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Between the Threads

January 23, 2019

Conceived and directed by Coral Cohen, along with musician/composer Zoë Aqua and the cast, Threads illuminates the experiences of a large swath of the Jewish population, beginning with a warmly related litany of genealogy delivered by the five fine performers:  Hannah Goldman, Lea Kalisch, Luisa Muhr, Daniella Seidl and Laura Lassy Townsend.  In turn, each tells of her background, the individual stories adding up to a portrait of the extent that Jews were forced to travel the world to find homes, particularly before, during and after World War II. [more]

The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical

December 13, 2018

The world premiere of "The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical" is a delightful show that pays tribute to this uniquely American art form. In a mash-up of history it also recognizes a great many famous New Yorkers placing them at Coney Island or Central Park at the same time. With a clever book by Jonothon Lyons (one of the quartet of talented actors who appear in the show) and melodic music and lyrics by Ben Bonnema, The Apple Boys is great fun with ample puns that almost get by you, accomplished close harmony by its cast of four playing all 40 characters, and a plot so far-fetched that it could have been true in the manner of tall tales. [more]

beep boop

September 11, 2018

"beep boop," Richard Saudek’s hour-long sad-sack romp through modern man’s constant love/hate bout with technology, is at HERE, the avant-garde arts center in SoHo. Its deft combination of mime, music, audio-visual effects and—yes—modern technology is worth a visit to this very active performance space, if for nothing else than to see Saudek disappear into his laptop. [more]

The Diana Tapes

May 28, 2018

Mr. Clements’ treatment of these events is straightforward and confirms existing perceptions of these figures. Diana is charismatic but immature and self-aggrandizing, Morton is a go-getter, O’Mara is a wily opportunist, and Colthurst is noble.  That there are no surprises or fresh insights could be overcome if the production had vitality but it doesn’t. [more]

Symphonie Fantastique

April 8, 2018

Twist’s “Creator’s Note” in the program alludes to Wassily Kandinsky’s musical metaphorical paintings and Twist’s youthful attraction to the possibility of using abstract puppetry in combination with music.  The five-part Symphonie, subtitled “Episode in the life of an Artist,” called to him for its color and storyline which vaguely guide his creation although only the changing moods, rhythms and colors of the score seem be the inspiration for the series of moving abstract images that were mostly treats for the eyes, if not the mind—seductive, clever, dreamy, sensually involving, but more a vacation for conscious thought than an intellectual challenge. [more]

Stairway to Stardom

September 19, 2017

Disguised as a snazzy cabaret act, set against constantly projected images from a sleazy Eighties public access talent show—from which the show’s title is derived—the short, intense performance is delivered without a single intake of breath it seems, an energy level that makes it difficult to actually hear—rather than merely listen to—the women’s histories of how they were forced into jobs and professions they found irritating or shallow by pressures applied by loved ones and even themselves. [more]

The Flatiron Hex

September 15, 2017

Dazzling hand puppets, stick puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets that are projected onto screens, which were all created by Godwin, depict this gallery of archetypal characters.  These are all fantastically employed by him and are on display for the show’s 80 minutes. [more]

The Reception

June 27, 2017

Soon little rends in the fabric of normalcy became apparent.   Bits of dialogue are repeated senselessly and the five revelers keep returning to the same positions (three on a couch, one alone at the border of the space and one behind the bar).  Attempts at dancing get more and more inelegant, even leading to a bit of physical sparring.  Even worse, there is an intermittent ominous, crackling sound emanating from deep in the floor, as if the house were about to collapse. [more]

Remembering Evangeline

June 10, 2017

Carlo Adinolfi plays John, the performance artist. With his British accent and wiry physicality he has an intense presence but possesses limited charisma. Mr. Adinolfi’s simple but inspired scenic design with its aesthetically arranged white sheets and white bench and white cabinet with wigs provides a compelling landscape for the actions. [more]

CasablancaBox

April 14, 2017

“The structure of 'CasablancaBox' is inspired by another filmmaker’s technique, Robert Altman’s roaming camera,” writes playwright Sara Farrington and director Reid Farrington in their program notes. This homage results in a collection of frantically staged vignettes that aren’t funny and don’t add up to much. [more]

Ship of Fools

October 20, 2016

Visual artist and puppeteer Jessica Scott navigates through a satiric and fascinating new media “seascape” with a dysfunctional ship’s crew, albeit all women. Scott’s "Ship of Fools" uses nightmare structure, intentionally drawing from Book VI of Plato’s "Republic" (from whence its title came), Bosch imagery and other surreal allegories, depicting the fine line between heroines and madness. [more]

Empathitrax

September 19, 2016

Playwright Ana Nogueira has a facility for often arch dialogue but not much else. The play’s potentially promising sci-fi premise is undermined by its bizarre vagueness. Not only do the leading characters not have names, there is no biographical data about them imparted. Their professions and life details are never described. Most crucially HIM’s thesis is mentioned several times but what the subject of it was is not stated. Ms. Nogueira basically presents two ciphers that are difficult to truly care about. Ultimately, it’s all a hollow and smug exercise. [more]

Gorey: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey

May 7, 2016

Before the fascinating biographical exploration "Gorey: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey" begins, the audience is able to walk around the stage and see up close the totemic objects used in the show. Gorey’s fur coat, an old record player, an artist’s table, vintage luggage and trunks, shelves of books and records are among the items on display. The back wall of the stage is adorned with reproductions of manuscript pages of his writing and drawings and during the show home movies, animations, slides of his work, and images of his residence are projected. [more]

The Bellagio Fountain Has Been Known to Make Me Cry

December 5, 2015

Every member of this trio has experienced love and loss, and this show explores what it truly means to be human. Moments of drama exemplify the character’s toughest challenges, and their individual approaches to solving them. The strength of a woman as the leader of a household is brought to the surface, as these women have been let down by the men in their lives. The bond they share ultimately proves that true happiness can be found whether you achieve your personal goals and dreams or find something beautiful within yourself. [more]

Professor Brenner

November 5, 2015

New Worlds Theatre Project’s mission is to present English language translations of Yiddish plays as comparable to their contemporaries Chekhov and Ibsen. Now they have turned to a first English translation by producing artistic director Ellen Perecman of David Pinski’s Yiddish classic, "Professor Brenner," which appears to have had no previous production. The reason may have been Pinski’s frankness about sexual relations and the controversial nature of the subject matter for the Yiddish–speaking community. [more]