Remote Theater Project debuts at LaMama with Amir Nizar Zuabi’s ‘Grey Rock’

The single set across LaMama's The Downstairs is the Wall.  Not a mock-up of the geographically impossible one threatened for the U.S./Mexico borders, but the equally controversial Israel−Gaza security barrier.  A lightning rod in U.S-Middle Eastern diplomacy, in Amir Nizar Zuabi's Grey Rock, it cannot block creativity or dignity. Zuabi, who also directed his play for the newly-formed Remote Theater, provides a blast-off point for The Occupation.  Part of the wall opens revealing Yusuf (Khalifa Natou), a retired TV repairman and former political prisoner, studying blueprints in his shed.  Without telling his daughter Lila (Fida Zaidan) or young friend Sheik (Motaz Malhis), Yusuf is

Dancing When Everyone’s Looking: Two Dance Celebrations

With Nutcrackers, Rockettes and Viennese waltzers, Thanksgiving to New Year's is the solitary time of the year when the general public shows an interest in dance.  Before the holiday rush there were two dance celebrations - one marking an anniversary and the other a look into the beginnings of extraordinary career - with varying success.   Balanchine: The City Center Years Starting on Halloween and ending on November 4, 2018, New York City Center jointly commemorated their 75th Anniversary and the prolific 15 years (1948-1963) George Balanchine and New York City Ballet were there.  In 1943, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia created the New

ZviDance at New York Live Arts

ZviDance, under the direction of founder/Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner, appeared December 19-22, 2018 at New York Live Arts.  Their program included two provocative world premieres reflecting how effectively dance communicates the interior and exterior. The timing for presenting Bears Ears couldn't have been more ironic.  The 1.35-million-acre Utah national park - sacred land to several Native American peoples - is threatened by the Trump administration twofold.  As a slap to President Obama for officially declaring Bears Ears a national monument, the administration wants to reduce its size and drill it for oil.  Then there's the partial government shutdown commencing during ZviDance's run

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center

In the Becoming Ailey video opening every performance this 60th Anniversary Season, Alvin Ailey is heard describing how he "always danced" during his childhood in Texas and young adulthood in Los Angeles.  His passion led to the founding of an inclusive African-American modern dance company that is a cherished and integral part of American culture.  Mr. Ailey died in 1989, but his legacy lives on due to the previous leadership of legendary dancer/Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and current Artistic Director Robert Battle.  The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre comprises the main company,  their home on West 55th Street that

‘The Making of King Kong’ at The Doxsee at Target Margin Theater

Molly Pope, Ean Sheehy(in silhouette). Photo: Maria Baranova

  Lisa Clair’s The Making of King Kong, now playing at The Doxsee at Target Margin Theater thru December 15, is not a documentary about the 1933 horror/sfx classic or slick offsite pop-up for King Kong The Musical.  For one thing, the only glimpses of the Brooklyn version of the "Eighth Wonder of the World!" who tore up Manhattan are of his giant (and very busy) paw and on video screens.  The other is that none of the previous versions have a song remotely like "King Kong Plays Ping Pong With His Ding Dong".  That alone is reason to revisit Skull Island

‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ at Classic Stage Company

Raúl Esparza . Photo: Joan Marcus

What does cauliflower resemble?  Fossilized flowers?  Dead algae?  Brain tissue?  Perhaps Bertolt Brecht had these and others in mind creating a "Cauliflower War" as the cataclysmic event of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, his deliberately unfunny lampooning of Adolph Hitler.  Brecht's protest play is now at the Classic Stage Company with a mesmerizing Raúl Esparza in the title role in John Doyle's uneven production. Brecht's inspiration for his 1941 play was Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator.  Released one year before Arturo UI's premiere, Chaplin's intentionally funny film sends-up both Hitler and Mussolini.  (Chaplin not only resembled Hitler, they were born days apart.)  Unlike The

2018 BAM Next Wave Festival: Jerome Robbins’ ‘Watermill’

Joaquin De Luz. Photo courtesy of BAM

  A man looks back on his life.  As ballet plots go, Watermill is fairly straightforward.  It's in the telling that makes it Jerome Robbins' most theatrical and intimate work.  Predating the first Next Wave Festival by 11 years, the seldom-seen 1972 dance appeared at this year's Festival as part of the Jerome Robbins Centennial Celebration with recent New York City Ballet retiree Joaquin De Luz and students from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College SUNY. Robbins applied elements of his early modern dance training, work in Yiddish theatre, and Japanese Noh  to Watermill.  The choreographer said, "The ballet itself is influenced

Group.BR presents ‘Inside the Wild Heart’

Photo: Miguel_de_Oliveira

“I am so mysterious that I don’t even understand myself.” Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) Ukrainian-born Clarice Lispector achieved fame as a 23-year-old in her adopted country of Brazil with the publication of her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart.  In the four decades following her death, biographies and translations led to her re-evaluation as an early innovator of the male dominated Latin American "Magic Realism" movement.  The Jewish author has never been more popular, "her" Twitter feed @RecitoClarice has one million followers. There are many ways to present someone who wrote ”to save somebody's life...probably my own."  Group. BR, New York City's only Brazilian

Lincoln Center’s white light festival on Film: Dreyer’s ‘Ordet’

Johannes (Preben Lerdorff Rye) . Wikipedia

  Now in its ninth year, Lincoln Center's white light festival explores ways of  better understanding one's self and others.  While there are no easy answers, generous programming in and around the complex provide artistic responses to seeking inner peace and fellowship.  Here at Stagebiz we are excited about, well, the stage, let's make an exceptional exception.  white light's first week included one of cinema's greatest seekers: Carl-Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968).  His disquieting Ordet (The Word, 1955), screened on October 18 at the Walter Reade Theater, illustrates the interchanging properties of "light" and "dark." The Danish director made only four feature films.  Three are

Ars Nova presents the world premiere of ‘Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future’

It's 2318 or thereabouts.  The United States is divided into Republics, Mars and the Moon colonized and technology restricted by law.  Despite everything, music survives! - thanks to Rags Parkland (Andrew R. Butler) and his show, Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future.  Rags is appearing nightly thru November 3, 2018 at Ars Nova in this provocative, thoroughly entertaining musical. Developed over an eight-year period at Ars Nova via ANT Fest and workshops, Butler's book, music and lyrics are set in Richmond's Over/Under Club run by saxophonist Gill (Tony Jarvis).  It's a both a return engagement and return to Earth for Rags, back from serving time in

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