Push Party –- TheaterLab

Push Party is the story of five black women who have gathered to celebrate one of them giving birth. Set in a community room of a Harlem apartment building, the piece is not for the faint of heart. In the lobby, there is a sign that warns the audience about the content, which includes: drugs, sexual assault- a miscarriage. fibroids, violence, graphic references, STIs and Interracial relationships. While it may sound like heavy going, the show flies by thanks to witty writing, a great set and a cast that performs as a true ensemble. It is not a laugh fest, but

Interview with Joe Cullen, Co-Author of The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria

David Leopold, Claire Fraenkel, Joseph Cullen, Lawrence Boothman, and Sasha Wilson in The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III - King of Bulgaria. Photo by Carol Rosegg.Stagebiz is happy to post an interview with Joe Cullen, Co-Author of The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria, which recently finished a run at 59 E. 59 Theaters Boris III of Bulgaria is a rather obscure historical figure to most of us, including historians, so what is it about his situation that interested you?  Firstly, co-writer Sasha Wilson is American Bulgarian and her O’papa (grandad) introduced us to this incredible

Cat Kid Comic Club — Lucille Lortel Theatre

Children's theatre is usually treated as an afterthought (if it is thought of at all), not as important as anything done for adults. Disney has given us some exceptions to this, but few production companies have the resources and the marketing power the House of the Mouse has. TheatreWorks USA has taken a different track with Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey. Pilkey is the author of the Captain Underpants books, and TheatreWorks turned his DogMan spin-off book into a musical a few years ago. Having sold 50 million copies of his works, Pilkey is a known-quantity to youngsters

BAAND Together Dance Festival — Lincoln Center

Summer in New York means, among a lot of other things, free performances in outdoor spaces. At Lincoln Center, Damroch Park, we had the third annual BAAND Together Dance Festival. For five nights, five of the city's best dance companies come together to celebrate movement. Ballet Hispanico, the American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey and New York City Ballet perform in a show-case of talent that is simply priceless. The artistic directors of the five companies offered this statement about BAAND: The BAAND Together Dance Festival is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the New York City

“The Harder They Come” — The Public Theater

The Public Theater presents this stage version of the 1972 film by the same name. It was the first Jamaican feature film, just a decade after independence, and the first film that exposed a world-wide audience to reggae music. Jimmy Cliff played the lead role, Ivanhoe (Ivan) Martin, and for a time, he was the face of reggae before that passed to Bob Marley. While writer-in-residence Suzan-Lori Parker has altered some of the plot for instance, (larger parts for Ivan's mother Daisy and his wife Elsa), she has retained the integrity of the story and theme. “The Harder They Come”

“Becomes a Woman” — New York City Center Stage II

The world knows Betty Smith as the woman who wrote the coming-of-age novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a minor (or arguable a major) American classic. The irony is that she considered herself a playwright rather than a novelist. “Becomes a Woman” has never before been produced, despite winning the Avery Hopwood Award in 1931 at the University of Michigan – along with the princely sum (for the Depression) of $1,000. The Mint Theater Company has seen fit to stage it. I am very glad they did. Emma Pfitzer Price plays the lead role of Francie Nolan (the same name as

Henry Nalyor Talks About “Afghanistan is Not Funny”

Henry Naylor brought is award winning one-man show "Afghanistan is Not Funny" at the Soho Playhouse as part of its International Fringe Encore festival. In between performing to packed houses, he was kind enough to answer a few questions from Stagebiz. Stagebiz: What did you think you were going to find when you left for Afghanistan? What were your pre-conceived ideas and how right or wrong were you? HN: I’d followed the post 9/11 Afghan War obsessively on the news. So my perceptions were shaped – and distorted - by our well-meaning media. Inevitably because I watched the British news, I believed that

“Afghanistan is Not Funny” — Soho Playhouse

The Soho Playhouse is an artistic institution in New York that punches well-above its weight in the theatre world. Much of this rests on the Fringe Encore Series, which brings some of the best fringe work from around the world to its stage. With “Afghanistan is Not Funny,” it has scored again. Henry Nayler's one-actor show has won more awards than many shows have had performances, and Nayler himself has won at Edinburgh 3 times. And they were well-deserved, every one of them. Like most one-actor shows, Afghanistan is Not Funny relies on the personal adventures of the playwright. Back in

What Kind of Woman — the cell theatre

Every actor, writer or musician starts out with a side hustle to make ends meet. In the case of actor and playwright Abbe Tanenbaum, it was organizing people's apartments. While working with one client, she found twenty letters from women in the pre-Roe era seeking abortion services from her client. These letters and her client's past inspired this show. With that as a foundation, this could have been less pleasant than watching a 1950s Soviet propaganda film about periodontal disease. The ease with which it could have turned preachy, maudlin or just plain tedious is obvious. Tanenbaum skillfully avoided these dangers

“Richard III” – Shakespeare in the Park

This summer, the Public Theater is celebrating the 60th season of Shakespeare in the Park, and it is one of the events that makes living in New York City a privilege. The first of the plays presented this year is the history play, "Richard III." Cards on the table right up front, "Richard III" is my favorite Shakespeare play, and the Wars of the Roses is a period in history I studied at some length. In short, I am an enthusiast, and readers deserve to know from whence these remarks come. Above all, this play is about power, its uses and mostly