Stage Biz

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Maple and Vine at The Flea Theater

  Given the chance would you go back to the “good old days” in the 1950’s? Where women could vacuum their homes in their high heels and conical bras while their men mowed the lawn and their white children played happily with the family Labrador?  And racism and homophobia were at an all time high? “Maple & Vine” is Jordan Harrison's discourse on what constitutes authentic living and it is superbly brought to life by the New York Deaf Theatre at The Flea Theater. Strong performances meet visually arresting design to keep you glued to the action. Katha and Ryu are burning

“Old Names for Wildflowers” at The Tank

It’s a monumental work. A colossal saga that astutely comments on 21st Century patriarchy through the lens of post Civil war societal fall out in 1865. It’s a vivisection of a family gone “nuclear” as a result of unspoken desires. It has a filmic quality to it that comes to us in episodes that fade in and out of our current reality –almost like a memory from a past life. Like the smell of jasmine through an open window that transports you to a long forgotten moment. Like a family tree lineage search that yields a discrepancy, a secret, an

ALTERNATING CURRENTS at Urban Stages

ALTERNATING CURRENTS is a heart-felt ode to the utopian ideal of community driven co-op housing in NYC. It’s a gritty excavating of systemic racism, union failure, mixed race marriage challenges and the desire for belonging. It poses probing questions about community engagement and the pressures associated with toeing the line. It’s a slick, energetic production that scratches beneath the faded veneer of the golden age of post-World War II American prosperity. The Working Theater’s Five Boroughs/One City Initiative encompasses five teams of commissioned writers and directors tasked with collaborating with working people to create an original play that is firmly rooted

The Spring Fling: Chemistry at IRT Theater

  “The Spring Fling” is a satisfying merry-go-round of seven 10-minute plays that explore the theme of “chemistry” as a jumping off point for the 2018 season. This F*It Club’s award-winning initiative is in it’s eighth year and presents commissioned world premiere works by emerging and established playwrights. It’s a sumptuous theatrical buffet where you get to experience a wide variety of talented playwrights, directors, actors and designers all in one go. All the chaff is winnowed away so we are left with strong kernels of possibility. It is thrilling to see how each playwright has imaginatively explored the theme and

“The Rainmaker” at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture – Black Box Theater

I didn’t realize how thirsty I was for a well made play, performed by a stellar cast, until I soaked in the charms of the “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash. It’s a classic play from the “golden age” of American theater that transported me to the halcyon days of 1920’s farm life in the American West. Time slows down here on the Curry farm as you get drawn into their close-knit, yet fraying family quilt. It’s like paging through an old album, with sepia photographs, that slams you with intense nostalgia and a longing for people you have never

RANDY WRITES A NOVEL at The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row

This is cheek sore, solar plexus spasm funny. This is laughter therapy that exfoliates grumpy out of your psychological wardrobe. Randy can turn a phrase like he’s cornering a Lotus Elise SC. You’re watching a truly hilarious stand-up comedian who is sitting down. He looks like the love child of Kermit the frog and Barney the dinosaur but has more facial expressions than Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura. You marvel at how “felt” and eyeballs can be more enlivened than the bulk of the humans you know. Randy may be energized by puppetry but he has almost as much soul

“KNOCK!” at BAM Fisher Hillman Studio

I had the good fortune of spending an hour in the company of four Magnet Theatre actors who have travelled all the way from South Africa to jumpstart our imaginations with their unique brand of physical theatre for young children. I can think of no better joy than to hear the feather light laughter of young children totally entranced with the magic of these spellbinding theater makers. Their giggling and delight were totally infectious. My adult self took a vacation as my inner child came up for air and had a much needed, transcendent theatrical experience. I did not feel

‘FITTING ROOMS’ at Triskelion Arts

Lacan’s mirror stage provides the trampoline for Denisa Musilova’s haunting new work, “Fitting Rooms”. The rich psychological substrata of the piece allows for a deeply complex unpacking of the adult games people play in their search for identity and belonging. This is the fourth work I have seen by this meticulous Czech choreographer and I again found myself engaged in an intense dialogue with the work as it unfolded before me. It brings up questions that demand thoughtful answers and the work probes your subconscious looking for resonance with your shadow side. She sets off a series of chain reactions

Theatre Women Awards at The TimesCenter

On Friday March 16, 2018 The League of Professional Theatre Women held their fifth annual Theatre Women Awards at The TimesCenter - a sophisticated, intelligent event honoring six women’s contribution to the arts. Kelli Lynn Harrison (Co-President) and Ludovica Villar-Hauser (Co-VP of Programming) started off the proceedings with infectious exuberance. The tone of the event was heartfelt and authentic, creating an atmosphere of intense optimism. They spoke about their efforts towards gender parity in the arts and of the LPTW Seal of Approval initiative that will be awarded in 2018 to Off Broadway theaters in which women make up 50% of

‘Anything Goes at Theatre Row’s Lion Theatre

I have had delicious earworm of “Anything Goes” since I saw this vivacious production at Theatre Row. Musicals Tonight! is having an epic 20th anniversary spring season with work that is truly exceptional. I had the great pleasure of seeing their brilliant “Boys From Syracuse” last month and with “Anything Goes” this month they are exceling at knocking our socks off. This 1934 Cole Porter classic must have been a joyful oasis and vital antidote to the Depression years. I left feeling so optimistic about everything - "It's delightful, it's delicious, It’s de-lovely! It has an infectious happiness about it

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