Monthly Archives: February 2011

TINA SATTER AND HALF STRADDLE: ‘IN THE PONY PALACE/FOOTBALL’ (REVIEW PICK, NY) ·



 

(Jason Zinoman’s article ran in The New York Times, 2/16; the above video clip is not from the current show.) 

Who says girls can’t play football? Or that you don’t go to Bushwick in Brooklyn to see a play? And if you think deconstructionist, experimental theater must be dry and dreary, the Half Straddle, an emerging troupe, has another surprise for you.

 “In the Pony Palace/Football” is a giddily exuberant confection that manages to conjure a distinctively eccentric theatrical world by tweaking one of the most familiar American subcultures: high school football. Tina Satter, the troupe’s artistic director, who wrote and stages this show, uses a large cast of archetypes, including cheerleaders, coaches, band members, a mascot and a quartet of strutting, trash-talking players. What makes this portrait stand out initially is that all the boys on the team are played by girls, but the point of this casting is not to mock so much as to make you see this world anew.

via theater.nytimes.com

BOB FOSSE: ‘DANCIN’’ BACK TO BROADWAY ·



 

(From the AP, 2/16; via Breitbart)

A new version of Bob Fosse's (FAW'-seez) "Dancin'," a play by Stephen Karam and a revival of "Look Back in Anger" are on their way from the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Director Graciela Daniele will rework Fosse's original choreography from the hit revue to create "Bob Fosse's Dancin,'" with creative input from Fosse's daughter, Nicole. Performances will begin in the fall at Broadway's Studio 54.

via www.breitbart.com

JUDI DENCH: ‘AND FURTHERMORE’ ·



 

(Brooks Barnes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 2/14; via Pam Green.)

LOS ANGELES — Judi Dench has been a Dame of the British Empire for 23 years. She has an Oscar, a Tony, two Golden Globes and nine Baftas. The greatest stage actress of all time? Maybe. A recent London poll thought so.

But there she was, barefoot and curled on a hotel sofa here, laughing herself hoarse while recalling a formative performance — as a snail. It was a kindergarten play. Ms. Dench, 5 or 6 at the time, did some improvisational slithering that grabbed the audience’s attention, and not in a good way.

via www.nytimes.com

‘ANNA NICOLE’ COMES TO THE OPERA HOUSE—LONDON’S ROYAL OPERA HOUSE ·



 

(Mike Collett-White’s article appeared on Reuters; via the Drudge Report.)

The genteel world of opera collides with that of lurid headlines, strip clubs and Playboy Thursday when a new work based on the life of the late Anna Nicole Smith has its premiere at London's Royal Opera House.

"Anna Nicole" is one of the prestigious opera company's riskiest projects yet, both because it leaves Covent Garden open to accusations of sensationalism in a bid to stay relevant and because some of the characters in the story are still alive.

via news.yahoo.com

STEVEN DIETZ: ‘JACKIE AND ME’ (REVIEW PICK, CHI) ·



 

(Chris Jones’s article appeared in Theater Loop, 2/14.)

Baseball basks in a grand literary tradition created by writers like Richard Ben Cramer, Robert W. Creamer, Michael Lewis, Roger Angell and, if you're a kid who loves baseball cards and the heroes thereupon, Dan Gutman. But when it comes to plays about America's pastime (indeed, about professional sports in general), the list is less distinguished. The epic struggles of the field can easily feel cheap or reductive on a stage; it's not easy to cram a diamond into a theater where you can't really play ball.

But “Jackie and Me,” the moving, empowering and otherwise lovely new family show which premiered last weekend by the Chicago Children's Theatre and represents an ideal winter father-and-son (or mother-and-daughter) outing for suffering baseball fans, is an exception. Adapted by the distinguished yet oft-underrated American playwright Steven Dietz from Gutman's novel of the same name, “Jackie and Me” is one of those shows that turns out to be

via leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com

VESTURPORT THEATRE GROUP AND ROBIN DE LEVITA JOIN FORCES FOR INTERNATIONAL THEATRICAL VENTURES ·


 

Led by Gisli Örn Gardarsson, Iceland-based Vesturport Theatre Group—which will receive the prestigious Europe Theatre Prize this April—is to team with Robin de Levita to create international theatrical productions specifically aimed at Broadway, The West End, and other first class theatrical territories . . . de Levita, a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, has also produced extensively in London and throughout Europe; the team’s first American collaboration was the US premiere of 'Metamorphosis,' a daringly physical re-imagining of the Franz Kafka classic by Vesturport Theatre Group and London’s Lyric Hammersmith with music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, which recently played a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) . . . Up next are pre-existing productions such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Love the Musical’ and new shows like ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Dostoyeski and ‘Mad Alice’ plus more to be announced . . . Management of the company will be shared between Gisli Orn Gardarsson Artistic director, Skuli Malmquist producer and Robin de Levita, producer . . . The company will operate offices in Europe and in New York City. Visit: http://vesturport.com/ and http://www.robindelevitaproductions.com/

Via Adrian Bryan-Brown

JASON SHERMAN: ‘READING HEBRON’ (REVIEW PICK, U.K.) ·

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 2/14.)

No one could accuse this theatre of ducking the Arab-Israeli conflict. A year ago it staged an absorbing play, Ben Brown's The Promise, about the Balfour Declaration of 1917 supporting the principle of a Jewish homeland. Now it brings us a 15-year-old play by Toronto-based Jason Sherman about a massacre that took place in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 1994. While it would be comforting to say Sherman's play feels like old news, what is shocking is just how urgently relevant it seems.

via www.guardian.co.uk

GEORG BUCHNER: ‘DANTON’S DEATH’ ON BBC RADIO 3–LISTEN NOW UNTIL 2/20 (LINK BELOW) ·

DANTON’S DEATH

Launching Radio 3's week-long focus on Buchner, Georg Buchner's radical retelling of the fallout of the French Revolution adapted by Simon Scardifield.

Paste the following link into your browser or listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yhrdl

It's 1794, and a new France is being born from the reign of terror that characterised the worst of the Revolution. Charismatic hedonist Danton, still tormented by his role in the killing of 1400 aristocrats in a single night, is losing his grip on power, and he is so tired. His political rival, the sober and focused Robespierre, is in the ascendant, and – with his efficient sidekick St Just – has power now over Danton's fate. But can Danton care enough to fight the terror that he himself set in motion?

Cast

Georges DANTON ….. Joseph Millson
Maximilien ROBESPIERRE ….. Khalid Abdalla
CAMILLE Desmoulins ….. Patrick Kennedy
MARION ….. Claire Harry
HERAULT-SECHELLES ….. Laurence Mitchell
HERRMAN ….. Adeel Akhtar
Thomas PAYNE ….. Sean Baker
LACROIX ….. David Seddon
LEGENDRE ….. Lloyd Thomas
JULIE ….. Leah Brotherhead
ST JUST ….. Iain Batchelor

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole

NOTES
Georg Buchner died in 1837 at the age of 23, by which time he had had only one play published, and none produced. His small legacy of work, remaining unproduced for nearly sixty years after his death, has come to represent some of the most exciting and radical theatre writing in the European Theatre canon. This production is partnered with a special 'Sunday Feature' and a new Woyzeck for Drama on 3 on 20 February.

CHARLES ISHERWOOD ON THE LATE PLAYS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS ·



 

(Isherwood’s article ran in The New York Times, 2/9.)

WHEN the curtain fell on Broadway on the last night of “The Night of the Iguana” in September 1962, it would have been impossible for anyone to foresee what the next two decades would bring for its author, Tennessee Williams. Though possessed of an imagination as gothic as anyone’s, Williams probably could never have fathomed how grim the last acts of his career would become.

Since his breakthrough in 1944 with “The Glass Menagerie,” Williams had been a central pillar of Broadway, at the time near the center of American culture. In the years that followed his initial renown, he wrote almost a dozen plays, including a handful of commercial and critical successes that remain staples of the modern repertory. In March 1962 Time magazine put Williams on its cover, calling him the country’s greatest living playwright.

via www.nytimes.com