NUTCRACKER ROUGE at Théâtre XIV

NUTCRACKER ROUGE is a scopophiliac's nirvana. The deep pleasure of "looking" is sated by being able to gaze unbidden into the erotic, sensual and sexy crack in the universe opened by this prurient production. We are not merely peeping through the keyhole into the secret wonders beyond, but are invited in to sit right up close to the cheeky exuberance. We are inside award-winning director/choreographer Austin McCormick's robust, decadent, gourmet, fantasy land of sexual awakening.  He has reimagined The Nutcracker as a titillating, seductive burlesque that takes the character of young "Marie Stahlbaum" on an unforgettable self actualizing journey -

HOOKED ON HAPPINESS at Theater for the New City

HOOKED ON HAPPINESS is an original climate change musical tackling the crisis through the perspective of a high school drama class. Two students Kim and Eric are inspired to create their own production after a heated debate on the beach where they commiserate on the inability of their parents to snap out of misery and embrace positive action. They infect their class with their enthusiasm and soon they are co-opting their teacher to allow them to write their own response to the climate crisis instead of doing the old standards of OUR TOWN or HELLO DOLLY!  for the yearly school

Virgo Star at La Mama’s Downstairs Lounge

VIRGO STAR heroically encapsulates the convergence of queer and cowboy in a homoerotic, fictionalized "Wild West". The Pioneers Go East Collective interrogates the notion of "masculinity" as personified by  American Cowboy iconography, visuality and sound. But this is a new riff on the spaghetti western - as the characters come face to face with their fragility, sense of belonging and rigors of their own nature in this steamy wild, wild west conjured by director Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte. This is no unrequited Brokeback Mountain love story but rather a fragmented "son of a gun stew" filled with every ingredient imaginable. They

Kendall Cornell – Clowns Ex Machina (women in dangerously, dangerously bad moods)

Kendall Cornell is the creator and director of THE BAD’UNS: CLOWN ACTS OF CONTAGION currently running at La Mama downstairs Theater. She leads the all female clown troupe - Clowns Ex Machina in a piece that " takes a darkly comic look at transgression, the corruption of dreams, and women in dangerously, dangerously bad moods." I found it utterly transformative. You can read my review here  I asked Kendall a few questions about her journey to becoming a clown, her inspiration for her work and other nonsense... Can you remember the moment when you knew you were destined to be a clown/performer/dancer? Vividly! I went to be

The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion at La MaMa’s Downstairs Theatre

  On Saturday I found the wellspring of funny -Kendall Cornell's all-women clown troupe: Clowns Ex Machina. I am still suffering from acute bouts of sudden, uncontrollable laughing at the flashbacks from their show -The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion. It's 90-minutes of intense bliss. There is a palpable, vast intelligence that forms the canvas for every scene. The humor bounces off this backdrop imbuing each moment with the massive force of thinking, focused, funny women. The clever comedy comes at you faster than Venus Wiliams' 56.95 m/s tennis ball serve -you have to gird up your loins for the shock and the skill of

THE HOPE HYPOTHESIS at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture

  THE HOPE HYPOTHESIS is a super slick production - a place for everything and everything in it's place. It is a neat freaks nirvana. The whole show feels perfectly conceived and executed. We are looking straight into the face of the absurdity of the American immigration situation in this tight, fast-paced dark comedy. The audience were laughing on cue offering a constant laugh track to this sitcom styled theater piece. Yet, through the fog of witty repartee the cruel, cold, ruthless face of the fascist interrogator peeps out at you, making you squirm in your seat. Cat Miller is both the

Monsoon Season at The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

You get two riveting solo shows performed by two exceptional performers for the price of one! Monsoon Season is a great gift to give yourself in November - a pre-thanksgiving/festive season present.It's almost like watching a theatrical episode of The Affair or The Slap where we get two versions of the same moment told from the perspectives of each character - it is deeply satisfying to watch. There are many elements that make this production rewarding - an engrossing text, expert direction, masterfully crafted performances, magical stage design transformations, daring lighting and a gloriously jarring sound scape. And it all plays out

Emma Van Heyn at The Bitter End

Emma Van Heyn is a quirky millennial memoirist using music as flypaper for her unique perspective. She is one of those actor/pianist/storyteller/composer artists that create instant fans on a first viewing. We are seeing the epic rise of this breed of multi-skilled performer that are equally strong as musicians and actors, able to craft original monologues, lyrics and compositions to craft a powerful theatrical experience. Van Heyn has a mighty vocal instrument that booms out of her slight frame with the force of a cannonball. She has a strong, sensual sound that ricochets around the room filling it with warmth

NOTHING HERE IS REAL – Interview with Gary Ferrar

  For a single night each month, you can join Gary Ferrar, one of New York’s most sought-after entertainers, for a mind-bending evening of magic and mentalism. You gather around an antique pool table in an underground parlor to become part of an intimate experience that will leave you questioning what, if anything, is actually real. Mentalist and magician Gary Ferrar’s world premiere of NOTHING HERE IS REAL, directed by Harrison Kramer, has begun its residency and open-ended run at The Cocktail Lounge Below Tom Valenti’s Oxbow Tavern (240 Columbus Ave. at West 71 St.). Performances take place every last Tuesday

Madame Lynch at New Ohio Theatre

Madame Lynch is a buffet of bloodthirsty; maniacal madness, flavored  heavily with every theatrical device imaginable. It's quite simply delicious from start to end. The Drunkards Wife theater company espouse a maximalist design sense  -a core tenet of their mission, with a glorious over-the-top exuberance. It's superior theatrical eye candy. Normandy Sherwood and Craig Flanagin exhume the legacy of Eliza Lynch  - the "Empress of Paraguay" to interrogate her influence on cultural imperialism. Her history is really worth a Google search - born Irish, fled to France to escape the potato famine, french courtesan turned mistress-wife to Paraguayan dictator  -Francisco Solano Lopez,

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