A Positive Russian Influence: Ballet

Scene from Harlequinade. Photo: Erin Baiano.

As the Romanovs's bewilderingly indifference to the political and socioeconomic upheavals leading to the Russian Revolution worsened, ballet at home and abroad flourished.  French-born Marius Petipa (1818–1910) was Chief Choreographer of Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater where he set the premieres of Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker among others.  Artists dissatisfied with his autocratic yet groundbreaking vision joined impresario Serge Diaghilev in his Paris-based Ballets Russes.  The two aesthetics share a legacy of brilliant choreographers (Ballets Russes had Michael Fokine, Nijinsky, his sister Bronislava,  Leonid Massine and George Balanchine) and enduring influence.  New York had pleasing reminders of this lofty dance heritage when American Ballet Theatre opened their

Remembrance: New York City Opera and The Museum of Jewish Heritage

Apologies for the delayed review of New York City Opera's world premiere of Ted Rosenthal's Dear Erich. The sold-out performances were January 9-13, 2019 at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.  Before finally reporting on Rosenthal's loving tribute to his father and the grandmother he never met, I wanted to visit the Museum.  An opportunity presented itself with the exhibit Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away, on view now through January 3, 2020.  Displayed are 700 artifacts and materials on loan from over 20 institutions and private collections, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The Museum'

Spring Weekend Soundbites

  With over 7.5 million daffodils planted by 100 000 volunteers in NYC and 194,000 tulips in Central Park - spring is definitely in the air. To celebrate the arrival of this burst of color from these European blooms the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation and BBLA festoon the Upper East side with a weekend of FREE stage readings, a full production, after parties and talk backs at The Bohemian National Hall. Playwrights from The Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania are profiled from 9-12 May 2019 at this theatrically intensive long weekend. Here are a few soundbites from some of the

THE DAY I BECAME BLACK: Interview with Bill Posley

THE DAY I BECAME BLACK is currently running at The SoHo Playhouse to great acclaim and is created, written and performed by Bill Posley (CBS’s “The Neighborhood,” Netflix’s “Glow”) and directed by Bente Engelstoft (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”). The production blurb: "Bill Posley grew up biracial, happily identifying as both black and white. But at 10 years old he learns the world does in fact judge a book by its color, and even though he’s half white he’s labeled 100% black. Does a young comedian have to get rid of his whiteness to be the color people expect him to be?" I

Interview with: Marc Stuart Weitz -NY Indie Theatre Film Festival (NYITFF)

The NY Indie Theatre Film Festival (NYITFF) opens its 2019 edition on February 8 at 7pm and is produced by the award-winning New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher St.), in Manhattan’s West Village, and runs through February 11. The festival showcases over 30 short films, excerpts of features, and web series episodes made by theatre artists defying labels and branching out into recorded content. Marc Stuart Weitz, New Ohio Theatre’s Producing Director, generously shared his vision for the festival and what audiences can expect from this years line-up... What was the impetus for creating this festival produced by The New Ohio Theatre three

Yulia Yakushova: Theater Poster Design Competition Judge

Two Cents Agency recently announced it's theater poster design competition. It's  open to all theater graphic designers, illustrators and theater creatives and welcomes international applications and carries a $250 cash prize for the winner.  For more info on the submission process go to: https://www.twocentsagency.com/competition/ The three esteemed judges include theater sound composer and designer, Fitz Patton; actress, writer and director Jo Galloway; and designer/experiential - Yulia Yakushova. I chatted with Yulia about her design background and what she is looking for from an unforgettable theater poster design. How did you get into the design industry? I originally started as an editorial illustrator back in

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

DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE: a la Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg

DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE -sound familiar? But this time round it is a two-hander comedic reimagining of the old classic. Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg are the couple that have written and perform in this NY Premiere. This entertaining production by Blanket Fort Entertainment has already garnered positive responses from the press: “DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE was praised by Stage Raw as “a highly innovative work, impressive for its delightfully morbid sense of humor and the versatility of the acting.” Broadway World said, “Both actors display a great deal of charm, courage and panache. Stromberg is nothing short of

My Name Is Gideon: I’m Probably Going To Die, Eventually

Gideon Irving is one of my all time favorite theater makers and I am always a little giddy with anticipation when he announces a new show. I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform in a variety of apartments across NYC and in two theaters –the experience is always unforgettable. I also like to bring friends to see his shows who have never seen his particular brand of genius kookiness and spend half the show watching them discovering him. You can literally see their inner child awaken from a long sleep and start to come up for breath. This

Interview with Michaela Lind on “My Birthday”

Michaela Lind is a Swedish performer who is preparing to clown around at Theater Lab, NYC on November 13, 14, 15. She has developed her own unique clowning style and created a lucky packet of extraordinary surprises with her new solo clown show entitled “My Birthday”. This original work was created in collaboration with Clown’s Ex Machina and promises to tickle your funny bones and turn your cells into Champagne as we follow a clown as she prepares and celebrates her birthday. I chatted with Michaela about this physical theater clowning experience. What was the main impetus for choosing to create or

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