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

Matt Nagin’s New Collections of Comedic works “Do Not Feed The Clown” Is Something Undeniably Funny and Inconceivably Different

Comedy is a very subjective concept. What one person finds funny another might not. Any person who says any particular thing isn’t funny, is wrong. This is because someone will find it funny. Even if just one person laughs. Then it’s funny. It’s not an argument. It’s a fact. If all 8 billion people in the world don’t laugh, then I guess it’s not funny, but if one does, then that person found it funny. What you get with Matt Nagin‘s new book Do Not Feed The Clown is something undeniably funny and inconceivably different. A collection of 34 short comedic pieces. Some of them even come

NUTCRACKER ROUGE at Théâtre XIV

NUTCRACKER ROUGE is a scopophiliac's nirvana. The deep pleasure of "looking" is sated by being able to gaze unbidden into the erotic, sensual and sexy crack in the universe opened by this prurient production. We are not merely peeping through the keyhole into the secret wonders beyond, but are invited in to sit right up close to the cheeky exuberance. We are inside award-winning director/choreographer Austin McCormick's robust, decadent, gourmet, fantasy land of sexual awakening.  He has reimagined The Nutcracker as a titillating, seductive burlesque that takes the character of young "Marie Stahlbaum" on an unforgettable self actualizing journey -

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,

HOOKED ON HAPPINESS at Theater for the New City

HOOKED ON HAPPINESS is an original climate change musical tackling the crisis through the perspective of a high school drama class. Two students Kim and Eric are inspired to create their own production after a heated debate on the beach where they commiserate on the inability of their parents to snap out of misery and embrace positive action. They infect their class with their enthusiasm and soon they are co-opting their teacher to allow them to write their own response to the climate crisis instead of doing the old standards of OUR TOWN or HELLO DOLLY!  for the yearly school

Virgo Star at La Mama’s Downstairs Lounge

VIRGO STAR heroically encapsulates the convergence of queer and cowboy in a homoerotic, fictionalized "Wild West". The Pioneers Go East Collective interrogates the notion of "masculinity" as personified by  American Cowboy iconography, visuality and sound. But this is a new riff on the spaghetti western - as the characters come face to face with their fragility, sense of belonging and rigors of their own nature in this steamy wild, wild west conjured by director Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte. This is no unrequited Brokeback Mountain love story but rather a fragmented "son of a gun stew" filled with every ingredient imaginable. They

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

The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion at La MaMa’s Downstairs Theatre

  On Saturday I found the wellspring of funny -Kendall Cornell's all-women clown troupe: Clowns Ex Machina. I am still suffering from acute bouts of sudden, uncontrollable laughing at the flashbacks from their show -The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion. It's 90-minutes of intense bliss. There is a palpable, vast intelligence that forms the canvas for every scene. The humor bounces off this backdrop imbuing each moment with the massive force of thinking, focused, funny women. The clever comedy comes at you faster than Venus Wiliams' 56.95 m/s tennis ball serve -you have to gird up your loins for the shock and the skill of

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

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