Category Archives: Uncategorized

IVO VAN HOVE AT BAM : ‘THE FOUNTAINHEAD’ BY AYN RAND (ONLY 11-28–12-2) ·

(Andrew Todd’s article, from the Avignon Festival, appeared 7/16/14 in the Guardian.)

Olivier Py‘s first outing as Avignon festival director has been hobbled by bad weather and strikes, in the context of a bitter national renegotiation of theatre workers’ contract status; it has also been dismissed as humdrum and wordy. He might be relieved then, by the awesome, air-clearing thunderclap brought about by Ivo van Hove‘s mammoth production of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

Van Hove puts on stage the philosophical storm surrounding the collective and the individual. He provides a fresh and complex rereading of Ayn Rand’s novel, which has been in danger of becoming a one-line footnote to the neocon revolution. He also creates electrifying theatre in which word and spectacle find a perfect, symbiotic balance.

(Read more)

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/jul/16/the-fountainhead-review-ivo-van-howe-ayn-rand-avignon-festival

“CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE” BY CHARLES LUDLAM–ONLY UNTIL 11/19 AT LA MAMA ·

LA MAMA

In Association with HOWL ARTS

Proudly Presents

“CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE”

By Charles Ludlam

The 50th Anniversary Production

 

Strictly Limited Engagement // November 2nd – 19th, 2017

Opening Night: Monday, November 6 at 8pm

CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE – which marked the birth of the The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, co-founded by the late groundbreaking playwright and performer Charles Ludlam in 1967 – will return on the occasion of the play and the company’s 50th anniversary with a production, starring and directed by Everett Quinton, a long-standing member of RTC who assumed leadership as Artistic Director when Mr. Ludlam died 30 years ago, in 1987.  With previews starting November 2 prior to an official press opening on Monday, November 6 at 8pm, CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE is presented by La MaMa in association with Howl Arts at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan.

CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE is an epic collage inspired by Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great that is as outrageous and timely today as it was when first performed in 1967. It’s a futuristic tale of war across the universe. Tamburlaine, President of Earth, proceeds from planet to planet, capturing and enslaving Bajazeth and Zabina-King and Queen of Mars-Venus, and Natolia, Queen of Saturn, among others. Cosroe-a Martian prince and twin brother of Zabina-leads the rebel forces against Tamberlaine in Ludlam’s mind-bending experimental classic, his theater of “sexual, imperialistic war.” Literary, film, and dramatic treasures are ransacked and pillaged, resulting in hilarious dialogue and multiple ts in this original, humorous tale of unbridled space queens!

The play embodies Mr. Ludlam’s core belief, and the mandate for The Ridiculous Theatrical Company:  that every play/production was an experiment.  According to Mr. Quinton, even Ludlam’s breakout ‘commercial’ success – THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, a long-running hit at the Sheridan Square Theatre – was totally abstract and as such, an experiment.  Mr. Quinton adds that RTC and its trademark outlandishness resulted as a reaction to the cultural upheaval of the 50’s and 60’s and the perceived Fascism during that time. 

“There was much to rage at in the 60’s,” Mr. Quinton states.  “And the theater of rage often made good company with the high comedy.”

Performance Schedule

November 2 through 19:  Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM; Sunday at 4:00 PM and Monday, Nov. 6th at 8:00 PM.

VENUE: The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La Mama, 66 E. 4th St., NYC

TICKETS: All tickets $30 // $25 students and seniors

To purchase, please visit: www.lamama.org or call OvationTix at: 212-352-3101

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Charles Ludlam was an American actor, director, and playwright. Ludlam joined John Vaccaro’s Play-House of the Ridiculous, and after a falling out, became one of the founders of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York City in 1967. He taught or staged productions at New York University, Connecticut College for Women, Yale University, and Carnegie Mellon University. He won fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. He won six Obie Awards, the Rosamund Gilder Award for distinguished achievement in the theater in 1986 and in 2009, Ludlam was inducted posthumously into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote nearly 30 plays, some of which include: Turds in Hell, an adaptation of The Satyricon (1969); Bluebeard (1970), an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s TheIsland of Dr Moreau; Corn (1972); Camille (1973); Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (1977), an adaptation of The Ring Cycle; The Enchanted Pig (1979); Exquisite Torture (1982); The Mystery of Irma Vep (1984); Galas (1983), inspired by the life of Maria Callas; and The Artificial Jungle (1986)

Everett Quinton recently directed Charles Ludlam’s, THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE with Theater Breaking Through Barriers.  Everett also directed IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL by Tennessee Willliams with Theater 292 and THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare with Yorick Theater. As an actor Everett recently appeared as Enobarbus and one of five Cleopatras in Shakespeare’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.  Everett also appeared as Paulina and Autolycus in THE WINTER’S TALE, and Idris Seabright in DROP DEAD PERFECT, to name a few. Everett is a long time member of THE RIDICULOUS THEATRICAL COMPANY where he appeared in Charles Ludlam’s CAMILLE, BLUEBEARD AND THE SECRET LIVES OF THE SEXISTS.  Georg Osterman’s DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and BROTHER TRUCKERS.  As well as his own plays, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, LINDA AND CARMEN.

CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE cast includes: Everett Quinton, Géraldine Dulex,
Beth Dodye Bass, Grant Neale, Jeanne Lauren Smith, John Gutierrez, Lenys Samá, Sommer Carbuccia, Shane Baker, Brian Belovitch & Eugene the Poogene.

About La MaMa

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The organization has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity. Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations. A recipient of more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has helped launch the careers of countless artists, many of whom have made important contributions to American and international arts milieus.

Our 56th season reflects the urgency of reaffirming human interconnectedness. Our stages will embrace diversity in every form and present artists that persevere with bold self-expression despite social, economic, and political struggle.

MEMBERSHIPS — La MaMa continues its popular Experimental Theatre Club Memberships, offering $10 Tickets to all shows and other perks to members for the full season. Memberships start at $56.

www.lamama.org

 

***** IVO VAN HOVE/LEE HALL: ‘NETWORK’ (SV PICK, UK) ·

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/13.)

I am normally wary of people ransacking the movie archive to make plays, but this version of the Oscar-winning Network is an almost total triumph. Lee Hall has kept the best of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 script while excising its excesses. Bryan Cranston, best known for the hit series Breaking Bad, brings a wiry magnetism to the role of the TV news anchor, Howard Beale. Ivo van Hoveand his designer, Jan Versweyveld, have also transformed the National Theatre’s normally inflexible Lyttelton stage into an extraordinary blend of television studio and public restaurant.

The most obvious point to make about the Chayefsky script is how uncannily prophetic it seems. It is famously based on the idea of a veteran newsman experiencing a public breakdown. Having first threatened to kill himself on air, he launches a series of on-screen jeremiads, which turn him into a pop Savonarolaand rescue a failing network by achieving astronomical ratings.

As a satire it hits several targets dead centre. It imagines a world where news becomes a branch of show business, where profit margins dictate editorial content and where nation states are subordinate to “a college of corporations”. But Beale’s success lies in articulating public rage and persuading people to open their windows and shout: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.” Even if the internet has now replaced network television as the new reality, Chayefsky foresaw how power could be achieved by tapping into popular anger. While preserving the original’s insights, Hall has subtly altered the balance of the story.

Read more

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/nov/13/network-review-bryan-cranston-lyttelton-national-theatre-lee-hall

Photo: The Stage

SHAKESPEARE AND WAR: STEPHAN WOLFERT ·

(from the Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 81

In his one-man show Cry Havoc! actor Stephan Wolfert, a US Army veteran, draws together lines in Shakespeare’s plays spoken by soldiers and former soldiers—including MacbethOthello, and Richard III.

He puts those words to the task of explaining the toll that soldiering and war can take on the psyches of the men and women who volunteer for military duty. Wolfert also runs free weekly veterans-only acting classes aimed at helping them readjust to life as civilians.

He is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published September 5, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This episode, To the Battle Came He, was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had help from Beth Emelson, Associate Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre; Eric Tucker, Artistic Director of Bedlam; Melissa Kuypers at NPR-West in Culver City, California; and from Ray Cruz at Hawaii Public Radio.

For more information on Cry Havoc!, or to find one of the acting classes Wolfert offers for veterans, visit decruit.org.

(Read more)

https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-unlimited/war-stephan-wolfert

Photo: Berkshire On Stage

 

YAZBEK/MOSES: ‘THE BAND’S VISIT’ (SV PICK, NY) ·

(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/9; via Pam Green.)

Breaking news for Broadway theatergoers, even — or perhaps especially — those who thought they were past the age of infatuation: It is time to fall in love again.

One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by opened on Thursday night at the Barrymore Theater. It is called “The Band’s Visit,”and its undeniable allure is not of the hard-charging, brightly blaring sort common to box-office extravaganzas.

Instead, this portrait of a single night in a tiny Israeli desert town confirms a lyric that arrives, like nearly everything in this remarkable show, on a breath of reluctantly romantic hope: “Nothing is as beautiful as something you don’t expect.”

With songs by David Yazbek and a script by Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit” is a Broadway rarity seldom found these days outside of the canon of Stephen Sondheim: an honest-to-God musical for grown-ups. It is not a work to be punctuated with rowdy cheers and foot-stomping ovations, despite the uncanny virtuosity of Mr. Yazbek’s benchmark score.

(Read more)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/theater/the-bands-visit-review-broadway-tony-shalhoub.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fben-brantley&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection

TARGET MARGIN THEATER OPENS FIRST PERMANENT HOME ·


7,500 Sq. Ft. Space in Brooklyn Includes Theater, Offices, Two Rehearsal Studios

2017-18 Season Includes Multi-Year Focus on 
The Thousand and One Nights

After a five year search, Target Margin Theater is proud to announce the opening of the Company’s first permanent home. Located in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, the modern, industrial space includes two large rehearsal studios, office space, and a column free, 3,250 sq. ft. performance space with generous 18 ft. ceilings. The theater is named The DOXSEE after founding member and resident designer Lenore Doxsee (1965-2017).

For over 25 years, Target Margin Theater (Founding Artistic Director David Herskovits, Associate Artistic Director Moe Yousuf, General Manager Lu Liu) has been praised for its aggressive interpretations of classic texts, lesser-known works, and new plays inspired by existing sources. In addition, Target Margin has served over 1,000 artists through its annual incubator LAB festival and has nurtured the next generation of theater makers via a yearlong fellowship program. This work has happened, locally, across three boroughs in over 20 theaters, 50+ rehearsal studios and 4 offices.

“Having a permanent home finally gives us the freedom to work on each project just as it demands,” says Target Margin’s Founding Artistic Director David Herskovits. “The space is a natural result of the growth of our mission. Target Margin now involves more artists than ever, with fellowship, community, and production programs, growing steadily in recent years. Our leadership has expanded too, with the promotion of Moe Yousuf and recent addition of Lu Liu. Target Marging has matured into a more diverse and democratic company. The building gives us a real, local home for the first time ever. Alternative performances spaces where young talent can make work on the cheap are vanishing. The DOXSEE will help fill that void and keep New York City at the forefront of theatrical innovation.”

The DOXSEE is set to open on November 9–11 with Grand Festival Opening, three days of performances including a sneak peek of a new work by Target Margin and the work of over 40 theater and performance artists. This year Target Margin will also launch a new Residency Program providing space and time for companies and individual artists to develop new and challenging works.

The 2017–2018 season continues with a multi-year exploration of The Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Silk Road, MENA (Middle Eastern / North African), and South Asian stories. Huge in scope, mystical, political and problematic, the folk tales will be examined in One Night(March 22 – April 21), the first section of a larger theatrical adaptation directed by Herskovits, and in 1001 LABS (May 31–June 23), four productions of various tales lead by four diverse artists. The season will also feature a series of free community events in early 2018, bringing local residents, artists, activists, and scholars together to discuss the political, social and artistic influence of The Thousand and One Nights.

Details on Target Margin’s 2017-2018 season can be found below. The DOXSEE and Target Margin Theater’s new home is located at 232 52nd Street in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. Tickets are now on sale for Grand Festival Opening and can be purchased by calling 212.352.3101 or visiting targetmargin.org.

TARGET MARGIN THEATER 2017-18 SEASON

Grand Festive Opening
November 9–11 at 7pm; $20
Target Margin Theater celebrates the opening of The DOXSEE with three days of performances featuring new work by Target Margin and over 40 theater and performance artists. Participating artists include:

Thursday, November 11 at 7pm
Avi Amon, William Badgett, Tom Cabaniss, Ann Marie Dorr, Jesse Freedman / Meta Phys Ed, James Hannaham, Kristine Haruna Lee, Michael Levinton / Little Lord, Katie Rose McLaughlin / Designated Movement Company, Mary Neufeld, and Kathleen Kennedy Tobin.

Friday, November 10 at 7pm
Nic Adams, Clare Barron, Tanisha Christie, John Del Gaudio, Lane Dombois, James Tigger! Ferguson, Rebecca Hart, Sherrine Azab & Jake Hooker / A Host of People, Yehuda Hyman, Claire Moodey, Shannon Sindelar, and Peter Mills Weiss.

Saturday, November 11 at 7pm
Alex Borinsky, William Burke, Corinne Donly, Daniel Fish, Joshua William Gelb, Kara Feely & Travis Just / Object Collection, Paul Ketchum, John Kurzynowski / Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, Brian Rady, David Rosenmeyer & Melena Dayen, Sugar Vendil, Eva von Schweinitz and Tracy Weller / Mason Holdings.

2018 TMT Institute
January 2018
Target Margin begins the fifth year of the TMT Institute, the Company’s year-long fellowship program. Under the guidance of David Herskovits and Associate Artistic Director Moe Yousuf, five emerging theater artists discover ways to expand their artistic practice. Built on Target Margin’s history of nurturing emerging talent, The TMT Institute provides support and space for open-ended questioning and experimentation within, and at, the edges of the form of theater.

BYO Stein
January 20, 2018
Stars of downtown theater read from the work of Gertrude Stein. Audiences are encouraged to bring their own selection and join the readers. One night only with discussion.

One Night
March 22 – April 21, 2018
Under the direction of David Herskovits, One Night will be the first section of a larger theatrical adaptation of The Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Silk Road, MENA (Middle Eastern and North African), and South Asian stories and folk tales.

1001 Labs
May 31 – June 23, 2018
This year’s edition to the TMT Lab Festival, 1001 Labs, will present four intertwining tales from The Thousand and One Nights in four new productions. The Lab will also include special events to enrich the conversation and engage the local Sunset Park community including potluck dinners, intergenerational storytelling program, a film series, as well as a discussion series focusing on the problematic adaptations of the text including Aladdin, Sinbad, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. 

About Target Margin Theater

For 25 years, Target Margin has been praised for its aggressive interpretations of classic texts, lesser-known works, and new plays inspired by existing sources. They exist to build a world where all people embrace the original, the challenging and the different. They challenge audiences with their plays, energetically expand the possibilities of live performance, and engage their community at all levels through partnerships and programs. The range of programming has been enormous, including classics, opera, new writing, and adaptation of literature and historical sources. The Company has served over 1,000 artists (emerging and established) through its annual LAB and is committed to nurturing the creative aspirations of the next generation of theater makers in the TMT Institute, the Company’s yearlong fellowship program. 

Target Margin’s artistic and cultural vision has resulted in 41 Mainstage productions including 11 world premieres, 8 company-created works, 3 U.S. premieres and 5 new translations, which have garnered 4 OBIE Awards and employed over 500 Equity actors and hundreds of other theater artists. The Company’s production of Mamba’s Daughters received an OBIE Award, and their epic 2004-06 production of Goethe’s Faust received extensive critical acclaim. Recent productions include Uncle Vanya and The Tempest at HERE, Uriel Acosta: I Want That Man! at The Chocolate Factory, Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity, a new solo performance piece from OBIE Award-winner David Greenspan at The Connelly Theater, Drunken With What at Abrons Arts Center, Reread Another at The Brick, called “something kind of wonderful” by Ben Brantley in The New York Times, their New York Times acclaimed Iceman Lab—a radical interpretation of The Iceman Cometh at HEREand, most recently, Mourning Becomes Electra at Abrons Arts Center, of which Laura Collins-Hughes in her New York Times Critic’s Pick review said, “I didn’t check my watch once in the five hours of David Herskovits’s bold, astringent revival for Target Margin Theater.”

Press:  John Wyszniewski at Everyman Agency

 

MURIELLE BORST-TARRANT: ‘DON’T FEED THE INDIANS’ AT LA MAMA (REVIEW FROM NEW YORK) ·

 

By Bob Shuman

Don’t Feed the Indians, a comedy revue now playing at La MaMa until November 19, doesn’t get around to ascertaining the politics of the horrific 2016 dog attacks on Native Americans, at the Dakota Pipeline, defending sacred burial ground.  The show also doesn’t mention the issues being raised by Idle No More, the Canadian grassroots movement protesting neo-colonialism. Instead, Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective Projects’ divine comedy pageant embraces the Broadway and Tin Pan Alley versions of aboriginal lives, as caricatured in Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific and Good News—without much outrage. Muriel Borst-Tarrant, humorous, tough, and tart, might be at home in an early talkie, (“Hello, happy Caucasians”). She’s a stand-up comedienne, not exactly sanguine about European settlers having had the chutzpah to ask Native Americans to give up the “rights to all your resources.” But she’s over it: “Get it?  Got it?  Good.” 

 

Perhaps part of the point in Don’t Feed the Indians is that Native Americans feel so integrated into American mainstream culture that their invisibility is on par with Danish-Americans or Swiss-Americans.  Perhaps also, the Broadway versions of indigenous peoples acted as ways to have an identity in popular culture—the shtick was held onto, no matter how inauthentic.  The eight Native-American actors in Don’t Feed the Indians know they’re in a “shitty show,” but they can’t figure out how to get out of it—and as standards go, rolling out “Pass That Peace Pipe” and “Bali Ha’i” isn’t too shameful. 

The script doesn’t find appropriation offensive or the stereotypes less than comic.  In fact, the pageant seems to want to learn from musical comedy, as in a distressing speech about the winner of a National Native-American Poetry Contest, reminiscent of Sammy Williams’s gay-themed monologue in A Chorus Line (performed well by Nic Billey).  The easy history lesson and wigwam wiggling might be part of a road company that remembers the days of Gypsy: old-fashioned,  unoriginal, inoffensive vaudeville—certainly lacking contemporary edge or passion.  On the way out of the play, theatregoers next to me were mentioning seeing Buffy Sainte-Marie in the Seventies.  Don’t Feed the Indians has a retro feel, presenting indigenous people as having the same issues as those in mainstream American society (“I’m an Indian, too”). Show business may be being used to buffer painful issues in the Native American community—and, thankfully, Sainte-Marie is still out there.  Are Native Americans living in a time warp?  In Don’t Feed the Indians, the audience isn’t asked to investigate or witness an alternative.

© 2017 by Bob Shuman

World Premiere

‘Don’t Feed the Indians—A Divine Comedy Pageant’

 

Visit La MaMa: http://lamama.org/dont_feed_the_indians/

Conceived, Written and Directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant [Kuna/Rappahannock Nations]
Musical Direction by Kevin Tarrant [Hopi/Hochunk Nations]

A Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective Project

CAST

Henu Josephine Tarrant
[Hopi/ Hochunk/ Kuna/ Rappahannock Nations]

Nic Billey
[Choctaw/ Delaware/ Creek Nations]

Danielle Soames
[Mohawk]

John Scott-Richardson 
[Haliwa-Saponi Nation]

Press: David Gibbs, DARR Publicity

Photos, from top, by Maya Bitan:  

Danielle Soames (Mohawk/Kahnawake Nations);

John Scott-Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Nation), Danielle Soames (Mohawk/Kahnawake Nations), Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk Nations), Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw/Creek Nations), George Stonefish (Delaware/Chippewa Nations) 

Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock Nations), Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw/Creek Nations)

Henu Josephine Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk/Kuna/Rappahannock Nations), Danielle Soames (Mohawk/Kahnawake Nations), Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw/Creek Nations)

 

‘THE WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS’—NEXT ON THE STAGE VOICES CALENDAR ·

Carnival Girls Production of ‘The Werewolf of Washington Heights’

 

When a teenager vanishes, loved ones are forced to face hidden monsters and terrifying truths.

Kraine Theater
85 East 4th Street, NYC

Wednesday, October 11 @ 7 pm
Thursday, October 12 @ 7 pm
Friday, October 13 @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 14 @ 7 pm

Thursday, October 19 @ 7 pm
Friday, October 20 @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 21 @ 7 pm
Sunday, October 22 @ 2 pm

Director – Charmaine Broad, Choreographer – Anissa Barbato, Stage Manager – Erinn Conlon, Light Designer – Helen Blash, Set Guru – Stephanie Ervin, Costume Mistress – Tanya Bernardson, Box Office Manager – Ann Shepherd, Production Assistant – Zoe Scott, Charity Coordinator – Elizabeth Pitman Gretter

Featuring
Rosina Fernhoff*, Lori Funk*, Pilar Gonzalez, Stephanie Annette Johnson, Zarra Kaahn, Arlene McGruder, Sheila Joon Ostadazim*, Melanie Ryan, Galit Sperling

*These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association
The Werewolf of Washington Heights is an Equity approved Showcase

Visit: http://www.christieperfetti.com/

Performances take place at Kraine Theater, located at 85 East 4th Street
(Between 2nd & 3rd F to 2nd Avenue 4/6 to Astor Place N/R to 8th Street)

 

KEITH HAMILTON COBB’S ‘AMERICAN MOOR’–SENOVVA, INC. AND PHOENIX THEATRE ENSEMBLE ANNOUNCE INVITATION-ONLY PERFORMANCES ·

AWARD-WINNING PLAY AT THE PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER OCTOBER 2ND @ 2PM & 6PM FOLLOW-UP TO HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL RUN AT BOSTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS 

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and SenovvA, Inc. announce that Keith Hamilton Cobb’s explosive American Moor will play for two invitation-only performances at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, The Pershing Square Signature Center at 480 West 42nd Street on Monday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

-A black actor auditioning for the role of Othello, finds himself torn between wanting the role of a lifetime and having to engage an age-old process that invariably ends up with a large black man on stage responding to white decision makers who presume to understand, and ultimately dictate, how a charismatic, intelligent, black man should behave in society.  Things can get a little tense… –

Shakespeare, race, and America…not necessarily in that order are explored in AMERICAN MOOR directed by Drama Desk nominee Kim Weild.  

Josh Tyson joins Mr. Cobb in the cast, Caleb Spivey is production stage manager.  

Powerful, dynamic, humorous, confrontational and ironic, yet truthful throughout,

American Moor played in Boston for 4 weeks to rapturous reviews:

 “Spellbinding…A Must See… some plays, and some performances, take the idea of necessary to a deeper level. In those rare cases, the critic’s adjectival exhortation “must-see’’ can almost border on the literal. “American Moor’’ is one such play and one such performance.”” – Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe;   

“This is a rare example of a play about which you can say, without hyperbole, that it’s riveting: You hang on every well-chosen, robustly presented word. “American Moor” is both urgent art and an important political statement.” –Edge Media Network  

“Our highest recommendation!“  -Boston Examiner 

“This piece discusses race relations in theatre, and in the United States, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It expresses the anger, the rage, the joy, the triumph, and the utter frustration of the black male performer explicitly and humanly.” –New England Theatre Geek

The script was honored by being inducted in the permanent collection of The Folger Shakespeare Library.  Michael Witmore, Director of the Library, stated “Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor is incredible…I have spent my life thinking about Shakespeare, but that did not prepare me for the depth of thinking and feeling that his performance provoked.” 

What:   AMERICAN MOOR by Keith Hamilton Cobb 

When:  Monday, October 2 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

Where: The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, The Pershing Square Signature Center at 480 West on 42 Street.

Information: Craig@PhoenixTheatreEnsemble.org;  212-465-3446

SenovvA,Inc. SenovvA, Producers — Founded in 2005, SenovvA has produced, general managed, supervised, developed and/or designed over 200 theatrical productions internationally. With the latest addition of Production Core, more recent projects include (partial list): (Broadway) Hedwig, Sideshow, Lucky Guy, American Idiot, Bring it On, Tuck Everlasting and [title of show] – (Off-Broadway) Jersey Boys (opens November 2017), Red Roses, Green Gold (opens October 2017), In and of Itself, Curvy Widow, Trip of Love, Fellowship! The Musical Parody, Queen of Wyoming and Peter and the Starcatcher. In Television, SenovvA is well known for its work on live broadcast productions that include The Academy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Emmy Awards, Billboard AwardsKids Choice Awards, to name just a few. Beyond live production, SenovvA’s client list includes Silicon Valley giants for ongoing architectural projects worldwide. In NY, SenovvA is currently a proud participant at the largest real estate development project in North America, Hudson Yards. Find out more about the 400+ projects a year at SenovvA.com 

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble:  A non-profit 501(C)3 company now in its 13th season. Under the leadership of Elise Stone, Artistic Director, and Craig Smith, Producing Artistic Director, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble presents 3-5 mainstage productions annually, a reading series, a new play development program, and an arts-in-education program in NYC Public Schools. Mainstage productions this season include Tartuffe by Moliere, The Cult Play by Topher Cusumano, and Klaus Mann’s Mephisto. PTE is the recipient of NYIT Award Nominations, 3 NYIT Awards, and an Audelco Award. The company is a constituent of Network of Ensemble Theatres, ART/NY, Theatre Communications Group, and League of Independent Theatres.

Photo Credit:  Chris Lang 

ALBERT INNAURATO, REST IN PEACE (1947-2017) ·

(Neil Genzlinger’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/27; via Pam Green.)

Albert Innaurato, a playwright who enjoyed spectacular success for a time in the late 1970s, including having a play run on Broadway for more than four years, has died in Philadelphia. He was 70.

His cousin Stephen Paesani said Mr. Innaurato was found dead in his bed on Tuesday, and had probably been dead for two days. The cause was not clear, Mr. Paesani said, but Mr. Innaurato had had heart problems recently.

Mr. Innaurato’s biggest hit, written while he was still in his 20s, was “Gemini,” a comic drama about a Harvard student who returns to his blue-collar Philadelphia neighborhood for his 21st birthday and has to confront, among other things, his sexual orientation. It opened on May 21, 1977, at the Little Theater on Broadway and ran for 1,819 performances.

A few months before that, another of his plays, “The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie,” had an acclaimed Off Broadway run at the Astor Place Theater.

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https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/theater/albert-innaurato-dead-playwright-who-had-hits-on-broadway-in-70s.html