“Democracy Sucks” – Online Free Fringe Fest

Churchill said, among a great many other things, that democracy is the worst for of government except for all the others. Playwright and doctor of political science Monica Bauer appears largely to agree in her new work “Democracy Sucks.” The show is a little over half an hour and is a perfect imitation of a remote-learning college class, poli sci 101. Professor B has reached the end of the semester and his wits (but not quite his wine). He has given the same lecture all semester consisting of Plato's indictment of democracy in “The Republic.” If that sounds a bit

Snowdrops and Chlorine – Theatre and Breast Cancer

Although the pandemic has shuttered our theaters, the work of theatre goes on. Thanks to Zoom, YouTube and other platforms, digital delivery of theatrical works has blossomed. The National Theatre in the UK has given us weekly streaming productions. Disney+ has brought us “Hamilton.” Less commercial theatre, however, appears to be the biggest winner because digital delivery spares shoe-string budgets numerous expenses. Catalina Florina Florescu, the New Play Development Curator and Dramaturg at Jersey City Theater Center, has just started the streaming presentation of her work “Snowdrops and Chlorine.” It is the second part of the “Staging Breast Cancer” trilogy and

Zooming In OnTalia Reeses Virtual Life.

  Photo By: Talia Reese The entertainment community on the whole has been hit very hard by recent events. Not all have been hit quite as hard as the world of stand up comedy. Some think it can't come back. Some comedians say they won't step back into a club until there is a vaccine. How do comedy clubs go about updating their clubs? Are we really going to put up plastic walls? I don't think audience members will adapt to that. though I guess they must try. Many comedians have gone to virtual shows to continue their efforts at being funny

Megan Lohne’s New Play, “Too Solid Flesh”, Takes On A New Format, Zoom Theatre

    Photo credits: Picture: Haley Franke - Photo editing/graphics: Laura Ryan "If you seek escape, entertainment, raw reality and the wit of Shakespeare himself, this is the moment for you. We invite you on the journey that is Too Solid Flesh." The above statement is how Too Solid Flesh a new Zoom play and ensemble piece written by Megan Lohne and Directed by Shoshanah Tarkow pulls in their audience. Yeah, I said it, "Zoom Play", which I believe will soon become as ubiquitous as the word "podcast". I want to say this is theater of the future, but it is theater of the now. As the

SEVEN SINS at Théâtre XIV

SEVEN SINS is a delightful descent into our shadow selves and the mischievous curiosity that erupts from self exploration. This bawdy Baroque Burlesque entices us to contemplate our "fall from grace" at the hands of the sneaky serpent hellbent on making us eat the ruby rose red apple. It's another scandalous treat from Company XIV director/choreographer Austin McCormick who truly understands the art of the tease. Not only does he boldly re-imagine the biblical Adam and Eve soap opera but he also gives us permission to soak ourselves in the vibrancy of hedonism in a space created to enervate our senses. Back

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble Presents ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich’

  Ivan Ilyich Golovin died a hard death.  Judgement of the Imperial Court official's soul is left to his creator - Leo Tolstoy - whose edicts are more dogmatic than any Supreme Being.  One of the finest examples of short fiction, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, has been adapted by Stephen Sharkey and stars Craig Smith in Phoenix Theatre Ensemble's production at The Paradise Theater. The only departure from the 1886 novella is that the dead man speaks for himself.  Tolstoy's third-person narrative is both emotionally and physically clinical, which is why it's so hard to shake.  Director Leo Lion introduces audience members to Ivan

“The Perplexed” at New York City Center Stage I

"The Perplexed" should be one of the events of the theatre this spring. A Richard Greenberg script directed by Lynne Meadow and presented by the Manhattan Theatre Club – what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, the script leaves this production snake-bit from the beginning. A glorious set and a solid cast can not make up for the fact that the script is overly long and the characters rather unengaging. The action all takes place in the library of the Fifth Avenue apartment among various members of two families. The Resnicks and the Stahls have been involved with one

Radical Adaptations of Dracula & Frankenstein Ignite Classic Stage Company

For as many adaptations and interpretations as there are of the classic gothic horror novels Frankenstein and Dracula, it is hard to imagine two more creative, unique, radical and timely works that deal with the well-known tales and characters than the pair playing in a repertory cycle at Classic Stage Company (CSC). They are also strikingly contrasting works. Both are deeply engaging, provocative and compelling explorations of the source material -- each of which was written in the 1800s, one slightly predating the other near the end of the Victorian era. They remind the audience of timeless themes investigated in

The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. presents ‘a photograph/lovers in motion’ by Ntozake Shange,

Imana Breux as Michael. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

  Neither Michael (Imana Breaux) nor Sean David (Adrain Washington) would recognize their present-day San Francisco hometown.  The aspiring artists' relationship, told in Ntozake Shange's  a photograph/lovers in motion, develops during the late 1970s-early 1980s before SF's gentrification for the super rich and high tech.  While SF is not a "character",characters define themselves by it.  A rare revival of Shange's 1977 play is presented by The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc.'s  plays through the end February at  Theatre St. Marks. Directed by Shange's sister and long-time collaborator Ifa Bayeza, a photograph/lovers in motion has the same lyricism found in her landmark for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” at Theatre Row

Pearl Cleage wrote “Blues for an Alabama Sky” in the mid-1990s, and it is astonishing that it has taken so long for a play set at the cusp of the Harlem Renaissance and the Great Depression to make it to New York. Thanks to the Keen Company, the wait is over, and this production makes the wait worthwhile. Angel (Alfie Fuller) is a singer living with Guy (John-Andrew Morrison), a flamboyant costume designer and unapologetic gay man whose ambition is to design costumes in Paris for Josephine Baker. Across the hall lives Delia (Jasminn Johnson), who campaigns for reproductive rights and

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