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

10 Foot Rat Cabaret At Under St. Marks

Photography by Gregory Levine – Pictured Dancer Andrea Palesh I truly believe to understand the heart of a production you must understand the theater the production is in first. Since the 1970’s Under St. Marks Theater has been home to an abundance of experimental and mainstream productions. I’ve been very lucky to have attended several events at this venue over the years. Even having had the opportunity to produce a piece through the theater for a weekend of plays and pieces about Donald Trump back in 2016. Located on St Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A in the heart

BORDER PEOPLE at Gural Theatre at the A.R.T/New York Theaters

  Border People is an exquisite ode to the determination of the human being to survive and thrive in spite of curve balls, challenges, deserts and high walls that block the "easy" road. It is crammed full of wonderful people whose life stories gently play your heart strings - all of them expertly introduced and embodied by Dan Hoyle. This writer, actor, journalist, conversationalist, joy wielder, wordsmith is a gifted theatrical magus - a wise man bringing the myrrh to the birth of new perspectives. Dan is like the theater version of X-Men's "Mystique" effortlessly  transforming into a completely new person in

Matthew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ at New York City Center

Matthew Ball as The Swan. Photo: Johan Persson

  "DO NOT FEED THE SWANS" reads the sign posted at the edge of the lake The Prince (James Lovell) staggers towards.  Drunk, unhappy and unloved, he's ready to end it all when The Swan (Matthew Ball) who has haunted his dreams appears.  Like a real swan, he and his flock are beautiful.  Further defining their species and most unlike the traditional ballet kind, they are aggressive.  This flock will bite off whole hands of those daring feeding them.  Guided by the moonlight, Tchaikovsky's music and Sir Matthew Bourne's spectacular choreography, the Prince and Swan form an unbreakable union defying both

DOCTORS JANE AND ALEXANDER at HERE

  DOCTORS JANE AND ALEXANDER is a deeply intimate journey through the deconstructed thoughts of the playwright, Edward Einhorn, as he wrestles with memory, nostalgia and doubt. UNTITLED THEATER COMPANY No. 61 presents this world premiere that interrogates Einhorn's lineage as the grandchild of the famous doctor, Alexander Wiener, who discovered the RH factor in blood. While this is the jumping off point, the piece is far more complex and layered as a mediation on the challenging bonds of one's blood family. Einhorn sets out to discover as much as he can about his enigmatic grandfather through interviews with family members in order to

‘The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker’ at La MaMa

Puppet by Theodora Skipitares. Photo by Jane Catherine Shaw

  Imagine being  a primarily self-taught scientist who wrote several almanacs, built a clock that ran 50 years, corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and was so brilliant performing measurements you were invited to survey what become Washington, D.C.  With those accomplishments you'd rate a statue in the Nation's Capital, right?  Afraid not.  Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) has a Park, but still no monument.  The current administration and their congressional minions are too busy building false facades to themselves to recognize the accomplishments of a great African-American thinker - or any for that matter.  In place of permanence and as a precursor to Black History

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