Great art is meant to bring the viewer into another universe, perhaps allowing them to -- if only fleetingly -- experience previously unimagined scenarios, feelings and worldviews. It has the power and potency to connect us to the broader spectrum of emotions that make up the human condition. But what happens when this art is a semi-autobiographical piece of essentially heightened, poeticized and dramatized non-fiction that could be and has been regarded as “a 75-minute suicide note” (Michael Billington, The Guardian), such as 4:48 Psychosis -- the stark, often brutal, occasionally darkly comedic and deeply unsettling post-mortem work of English
Humankind is made up of stories: the stories we tell others, those we tell ourselves, our version of the story, and even history is only a series of stories stamped with a seal of approval to be considered by the ruling power as “the truth,” though it is no more than yet another observation or opinion on what transpired. Stories have the ability to make us -- for they are the foundation where legends and heroes are born. But they also have the power and capacity to break us and tear us apart from our own kind, to separate us
Before there was Beatlemania, there was Lisztomania. The 19th Century Hungarian composer created such a fan frenzy that it would be the envy of any 20th or 21st Century musician - for classical music, along with Opera, and their creators, were the arena rock stars of their era. This grandness of mayhem and musicality is keenly felt in Rocktopia. So if you are looking for the most astounding arias, soaring symphonic sounds or incendiary electric guitar, you needn't bother with multiple trips to The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall or MSG - they're all under one roof at The Broadway Theatre! Rocktopia:
As Andy Warhol prophesied: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." If only he understood just how true that statement would become! The artist and businessman, also known for adoring, although possibly exploiting, misfits and outcasts by making them into his Superstars, paved the way for the talk show boom of the late 1980s into the 1990s, which birthed the likes of Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, Morton Downey Jr., and of course, Jerry Springer. But it was the guests, made famous for their infamous behaviors - the trannies, the trash talkers, people with quick tempers, loose
The title no joke. Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee’s “Jerry Springer – The Opera” is a raucous parody of many things, but most of all opera. Librettos make for dull reading, but this 90% unprintable one is laugh out-loud. It has taken over a decade for “Jerry Springer” to brawl its way to a NYC stage, but The New Group more than makes up for it with John Rando’s wild production. Thomas (music, lyrics) and Lee (book, additional lyrics) didn’t have to look hard for commonalities between “Jerry Springer and “opera”. Act I is the taping of Jerry’s (Terrence Mann’s) show.