Madeline Sayet’s WHERE WE BELONG at the Public Theater

Theatre-maker Madeline Sayet straddles many identities that often contrast and sometimes conflict. She's half Mohegan (on her mother's side) and half Jewish (on her father's side). Sayet is also an actress/director and an academic who found joy and solace in escaping through Shakespeare. But she can't shake the painful scars of colonialism that haunts her people's present and flavors their future, where erasure is imminent if the next generation doesn't keep the Mohegan language and traditions alive. It's a heavy burden for a young woman searching for her place in this world and a sense of belonging. In her solo show,

QUINCE: An Unforgettable Immersive Experience Blossoms at The Bushwick Starr

Anyone who has tended a garden (even on a rooftop or fire escape) or owned a houseplant knows that a living thing needs proper care, time, nourishment, and nurturing to grow, flourish and reach its potential. The same is true of a new work of theatre. It does not sprout from the playwright’s head or the director’s vision fully actualized but requires an investment to cultivate the seed and make it bloom. I have seen no finer example of this in the past two years than the journey of the interactive play celebrating modern Mexican American culture playing (on extension) at

Fat Ham at The Public Theater: Succulent Joy Triumphs Over Tragedy

  For a play premiering on Memorial Day weekend, what could feel more festive than a family gathering at a backyard barbecue served with a side of Shakespeare, a heaping portion of pop culture references, simmered in family drama, seasoned with violence and a dash of glitter to taste? Ay, there's the spice rub! Shakespeare's plays have had many adaptations and updated versions that take creative licenses with the Bard's works and themes. A favorite choice is the tale of the brooding, tragic prince with intense and questionable family dynamics. The Guardian recently published a piece examining the obsession that dramatists of stage and

Interview with Daniel Alexander Jones

The transcendent Black Queer Artist Daniel Alexander Jones (aka DAJ) puts his “slashes” to good use. The multi-hyphenated artist is having a very busy 2021. He’s had a book release, a podcast, a Howlround, and Christmas show, Jomama Jones’s Celestial Holiday Spectacular on December 3rd at New York Live Arts all in one season.  I first encountered DAJ in his luminous performance as Jomama Jones in Blacklight. I was immediately transfixed by his mystical charms, chameleon-like abilities, extraordinary talent, and tender vulnerability that brought the cosmic character of Jomana Jones down to earth. Reading his recently published collection of plays and performances,

The Last Day Of Broadway: Martin McDonagh’s Riveting Dramedy “Hangmen”

While the world falls apart I sip my highly caffeinated coffee and write that piece about Hangmen the new Broadway play. Cavorting at The John Golden theatre on 47th St. and 8th Avenue Hangmen is Martin McDonagh's latest Broadway effort since his Oscar Nominated film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri". "Maybe it'll be my last opportunity to write about a Broadway production?!!" I yelled to myself in my brain (what's left of it). Though it's very unlikely that the apocolypse is coming and will ensnare Broadway, being the last to write about any one thing seems to hold some gravity

Under the Radar Festival: THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

When the lights come up, one immediately observes what could only be a silverback gorilla. The gait, the strut, the way he pounds his chest and paces the stage -- anyone who has seen a nature film or visited a zoo would find these distinctive characteristics undeniable. But why is he there, what is this about? Suddenly and unexpectedly, after the attendees have spent some time with the ape, the performer morphs into a couple, then an obnoxious and rowdy child, followed by a gentle yet absent-minded mother, a passionate but perturbed photographer and, finally, an annoyed older man. This

A STRANGE LOOP Raises the Bar for Queer Black Representation and Sets a New Standard for Musicals Today

I first encountered A Strange Loop in 2015 at the Musical Theatre Factory when it was still located in a gay porn video warehouse above (the original) Drama Bookstore just around the corner of Port Authority. It was a mixed bag evening with various composers and lyricists trying out their works on performers, both eager to be heard amongst an audience of supportive peers instead of cruel critics. The song, which is the second-to-last 13 o’clock number for A Strange Loop now called “The Memory Song,” featured lyrics sung in rapid speed with mournful wailing by Larry Owens (the unconventional

SOCRATES at THE PUBLIC THEATER

Lecture, exhortation, dissertation, harangue. These are all synonyms for “talking”, which is what the subject of actor/director/playwright Tim Blake Nelson’s new play Socrates --- now playing at The Public Theater extended through June 2nd as the anchor of Onassis USA Festival 2019: Democracy is Coming --- is best known for. In fact, he made a life, death and immortality out of being a relentless orator, so much so that a man born in 470 B.C.E. is still a topic of modern tongues and his tradition of thought, theories and philosophies are taught as required curriculum at any liberal arts school

Wild Goose Dreams at The Public Theater

In Hansol Jung’s tender, poignant and humorously human Wild Goose Dreams, The Public Theater’s entire third floor space is transformed into a the city of Seoul, South Korea (the inventive and imaginative design is credited to Public and Broadway veteran, Clint Ramos) through a vibrant visual plethora of candy-colored campaigns and neon notifications with a small sampling of blown-up family photos scattered between. This manic mosaic sets the chaotic tone of a modern world where various sights and sound bites compete for attention -- though that only creates a feeling of deeper isolation amidst all the noise. But the eye-bruising visual

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