Back by popular demand. Happy Halloween, from Stage Voices
Back by popular demand. Happy Halloween, from Stage Voices
The men of Chekhov do not bathe, as we did at that time, in their own sorrow. Just the opposite: they, like Chekhov himself, seek life, joy, laughter, courage. The men and women of Chekhov want to live and not to die. They are active and surge to overcome the hard and unbearable impasses into which life has plunged them. It is not their fault that Russian life kills initiative and the best of beginnings and interferes with the free action and life of men and women. (MLIA)
(Jesse Green’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/23; via Pam Green.)
When “Macbeth” meets McDonald’s, a meaty new musical is born.
When classics get adapted or updated, I often find myself asking: What’s the added value? What do you get from Shakespeare with penguins that you don’t get better from Shakespeare straight up?
That’s the chip I had on my shoulder when I went to see “Scotland, PA,” a musical riff on “Macbeth” that opened on Wednesday at the Laura Pels Theater. It’s not as if the great tragedy hadn’t been plundered enough already; earlier “Macbeth” mash-ups include a “Macbett,” a “MacBird!” and even a “MacHomer,” in which Banquo is reconfigured as Ned Flanders.
And I already knew that this one, a world premiere commission from Roundabout Theater Company, was based on a 2001 film by William Morrissette that moves the action to the 1970s — not the most appealing era for updates. I worried the witches would be Charlie’s Angels.
But “Scotland, PA” — in which the witches, happily, are stoners instead — turns out to add some delicious value to both the original play and the film. Its smart book (by Michael Mitnick) and agreeable songs (by Adam Gwon) are often laugh-out-loud funny, something no one ever said about the version that opened in 1606. The show, directed by Lonny Price, is also quietly insightful, making piquant connections between Shakespeare’s drama of political powerlust and the consumerist mania of our own fast-food culture.
Photo: Credit…Rachel Papo for The New York Times
In talking and acting so that the spectator does not understand either the words or the problems of the actors, all that the actor really accomplishes is the letting down and lowering of the interest of the spectator in the performance and the general tone of his spiritual state of being. (MLIA)
“David’s Play” by Tom Rowan to be performed at the NYC International Fringe Festival.
Express Lane Productions is proud to present David’s Play, a new play by Tom Rowan (Kiss and Cry, The Second Tosca) that will be presented October 27 to November 3 as part of this year’s NY Fringe BYOV Festival. The show will play at the Chain Theatre Main Stage, 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan, which is serving as a Fringe venue for the first time this season.
A close-knit group of college friends reunites in New York several years after graduation to celebrate a milestone. Can a recently discovered manuscript get their lives back on track? David’s Play is a serious comedy about love, loss, musical theatre, and the power of friendship.
In an art-imitates-life (or is it the other way around?) approach, this production casts the play mostly with a group of young actors who really did go to school together—at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, one of the nation’s top BFA Acting programs.
“David’s Play” will be performed at
Chain Theatre Main Stage
312 W. 36th Street New York, NY 10018
(between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
Performance dates are:
October 27th at 8:00 PM
October 29th at 6:00 PM
October 31st at 8:30 PM
November 2nd at 2:00 PM
November 3rd at 4:00 PM
AMANDA: Callee Miles*
MOLLY: Katie Ailion*
LEO: Joseph Dean Anderson
IAN: Morgan Hahn
BARRY: Alex Gagne
JOSHUA: Will Valles
DAVID: Avery Whitted*
Tom Rowan: Playwright
Greg Pragel*: Director
Dickson Lane*: Producer
Robert Neapolitan*: Stage Manager
*AEA members – “David’s Play” is an approved AEA Showcase.
For tickets please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/davids-play-fringebyov-tickets-70867615947
Please follow “David’s Play” on Instagram: @DavidsPlay2019 and through their Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1212565342261131/?ti=icl
For more information please visit: http://www.tomrowan.net/davidsplay/
To heighten tone means to heighten the mood of the audience, to strengthen the interest of the spectator in the performance; to quicken tempo means to live more strongly and intensively and to live over all that one says and does on the stage. (MLIA)
Theater Resources Unlimited
TRU Love Benefit:
Follow Your Art, Fulfill Your Dreams
Honoring James Morgan and Haley Swindal
Sunday, December 8, 2019
(via Michelle Tabnick)
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the 2019 TRU Love Benefit: Follow Your Art, Fulfill Your Dreams, on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 12noon at Caroline’s on Broadway, 1626 Broadway (between 49th & 50th Streets). Tickets start at $85 (show only, and two drinks). For additional information and ticket tier pricing, please visit https://truonline.org/events/
The prevalent mistake of beginning stage directors and actors is that they think that the heightening of tone is the quickening of tempo; that playing in full tone is loud and quick talking and strained action. But the expressions the “heightening of tone,” “full tone,” “quickening of tempo” have nothing to do with the actor and all with the spectator. (MLIA)
U.S. production premiere
October 19–22, 2019 Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall
At the turn of 18th-century Japan, a clerk and a courtesan committed suicide in the forest of Tenjin. The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a tragic play based upon these events, was banned after its 1703 premiere for more than two centuries. For this U.S. production premiere, renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto presents a bold, contemporary interpretation of the classic drama using bunraku puppet theater with music by Living National Treasure Seiji Tsurusawa and video by Tabaimo and Sugimoto. The puppets, imbued with life, captivate audiences with their lively movements rivaling the eloquence of actual human beings.
“Sugimoto breathed souls into the lifeless wooden puppets.”
– Le Monde
The work of stage direction began. As was the custom I wrote a detailed mise en scène,—who must cross to where and why, what he must feel, what he must do, how he must look. . . . (MLIA)