busy 2021. He’s had a book release, a podcast, a Howlround, and Christmas show, Jomama Jones’s Celestial Holiday Spectacular on December 3rd at New York Live Arts all in one season.  I first encountered DAJ in his luminous performance as Jomama Jones in Blacklight. I was immediately transfixed by his mystical charms, chameleon-like abilities, extraordinary talent, and tender vulnerability that brought the cosmic character of Jomana Jones down to earth. Reading his recently published collection of plays and performances,

Interview with Buck Gooter’s Billy Brett

Buck Gooter was formed in 2005 by multigenerational bandmates Terry Turtle and Billy Brett. The duo met in Harrisonburg, Virginia while working at the Little Grill Collective (known for hosting early Old Crow Medicine Show sets). The quirky name is the result of Terry hurling a playful joke at Billy with his mouthful. Buck Gooter’s eclectic sound is hard to pinpoint with the limitations of a single genre. It’s industrial-folk blues with electronic elements, primal screams and dark, moody, melancholic lyrics verging on the sinister. Imagine a caged beast who’s a half-alien, half-mythical medieval creature hybrid stuck in a cage in

Interview with Sarah Brightman for “A Christmas Symphony” 2021 Tour

  Though her time in the spotlight began as a member of the UK-based dance group, Hot Gossip, soprano superstar Sarah Brightman’s career launched on the global stage when she originated the role of Christine Daaé in Andrew Llyod Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. After her fateful Broadway debut, Brightman’s legendary career and iconic status have increased exponentially along with her longevity. She continues to top charts, break records and touch the hearts of millions with her angelic voice, commanding stage presence, love of collaboration, and curiosity about world cultures and music.  Credited for putting the term “classic-crossover artist” on the charts,

SHEEP #1: Tiny Toys Captivate Hearts at Japan Society

There comes the point in life when one embarks on a Hero’s Journey toward self-discovery and finding the meaning of life. In the case of SHEEP #1, now playing at Japan Society through November 7, that remarkable journey belongs to a tiny plastic sheep toy.  NYC-based Japanese artist Sachiyo Takahashi creates a unique, imaginative world and theatrical experience through her “Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre,” a real-time manipulation of miniature objects projected on a screen with silent dialogue and live musical accompaniment.  The result is a performance that is extraordinarily tender, whimsical, and perspective-shifting. Inanimate objects become sentient beings with complex desires, interactions and

Under the Radar Festival 2021: Re-envisioned Virtually

It’s 2021. We made it. Now what? For those of us fortunate enough to have survived (though not without scars) the year that no one could have imagined, we enter the new year less naive and more prepared for the unexpected.  Fortunately, one of the annual delights that kicks off each January with surprisingly fresh performances from local artists and exciting international companies has returned. The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival is back for its 17th triumphant year, albeit differently than before. Like everything else, the festival’s offerings are confined to virtual viewings and one very personal phone call.  The artists

Theater Markers Summit 2020 Offers Investigation & Inspiration Amid Uncertainty

Over a weekend and one bonus day, 103 theater professionals from Broadway, the USA, and worldwide assembled virtually for the most well-attended Theater Makers Summit in the event’s history. Participants from NYC, across the USA, and globally were eagerly hoping to glean some spark of light in a very dark year for the theater industry. The Summit was hosted on the app and web service Whova, which enabled more direct interaction than possible with an in-person event. The community chat rooms, comments, and direct messaging were all abuzz with energetic chatter and networking attempts throughout the Summit. Another benefit provided by the

“The Game of Life” Ushers in Rubin Museum of Art’s Brainwave 2020 on Impermanence

The Rubin Museum of Art has a knack for making their exhibitions of both ancient and contemporary art from the Himalayan region -- and the philosophies and practices that inspired and informed the work -- relevant through compelling interactive engagement that makes the creations and concepts spring to life in ways that are entertaining, thought-provoking and sometimes profound. I should know because I was first lured into the former tenement building-turned-Barney’s store that was transformed into a museum to host the collection of art collectors and entrepreneurs Donald and Shelley Rubin -- who bought their first Tibetan thangka painting with

Radical Adaptations of Dracula & Frankenstein Ignite Classic Stage Company

For as many adaptations and interpretations as there are of the classic gothic horror novels Frankenstein and Dracula, it is hard to imagine two more creative, unique, radical and timely works that deal with the well-known tales and characters than the pair playing in a repertory cycle at Classic Stage Company (CSC). They are also strikingly contrasting works. Both are deeply engaging, provocative and compelling explorations of the source material -- each of which was written in the 1800s, one slightly predating the other near the end of the Victorian era. They remind the audience of timeless themes investigated in

Under the Radar Festival: THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

When the lights come up, one immediately observes what could only be a silverback gorilla. The gait, the strut, the way he pounds his chest and paces the stage -- anyone who has seen a nature film or visited a zoo would find these distinctive characteristics undeniable. But why is he there, what is this about? Suddenly and unexpectedly, after the attendees have spent some time with the ape, the performer morphs into a couple, then an obnoxious and rowdy child, followed by a gentle yet absent-minded mother, a passionate but perturbed photographer and, finally, an annoyed older man. This

THE BLACK CLOWN Theatricalizes the Experience of Black Americans at the Mostly Mozart Festival

The triumphant, masterful production of The Black Clown—that performed its New York City premiere from July 24-27th as part of the 2019 annual Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival—offered a theatricalized glimpse into the journey and experiences of a Black person in America. When I encountered what bass-baritone Davóne Tines—who performed the title role and adapted the piece along with composer Michael Schachter from Langston Hughes’ poem about a Black man’s resilience against a legacy of oppression—said about The Black Clown, I knew had to witness it firsthand: “When I first read The Black Clown it was like receiving a revelation that

Top