Monthly Archives: August 2011

KAHN/MICHAHELLES: ‘ODYSSEUS AT HELL GATE’ IN QUEENS (ONE-NIGHT-ONLY PERFORMANCE: MONDAY, AUG 29) ·


 

(Melena Ryzik’s article appeared 8/28 in The New York Times.)

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of Hermes the winged messenger, with eyes like binoculars. Of wise old Robert Moses, his head a literal globe, and of Typhoid Mary, a health threat in a skirt made of spoons.

Odysseus has, finally, found his way to Queens, and — journeying through storm surge and eons of urban grit — has been transformed a bit in the process. On Monday evening “The Odyssey” will be restaged through the lens of New York City history, using costumed characters and giant puppets, in a site-specific work commissioned for Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Visitors will play the part of weary Greek travelers, traversing the park to see seven “processionals” enacting stories from Homer’s epic poem.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/arts/design/odysseus-at-hell-gate-to-play-at-socrates-sculpture-park.html?_r=1&hpw

DAVID HARE WINS PEN/PINTER PRIZE ·

(Alison Flood’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/26.)

From the privatisation of the railways to the invasion of Iraq, the banking crisis to the British press, the "unflinching, unswerving" gaze which radical playwright David Hare has trained upon the world over the last 40 years is to be honoured with the PEN/Pinter prize.

Established by writers' organisation PEN two years ago to celebrate the late Harold Pinter, the prize is given to a British writer of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Pinter himself on winning the Nobel prize in 2005, casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world, and shows a "fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies". Pinter's widow Lady Antonia Fraser, who selected Hare as this year's recipient along with judges Gillian Slovo, Claire Tomalin, Michael Billington and last year's winner the novelist Hanif Kureishi, called him "a worthy winner".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/aug/26/david-hare-wins-pen-pinter-prize

(Plays by David Hare and Gillian Slovo are included in ‘Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays' from Northwestern University Press—above.)

‘MINQ VAADKA’S NARCISCHISM–UN CABARET D’ADIEU’ (8/26-9/3 ONLY, NY) ·

Minq ImageT

(via Teff Nichols)

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION . . . opens TONIGHT . . . Robert Moss Theatre (440 Studios 440 Lafayette St. NY, NY 10003) . . .  8 performances only (Friday August 26th-Saturday September 3rd @ 8:00) . . . MINQ VAADKA’S NARCISCHISM–UN CABARET D’ADIEU . . . Drama Desk Nominated Neo-Burlesque Cabaret-Rockstar, MINQ VAADKA . . . NEW mind-bending live show from director Chantel Pascente . . . Equal parts concert spectacle and musical narrative. . . Provocatively experiential . . . Joined by Barrie McLain . . . Ryan Maeker . . . DoctorPrincess Lady Scoutington . . .  Peter Aguero of the legendary BTK Band and Dane Johanson of the renowned Escher String Quartet. FOR TICKETS visit TeIlum.org . . . Or Call Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 . . . $15.00 . . . For more info please visit www.minqvaadka.com & www.teilum.org

SIMON STEPHENS: ‘BLUEBIRD’ (REVIEW PICK, NY) ·

(David Cote’s article appeared in Time Out New York, 8/23.)

Over the years the Atlantic Theater Company has been New York’s vital link to the best new English plays. For every Jerusalem or History Boys that makes a splash on Broadway, the Atlantic produces several major stateside debuts, such as Mojo, Blue/Orange and Gabriel. Its latest introduction is Simon Stephens, whose gripping, resonant Bluebird, starring Simon Russell Beale, is getting a superb production at the intimate Stage 2. The play itself is not recent (having premiered at the Royal Court Upstairs 13 years ago), but most New Yorkers probably haven’t seen Stephens’s work before—excepting, perhaps, a piece in last year’s The Great Game: Afghanistan.

http://newyork.timeout.com/arts-culture/theater/1800129/review-bluebird

(The work of Simon Stephens is included in 'Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays' from Northwestern University Press–above.) 

TIM CROUCH: ‘I, MALVOLIO’ (REVIEW PICK, EDINBURGH) ·



(Lyn Gardner’s article ran in the Guardian, 8/24.)

Ostensibly, this show is part of a long theatrical tradition that allows the minor characters in classic plays to take centre stage and have their say. None, perhaps, deserve it more than the pompous but decent Malvolio in Twelfth Night, who is tricked into believing his employer, the noblewoman Olivia, is in love with him, and ultimately ends up in the mad house. His line "I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you" spreads a chill over the happy-ever-afters.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/aug/24/i-malvolio-review

MARK WESTON: ‘HARRY & EDDIE: THE BIRTH OF ISRAEL’ IN PREVIEWS, OPENS 9/8 ·

(via Susan L. Schulman)

Weston’s new play ‘HARRY & EDDIE: The Birth of Israel’ . . .  Largely unknown story of how President Harry S. Truman’s friendship with his former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, helps lead to the creation of Israel in 1948 . . . Previews begin Thursday, August 25th at 8 PM at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, west of 8th Avenue in Manhattan’s theatre district . . . World Premiere Thursday, September 8 . . .  Performance sched.: Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 PM and Thursdays at 8 PM . . . produced by Jessimeg Productions, Tickets at $59.50 & $36.30 are available through www.Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200 . . . Weston’s works include BECKWOURTH, BECKWOURTH . . . THE LATER YEARS, BAGELS AND LUCK, musical LOUISE, starring Paige O’Hara, more . . . his documentary INCA REMEMBERED was the recipient of more than 30 international awards . . . Director Bob Spiotto worked as director, producer, actor, choreographer and teacher in the NY and Wash., DC areas . . . As Executive Producer for Hofstra Entertainment and Artistic Director of Hofstra Cultural Center, he has produced and/or directed hundreds of events since 1990 . . .

AUGUST WILSON: ‘SEVEN GUITARS’ (REVIEW PICK, SF) ·



 

(Robert Hurwitt’s article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 8/18.)

Only two guitars appear in August Wilson's "Seven Guitars," but that doesn't lessen the musical glories of the Marin Theatre Company staging that opened Tuesday. The lyrical cadences of Wilson's blues-driven words soar and thrill as delivered by, yes, seven pitch-perfect actors, masterfully orchestrated by director Kent Gash.

The actual blues is icing on the cake – guitar snippets to cover scene breaks and yearning or sassy vocals that burst from the actors. (Linda Tillery is the music director, and the original compositions are by Dwight Andrews, from the 1995 premiere.)

 

MURAKAMI/EARNHART: ‘THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE’ (REVIEW PICK, EDINBURGH) ·



 

(Sarah Crompton’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 8/22.)

It’s no great surprise that it has taken former film executive Stephen Earnhart seven years to bring this adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s 600-page novel to the stage.

The book inhabits a haunting world, half-real and half-surreal, where dreams have the same weight as waking, and strange encounters are the norm. It’s hard to think of anything more intractable for theatrical adaptation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/edinburgh-festival-reviews/8715819/Edinburgh-Festival-2011-The-Wind-up-Bird-Chronicle-Kings-Theatre-review.html

WIN UP TO $7,500 IN A CASTING CONTEST (THREE $2,500 PRIZES) ·

(via Susan L. Schulman)

A $7,500 "CASTING DIRECTOR" CONTEST

The American playwright Thomas McCormack has set up a website with three scripts on it (visit: www.tommccormackplays.com).  FOR THREE $2,500 PRIZES, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is put together each play's most persuasive cast-proposal.

Some Contest Rules: All members of a suggested cast need not actually be available at this moment, but each must be living, experienced, still performing, and of apt age and character-projection. No more than one submission per play will be considered from a contestant. The volume of submissions may make it impossible to acknowledge each one. Instead, the three winning proposals, and the names of the proposers (unless the proposer wants to remain anonymous) will be published on McCormack’s site immediately after the deadline of November 1, 2011. If several readers suggest the same ideal cast, the prize will be divided among those readers.

TELL TOM HOW TO CAST HIS PLAYS TODAY—AND WIN $$$!!

McCormack’s "Endpapers" ran for five months in a 499-seat Off Broadway theater, putting its cumulative audience in the top three or four among the hundreds of Off-Broadway plays in the past decade.  Reviews include:

"…If all his work turns out as good as this, his first play, we can only wish McCormack long life and hold our breath."—John Simon, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

"…Finally, most certainly, you will be exposed to the wittiest, most talented playwriting available anywhere… true genius… unlikely to be duplicated in any contemporary drama now playing. Thomas McCormack does it all."— Mike Schwartz, THEATER WORLD RADIO/TV

"Thomas McCormack's first full-length play, 'Endpapers'… opened to a number of sparkling reviews, and let's hope he agrees with them. His play rings true from the confident opening moments… Welcome to the theater, Mr. McCormack!"– John Heilpern, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER

For more information: www.tommccormackplays.com.

LET US KNOW HOW YOU DID!!

PHILIP GLASS MEMOIR TO LIVERIGHT ·

(from Publishers Lunch, 8/24)

Composer Philip Glass's memoir, exploring his youth and musical influences, including working in his father's record store in Baltimore and collaborations with Ravi Shankar and Allen Ginsberg, to be published with an app containing original Glass music as well as material from the book, to Robert Weil at Liveright, by Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency (World).