Monthly Archives: October 2013


(via John Wyszniewski | Blake Zidell & Associates)



In it's first New York revival in 38 years, "The Mutilated" by Tennessee Williams is set to begin performances Nov 1 with an official opening of Nov 10. This tender black comedy stars llegendary avant-garde performers Mink Stole (John Waters) and Penny Arcade (Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Charles Ludlam). Directed by Cosmin Chivu, the production runs until Nov 24 at the New Ohio Theatre.

Charles Isherwood recently noted, "For the truly adventurous theatergoer, I have a deliciously odd couple to recommend in a decidedly odd play: Mink Stole and Penny Arcade in 'The Mutilated,' a little-known and less-loved late play by Tennessee Williams… What these two will make of Williams’s radiantly lurid characters could well be one of the livelier sideshows in a theatrical season rich in promising double acts." You can read more here

First New York Revival in 38 Years of Tender Black Comedy is Directed By Cosmin Chivu

Mink Stole and Penny Arcade in

The Mutilated by Tennessee Williams

Directed by Cosmin Chivu

Original music composed by Jesse Selengut and performed by Tin Pan


Preview Performances: Nov 1,
2, 6–9 at 7:30pm; Nov 2, 3, 9 at 3pm 

Opening: Sun, Nov 10 at 7pm

Regular Performances: Nov
12–16, 19–23 at 7:30pm; Nov 16, 17, 23, 24 at 3pm


New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street)

$35;; 888.596.1027

90 minutes with no intermission

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(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/29.)

One of theatre's most potent weapons is an ironic contrast between form and content. It was used by
Joan Littlewood in Oh, What A Lovely War and, more recently, by Stephen Sondheim in Assassins. It is also the chief instrument of this very fine US musical, with music and lyrics by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, that deploys a minstrel show format to expose the racist bigotry that pervaded the
case of The Scottsboro Boys.

I suspect the story is not that well-known so a few facts may be in order. In 1931 nine black youths,
who were riding the rails, were hauled off a freight train in Scottsboro, Alabama, and accused of raping two white women. In those days of rough justice, the youths were swiftly tried, convicted and sentenced to the chair. They were reprieved only because of an active, political campaign but their case dragged on through the courts and it was 1937 before the four youngest were released.
It is bitterly ironic that, while the others suffered a more protracted fate, the four freed young men went straight into a variety act at Harlem's Apollo Theatre.



(Dominick Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph 10/30; Alice Vincent’s article with poll was published 10/30.)

On Saturday November 2 the National Theatre will turn into the South Bank’s answer to Broadcasting House. A television production crew will colonise it to beam its 50th anniversary gala, via satellite, live to the nation (on BBC Two) and to cinemas around the world. A showcase of such logistical daring has never been attempted in the theatre’s history. Nicholas Hytner, the NT’s supremo, is going to town with a cavalcade of 100 actors performing 26 extracts.

As David Sabel, the executive producer of the evening, suggests, it’s like “the National’s equivalent of the Olympics opening ceremony”. Yet when we meet, the young American could hardly seem more confident. As the National’s director of broadcast and digital, he has delivered its NT Live programme, an experimental initiative so successful that some two million people to date have watched NT shows on the big screen, in a vast geographical spread.

Read about latest findings on the subject and poll:



(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/28.)

The lecture has only just begun on the Shiva stage at the Public Theater, and yet, already, your eyelids are getting heavy, so heavy. That disagreeable man at the podium, shiny with self-satisfaction, has promised to read from his memoirs, and the tome in front of him is the size of the collected works of Joyce Carol Oates. His voice is a nasal, complacent drone that could put a rabid pit bull to sleep.

But the state of hypnosis into which you subsequently fall, and remain for roughly three hours, is no coma of boredom. It’s more like one of those dreams that make you writhe and sweat and cry out in your sleep.


(Feingold’s article appeared on Theatermania, 10/25.)

Though many people trace the beginnings of New York City Opera's downfall to its 1966 move from New York City Center to a new home at Lincoln Center (in what was then called the New York State Theater), the events that led to NYCO's filing for bankruptcy last month actually occurred far more recently. As a surprising recent article by James B. Stewart revealed in The New York Times, the cold fiscal facts had little to do with either the company's artistic profile or the "business model" on which it was run, although both could be said to have helped grease the company's steep downslide. Ultimately, the cause was sheer, and shocking, monetary mismanagement, under former board chairman Susan L. Baker's aegis: Beginning in 2008, the company's substantial endowment ($51
million as recently as 2001) was simply thrown overboard in a series of panicky gestures that actively shriveled both NYCO's producing presence and its financial stability.

Raids on a nonprofit institution's endowment, as Stewart points out, can only be made after clearing
a series of legal hurdles. The mayor's office, the city's Department of Cultural Affairs, and an assistant to the state's Attorney General all signed off on the deal — though the last of those, at least, saw fit to attach to her approval a list of stringent restrictions (apparently not all heeded by the
board). Under this less than vigilant custodianship, City Opera rolled rapidly downhill to its inglorious mid-season termination.



Openings and Previews

Event: After Midnight

Venue: Brooks Atkinson Theatre

Warren Carlyle directs and choreographs this musical, which reimagines the shows of the Cotton Club. The musical arrangements of Duke Ellington, performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, are combined with the poetry of Langston Hughes. Fantasia plays the Special Guest Star. In previews. Opens Nov. 3.


Event: The Commons of Pensacola

Venue: City Center, Stage I

Manhattan Theatre Club presents a new play by Amanda Peet, starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, about a woman whose husband’s Wall Street scandal has caused her to move to Florida and her daughter, who comes to visit with her boyfriend. Lynne Meadow directs. In

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Event: Domesticated

Venue: Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre

Lincoln Center Theatre presents a new play by Bruce Norris, starring Laurie Metcalf and Jeff Goldblum as a married couple whose relationship is tested by a scandal. Anna D. Shapiro directs. In previews. Opens Nov. 4.


Event: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Venue: Walter Kerr Theatre

Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham star in a new musical comedy, with a book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, and lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak, based on the novel “Israel Rank,” by Roy Horniman. In the story, set in Edwardian England, Monty Navarro (Pinkham) stands ninth in
line to become an earl, and sets about eliminating each person before him (all played by Mays). Darko Tresnjak directs. In previews.


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BragenTIMO e-card1

(via Patrick Leonard/Blake Zidell & Associates)   

This Is My Office is set in a disused office that becomes a character unto itself. One night, hunkered down in the office provided to him by an arts grant, eating his way through a box of donuts and battling intense writer’s block, protagonist Andy Bragen (played by David Barlow) discovers an old photograph that spurs a revelation: the very office he currently inhabits was once that of his father. As Andy delves deeper and deeper into his complicated and conflicted relationship with his recently deceased father, strange things begin to happen to him in the space as family and writing take on a symbiotic relationship. The office bridges the two Bragens’ lives, and ultimately becomes an epic symbol of redemption, faith and love. 


Site-Specific Production Directed by Davis McCallum,
Performed by David Barlow

The Play Company Presents
This Is My Office (World Premiere)
Written by Andy Bragen
Directed by Davis McCallum
Performed by David Barlow

November 5–8, 11, 13–15, 18, 20–22, 25–26, 29 and December 2, 4–6 at 7:30 p.m.
November 9, 16, 23, 30 and December 7 at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m
November 10, 17, 24 and December 1, 8 at 3:00 p.m. & December 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Press Previews: Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m.
Official Opening: Monday, November 11 at 7:30pm.

chashama (210 E. 43rd Street)
Tickets: $30-40 at or 866.811.4111; due to the intimate space, tickets are extremely limited.
85 minutes, no intermission

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(Sarah Crompton’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 10/26.)

In a dark room at the back of the Arsenale in Venice, you find the Chilean entry for this year’s Biennale. But walk through too quickly and you will miss it.

Alfredo Jaar’s brilliant piece consists of a large tank full of murky, dull green lagoon water out of which, at quite long intervals, emerges a detailed scale model of the Giardini, the Venice gardens which have housed the exhibitions of art submitted by nations around the world for more than 100 years.

It is like Atlantis rising from the deep; a sudden bubbling moment of creativity, order and hope pushing its way through the darkness of the engulfing waters; an assertion of civilisation.

Jaar, who was born in Santiago in 1956, has exhibited at the Biennale before; indeed he was the first artist from Latin America ever to show there, and the power of his work springs from his ability to find a poetic image for a profound truth.

I was in Venice at the weekend, watching and listening to the young talents who have formed part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative over the past year. The aspiring creators who are chosen from seven disciplines – literature, art, music, dance, architecture, film and theatre – and from all over the world, are given a chance to benefit from the guidance of an established artist in the same discipline.



(Charles Isherwood's article appeared in The New York Times, 10/25/13.)

Trouble breaks in great, surging waves upon the Irish family in Sean O’Casey’s classic “Juno and the Paycock,” now being revived with all the requisite big heart and black humor by the Irish Repertory Theater. The waters swirl most strongly around Juno Boyle, the matriarch of a small family barely subsisting in the strife-torn Dublin of the 1920s. And when you first glimpse the careworn Juno, portrayed by the veteran J. Smith-Cameron, you may wonder whether this petite figure with the haunted blue eyes has the fortitude to endure the worst, and then the worse than worst.

OverviewBut make no mistake. Although she may not be built like a stevedore, and has a mother’s soft heart for the foibles of her children, Ms. Smith-Cameron’s Juno possesses a strength capable of withstanding the biggest storms life can bring. In one of the finest performances of her distinguished career on the New York stage, Ms. Smith-Cameron imbues her Juno with a steely pragmatism, but more important an emotional pliancy that makes her more prepared than the rest of her clan to beat back the onslaughts of ill fortune that beset them. She occasionally bends under the weight of grief, guilt and an anger at the “hearts o’ stone” of mankind, but she will never, ever break.



(From Sina English, 10/19.)

JINAN, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) — As China hosts an international arts festival in its eastern province of Shandong, experts from home and abroad are weighing in on the key for Chinese performers to gain international success.

The 10th China Arts Festival, which runs from Oct. 11 to Oct. 26, is bringing nearly 2,000 performances, including orchestra concerts, dance shows, musicals and operas from home and abroad to Shandong. But the focus of many at the event has been on how China can develop a domestic cultural industry that remains weak when considered alongside the country's status as the world's second-largest economy.

"Chinese artists should be more passionate and cultivate works that strike a chord in the hearts of overseas audiences," said Yannick Rieu, a Canadian composer and saxophonist who has delighted audiences with his shows at the festival.

In his view, it would be especially interesting to see works on China's history playing abroad. "China is a country with a long history and rich cultural resources, but few works about its glorious past have been seen in the international cultural field until now," Rieu told Xinhua.