Under the Radar Festival 2021: Re-envisioned Virtually

It’s 2021. We made it. Now what? For those of us fortunate enough to have survived (though not without scars) the year that no one could have imagined, we enter the new year less naive and more prepared for the unexpected.  Fortunately, one of the annual delights that kicks off each January with surprisingly fresh performances from local artists and exciting international companies has returned. The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival is back for its 17th triumphant year, albeit differently than before. Like everything else, the festival’s offerings are confined to virtual viewings and one very personal phone call.  The artists

Journey Around My Bedroom – New Ohio Theatre for Young Minds

This little puppet show concerns Xavi, a little girl who has been sentenced like the rest of us to spending the pandemic in our homes. Her mom orders her off the video games and tells her to go to sleep. And that is when the fun begins. As she waits for sleep to come, her imagination takes over. Enter Xavier de Maistre (who wrote a book called Journey Around My Bedroom while under house arrest a couple of centuries ago). He is a great explorer; something Xavi aspires to be. She challenges him to a duel, assists in the

A Christmas Carol – A virtual take on a classic

One-man performances of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol go back to the Victorian era, when Dickens himself gave readings of his instant hit. A new recorded production, starring Jefferson Mays, breathes new life into the tradition, and offers a genuinely moving—and truly theatrical—story about redemption and kindness. This recording was created to benefit partner theaters around the country that were affected by the pandemic. Directed by Michael Arden, adapted by Arden, Mays, and Susan Lyons and conceived by Arden and Dane Laffrey, the filmed version is based on the 2018 production that made its premiere at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse. The script

Dracula — Resounding Live Immersive Audio

There is something deliciously lovely about turning off all the lights in the house and listening to a horror tale on a rainy autumn night. So with the mood set, I accessed Resounding Live Immersive Audio's “Dracula” on my smartphone with my headphones plugged in. The result was radio theatre for the 21st century. The script was an hour-long edit of the Bram Stoker novel, and so a great deal had to be left out. Fortunately, one can leave out Renfield and the asylum and lose nothing much of the real tale. The truth is Stoker wrote more than he needed

Bated Breath Theatre Company presents ‘Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec’ in Greenwich Village

  Part street theatre, part walking tour and all fun, Bated Breath Theatre Company's, Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec uses the West Village as its stage.  Extended through November 22nd, the first live NYC stage production since COVID-19 shut theatres and disrupted everything is a socially-distanced (temperature check, audience is no larger than six, masks on at all times), journey through the artist's life and work. The Moulin Rouge's most famous visual memoirist is also the subject of Bated Breath's suspended show Unmaking Toulouse-Lautrec, both conceived and directed by Executive Artistic Director Mara Lieberman. The artist's Belle Époque Paris makes for passionate theatre material.  In addition to creating

“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

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