The New Stage Theatre Company’s ‘Near to the Wild Heart’

    2020 marks the centennial of Clarice Lispector's birth.  The Ukrainian-Jewish refugee who settled in Brazil has long been acclaimed as a feminist trailblazer in male dominated South American literature.  Fortunately, her canon is newly translated into English.   The New Stage Theatre Company celebrates Lispector with an evocatively uncompromising adaptation of Near to the Wild Heart.  Artistic director Ildiko Nemeth's production is both an English-language premiere and first-ever North American stage adaptation of Lispector's 1943 debut novel. Lispector's writing is semi-autobiographical and surreal - the artistically experimental, not the hashtag kind.  The "Wild Heart" belongs to Joana (Sarah Lemp), who is smart, bored and unhappily married to Otavio

The Chase Brock Experience’s ‘The Four Seasons’

  The November 26, 2019 publication of The UN environment programme Emissions Gap Report 2019  confirms yet again that Earth is in serious trouble.  Findings directed specifically at the U.S. and China conclude that action must be taken ASAP.  Thru Sunday, December 8 at Theatre Row, The Chase Brock Experience provides a strong response to climate change with The Four Seasons, which Brock visualizes as a dance of destruction. Brock's 2008 ballet (female dancers wear ballet slippers instead of pointe shoes) is a loose, yet potent, narrative.  The dancers - Jane Abbott, Michael Bishop, Chloë Campbell, Kendrick D. Carter, Kassandra Cruz, Kory Geller, David Hochberg, Yukiko Kashiki, Honza Pelichovský,

BAM Next Wave 2019: ‘The End of Eddy’

  "From my childhood I have no happy memories. I don’t mean to say that I never, in all those years, felt any happiness or joy. But suffering is all-consuming: it somehow gets rid of anything that doesn’t fit into its system."  Édouard Louis Young Adults are not the usual Next Wave Festival crowd, so BAM's new Artistic Director David Binder included them in his inaugural season of debuts.artists.  He and Next Wave couldn't have made a wiser choice than selecting Pamela Carter's adaptation of Édouard Louis's autobiographical novel The End of Eddy.  The joint production of Scotland's Untitled Projects and the U.K.'s Unicorn Theatre  chronicling the author's

DruidShakespeare: Richard III at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival

Aaron Monaghan as Richard III. Photo: Richard Termine

  DruidShaekespeare's Richard III  is a bruising experience, which is as it should be.  The Irish troupe's contribution to the tenth anniversary season of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival  (playing thru November 23rd at John Jay College's Gerald W. Lynch Theatre), absolutely fulfills the festival's mission of looking and listening without distraction for greater understanding.  Shakespeare never hides Richard's ambition and watching it played out in the ugliness The War of the Roses created makes it inevitable. Director Garry Hynes has the perfect Richard in Aaron Monaghan.  No one would ever mistake him for a weakling, but when things don't go his way his voice becomes high pitched like a

Ars Nova presents ‘Dr. Ride’s American Beach House’ by Liza Birkenmeier

Kristen Sieh (left) & Erin Marke (right). Photo: Ben Arons Photography

  Historic events impact lives.  There are the famous examples of Walt Whitman's Civil War poetry, Abraham Zapruder's home movie of the events in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 and the January 21, 2017 Women's March posters currently displayed at Poster House.  But then there are the private ones.  BFFs Harriet (Kristen Sieh) and Matilda (Erin Markey) confront a turning point in their relationship during a landmark event in U.S. space history in Liza Birkenmeier's Dr. Ride's American Beach House, now playing through November 3, 2019 at Ars Nova at Greenwich House.  Birekenmeier is Ars Nova's current Tow Playwright-in-Residence. Harriet and Matilda

‘Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation’ at The Triad

Jenny Lee Stern (left) as Gwen Verdon and Chris Collins-Pisano (right) as Bob Fosse in a scene from FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: THE NEXT GENERATION at the Triad Theatre.

Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation is review-proof.  Creator/Writer/Director Gerard Alessandrini started parodying The Great White Way in 1982, and The Triad Theatre (158 West 72nd Street) was packed with show-tune types for its first reincarnation in five years. Running through November 30, the 80-minute revue is the best kind of tried-and-true evening, matinee or celebratory time out with a great cast and Fred Barton at the piano. Alessandrini didn't have to look hard for new material.  Most of the skewering is for movies turned into musicals - a formula with mixed creative and box office results.  Moulin Rouge!, Tootsie and Beetlejuice  all get

Next Wave 2019: ‘The Second Woman’ at BAM Fisher

Alia Shawkat in The Second Woman at BAM_PC NayMarie-35.JPG

The happiest and worst memories are those that last, re-playing over and over in one's head.  Movies have the same effect, like smiling when thinking about Han Solo winking at Princess Leia in the throne room, or grinding teeth because the sights and sounds of La La Land won't ever go away.  Co-creators Nat Randall and Anna Breckon apply the continuous loop to The Second Woman.  Starting in BAM Fisher on Friday,October 18 at 5 PM and ending 24 hours later, the intrepid, amazing Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Transparent, Drunk History) repeated the same awkward love scene with 100 actors.  An

William Forsythe: A Quiet Evening of Dance at The Shed

Rauf ‘RubberLegz’ Yasit (left), Parvaneh Scharafali (right). A Quiet Evening of Dance. Photo: Mohamed Sadek. Courtesy The Shed

  Walking to The Shed, NYC's newest cultural center on West 30th Street and 11th Avenue, is a visual lesson in urban planning.  After exiting the A train on 34th Street at the eyesore that is Penn Station and crossing Eighth Avenue, signage indicates that there will be the new Moynihan Station.  (Among the many reasons to see Ed Norton's Motherless Brooklyn when it opens next month is the recreation of the original Penn Station.)   Heading towards 11th Ave. and the Hudson River are more glassy complexes way closer to completion than the long-delayed station.  There's also Neiman Marcus.  The Shed's physical address, 545 30th Street, is

Co•Lab Dance at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center

"What did you do on your summer vacation?" is a big conversation starter this time of year  Dancers dance, whether on tour, as featured guests at festivals, or for members of American Ballet Theatre, exploring their art at  Co•Lab Dance .  Led by Founder-Director and ABT colleague  Lauren Post, On September 6 and 7, Co•Lab showed two sold-out audiences at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center what they did between ABT's two seasons at Lincoln Center.  The four engaging new works were created by female choreographers; something their home company is seriously trying to address.  Here this was a matter-of-fact new normal. Forming Co•Lab''s sophomore company were ABT Soloists

Ma-Yi Theater Company Presents the World Premiere of “Felix Starro” at Theatre Row

Photo: Richard Termine

  Like many musicals, Felix Starro, opening Ma-Yi Theatre Company's 30th anniversary season at Theatre Row, is about the tenuous connection between family and faith.  What makes Felix's strong ensemble of voices unique is that they are heard in the first Off-Broadway Filipino-American musical where pain may be imaginary but always real. Jessica Hagedorn's book and Fabian Obispo's score is based on Lysley Tenorio's short story.  Filipino psychic surgeon Felix (Alan Ariano) and his teenage grandson Junior (Nacho Tambunting) are in 1980s San Francisco on the older man's latest mission to heal those in pain.  His technique combines prayer and a lot of faith on the part of the seeker. 

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