Monthly Archives: August 2016

ALL-FEMALE NUDE SHAKESPEARE PERFORMANCE SEEKS TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS IN PROSPECT PARK (BROOKLYN) ·

(From CBS News, August 23; via the Drudge Report)

NEW YORK — A public display of one of Shakespeare’s classics is offering a very revealing performance, but the participants said it is not about shock value.

CBS2 was there for a clothed dress rehearsal for the dressed-down performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” by Torn Out Theater.

The all-female cast will be all nude come showtime next month inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The group also performed earlier this year in Central Park.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/08/23/prospect-park-nude-shakespeare/

***** CARLY WIJS: ‘US/THEM’ (SV PICK, SCT) ·

(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 8/23.)

If you want to see stand-up comedy on the Fringe, then you’re spoilt for with hour upon hour of the stuff. Seek theatre of the highest order, however, and the experience can feel like a dispiriting scrabble after elusive quality.

Take heart, though: Summerhall, a venue that until recently was an out of the way up-and-comer, has now come into its own and pretty much saved the day, with recording-breaking attendances and an unrivalled intellectual buzz.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/edinburgh-2016-the-unforgettable-us–them-is-the-highlight-of-th/

15 MUSICIANS SPENT THE NIGHT IN AN ACTIVE VOLCANO. LISTEN TO WHAT HAPPENED. ·

(Charlie Wilder’s article in The New York Times, 8/22.)

NISYROS, Greece — The otherworldly landscape of central Nisyros, a jumble of looming caldera ridges and shimmering craters where fumaroles spit hot, sulfurous gases from the earth’s crust, is usually visited only by volcanologists and curious tourists.

But last Thursday at dusk, 15 musicians gathered at an active volcanic crater on this small island in the southern Aegean Sea for an experiment in improvisational site-specific performance. Lit by a glowing August full moon, they played for 10½ hours, asked only to take inspiration from their surroundings.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/23/arts/music/15-musicians-spent-the-night-in-an-active-volcano-listen-to-what-happened.html?_r=0

KAREN FINLEY: ‘UNICORN GRATITUDE MYSTERY’ (SV PICK, NY) ·

(Elisabeth Vincentelli’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/11.)

Time has not reined in Karen Finley’s fire. This performance artist has been active since 1980 and hit peak exposure in 1990, when she lost a National Endowment for the Arts grant for failing to meet a newly passed “decency clause.” Decades on, and she still has the uncanny ability to go from zero to fury in a split second.

Now Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are proving splendid inspiration to Ms. Finley, whose work has always explored the intersection between sexuality and power.

Her new show, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery,” is made up of three short pieces that share an exasperation with the habit of taking refuge in fantasy and contrived distractions to avoid reality.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/theater/unicorn-gratitude-mystery-karen-finley-review.html?_r=0

LESCA/VOUTSAS: ‘EUROHOUSE’ (SV PICK, SCT) ·

(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/22.)

There is a moment at the start of this collaboration between Bertrand Lesca, who is French, and the Greek Nasi Voutsas, when they get the entire audience to hold hands in a circle. At the performance I saw, that involved quite a lot of physical contortions. It’s a metaphor for the EU in this wonderfully playful, intimate and utimately moving show, which constantly pits idealism against self-interest and pragmatism.

It’s a natty little piece, whose reach is so much more than its form might suggest. Lesca gives Voutsas a packet of sweets and then demands them back after Voutsas has eaten them. Soon, Voutsas is stripped down to his underpants and looking for a way to escape in a room in which there is no exit. With Lesca controlling both the lighting and the sound, it’s impossible to change the tune that is being played.

http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre

‘THE NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, 8/29 ·

 

OPENINGS AND PREVIEWS

AUBERGINE

Playwrights Horizons

Kate Whoriskey directs a new play by Julia Cho (“The Language Archive”), which tells three parallel stories about people preparing a meal for someone else. In previews.

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A DAY BY THE SEA

Beckett

The Mint stages N. C. Hunter’s 1953 play, directed by Austin Pendleton, in which a Foreign Service employee has a midlife crisis during a seaside picnic in Dorset. In previews. Opens Aug. 25.

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THE LAYOVER

Second Stage

Trip Cullman directs a drama by Leslye Headland (“Bachelorette”), about two strangers who meet on a plane when their flight is delayed. In previews. Opens Aug. 25.

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MARIE AND ROSETTA

Atlantic Theatre Company

George Brant’s play with music, directed by Neil Pepe, traces the bond between the pioneering gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Kecia Lewis) and her protégée, Marie Knight (Rebecca Naomi Jones). In previews.

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THE TROJAN WOMEN

Flea

The Bats (the Flea’s resident company) perform Ellen McLaughlin’s new adaptation of the Euripides tragedy, in which the enslaved widows of Troy cope with the aftermath of war. In previews. Opens Sept. 1.

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THE WOLVES

The Duke on 42nd Street

Sarah DeLappe’s play, staged by the Playwrights Realm and directed by Lila Neugebauer, is set at the suburban practice sessions of a girls’ soccer team. In previews.

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http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre

CAFÉ CARLYLE FALL 2016 SEASON ·

 

(via Ron Gaskill, Blake Ziddell & Associates)

THE CARLYLE, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL ANNOUNCES CAFÉ CARLYLE FALL 2016 SEASON

Including Venue Debuts by Laura Benanti and Ana Gasteyer; and the Highly Anticipated Return of Audience Favorites Christine Ebersole, Judy Collins (with special guest Ari Hest), John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey and Steve Tyrell

The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is pleased to announce the Café Carlyle’s fall 2016 season, which features the venue debuts of Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti and actress/singer Ana Gasteyer; as well as the return of audience favorites Christine Ebersole, Judy Collins (with special guest Ari Hest), John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey, and Steve Tyrell.

Tony Award-winner and five-time Tony nominee Laura Benanti makes her Café Carlyle debut to open the season with Tales from Soprano Isle, September 27-October 8. Laura just completed her Tony nominated role as Amalia Balash in the hit Broadway musical She Loves Me. She also recently garnered rave reviews for her hilarious portrayal of Melania Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The highly celebrated actress took Broadway by storm at the age of 18 and has appeared on various television shows in recent years including Nashville, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and CBS action drama Supergirl. Additionally, she played Elsa Schrader in NBC’s The Sound of Music LIVE. Tales from Soprano Isle will feature songs from Laura’s career along with humorous anecdotes and experiences that she has encountered on and off the stage and screen.

Multiple Tony Award-winner Christine Ebersole makes her highly anticipated return to Café Carlyle, October 11-22 with a brand new show, After The Ball. Direct from the sold out run at Chicago’s Goodman Theater of the new musical War Paint, Christine Ebersole is excited about premiering this new concert and the return to Café Carlyle. Ms. Ebersole has captivated audiences throughout her performing career, from the Broadway stage to television series and specials, films, concert and symphony appearances and recordings. Ms. Ebersole has received virtually every Off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her “dual role of a lifetime” as Edith Beale and Little Edie Beale in Grey Gardens.

Actress/singer Ana Gasteyer makes her Café Carlyle debut, October 25-November 5. Ana will perform an eclectic range of covers and reimagined classics from her critically acclaimed jazz album, I’m Hip, including her surprisingly smooth takes on Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” “One Mint Julep” (made famous by Ray Charles) and “A Proper Cup of Coffee.” Her saucy selections tell stories with humor, heartbreak, and the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for a good time. Best known for her incomparable work on Saturday Night Live, Gasteyer recently appeared in Fox’s hit broadcast of Grease: Live! and can currently be seen starring in Netflix’s critically acclaimed comedy series, Lady Dynamite, which was recently renewed for a second season. She will also be starring in TBS’ new comedy series, People of Earth this fall. On stage, Gasteyer appeared in last year’s Encores! Off-Center production of A New Brain, and has dazzled on Broadway with celebrated performances in WickedRocky Horror, and The Royal Family.

Legendary singer-songwriter Judy Collins returns to Café Carlyle with with special guest, Ari Hest, November 10-19. Judy Collins’ unique artistry has captivated audiences for over fifty years and landed her a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy will perform her revered solo material as well as duets with Ari Hest. Judy and Ari released a stunning, collaborative album Silver Skies Blue earlier this year.

Husband-and-wife duo John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey make their annual fall pilgrimage to The Carlyle with an all-new show, November 22-December 1. They return following last year’s universally acclaimed show “My Generation.” The New York Times recently described John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey as “the supreme nightclub act of our time.”

GRAMMY® Award-winner and two time Emmy® nominee Steve Tyrell celebrates his 12th anniversary performing in Café Carlyle’s revered holiday slot, having taken over for the legendary Bobby Short in 2005, with an all-new show. Of last year’s residency, The New York Times declared, “Mr. Tyrell is a terrific storyteller.” The five-week engagement runs December 2–December 31.

Throughout the season, Woody Allen will continue to perform Monday nights with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band.

 

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EGYPT AROUSES AUDIENCE BY STAGING EPIC TO REVIVE THEATER ART ·

(Mahmoud Fouly’s article appeared in Sina English, 8/10.)

CAIRO, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — "For me, Egypt is the most beloved and beautiful of all. I love her when she owns the world's east and west. And I love her when she is down, wounded in war… "

With these verses, Egyptian well-known actor Mahmoud Masoud opened his one-man poetic stage performance entitled "In Egypt's Name," written by late renowned poet Salah Jahin in 1971, with a background screen displaying historic and modern photos of Egypt for few attendees at the country's national Cairo Puppet Theater.

"The audience today are different. In the past, a spectator used to go to theater to enjoy art and poetry, but today they have neither patience nor energy. Therefore, I didn't perform the whole poem but only parts of it," Masoud said following the performance, lamenting the deteriorating conditions of the theater art in the most populous Arab country.

"I had the same stage poetry experience in Alexandria Bibliotheca and other places, and I just hope it will become a popular theater trend. I don't care about fees or revenues, because I see that the artistic and literary returns are much greater than millions of pounds," the actor continued.

http://english.sina.com/news/2016-08-11/detail-ifxuxhas1526797.shtml

IN PRAISE OF REPERTORY THEATER: MACBETH AT THE MATINEE, MILLER AT NIGHT ·

 

 

 

(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/11; via Pam Green.)

Strange but true: To experience the pleasure of traditional repertory theater on a significant scale — to watch actors perform multiple roles in different plays over the course of a few days — you would have to leave the two epicenters of English-speaking theater, New York and London.

While London has the National Theater, which has multiple spaces and features several productions playing at any one time, it has not had a resident company of actors for many years. New York does not have a major institution that regularly features plays running in repertory or a permanent acting ensemble.

Here in North America, you would need to travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland or the Stratford or Shaw Festivals in Canada to watch actors with deep experience in the classics perform them in rotating repertory. I have not yet been to Shaw (coming soon!) but have been going to Stratford and Oregon for the past decade or so, and with each visit, I have become more enchanted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/14/theater/repertory-theater.html?_r=0