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Hunter Canning

Hunter Canning was born in Monte Nido, California. He studied photography at Santa Monica City College before moving to New York in 2005 and attained his BFA in Acting at SUNY Purchase. His surrealist photo-composite “landscapes” were featured in the exhibition PERMUTATIONS at EyeHeart Gallery in Chelsea alongside photographer Brett Lindell in October of 2014. Concurrently The Sheen Center presented a solo exhibition of his “Subway Series”, an originally web-based project which has attracted thousands of followers. Canning has extensively photographed for New York theater companies. He is the official photographer for The Flea Theater, and has worked with several other organizations including The Wild Project, Joe’s Pub and The Bushwick Starr. His images have been featured in The New York Times, TimeOut New York and Backstage Magazine. http://huntercanningphoto.com

In a Word

July 1, 2017

Told mainly in reenacted flashbacks, In a Word plays multiple language games. It also proves the limits of language. Can you really describe exactly what happens at any given moment? And if you misunderstand a word or take it to mean something else the whole meaning changes. After two years, Guy wants to know what Fiona didn’t tell him on the day Tristan disappeared. Fiona brings evidence to the detective but fails to be exact in her suspicions. Tristan misunderstands things he is not meant to hear and proceeds on his own explanations. [more]

Rotterdam

May 27, 2017

An import from the United Kingdom, as part of the 2017 Brits Off Broadway Festival at 59E59 Theaters, Jon Brittain’s "Rotterdam" is not based on a true story relating to events in the eponymous Dutch city. It rather focuses on a British lesbian couple, one of whom decides at the beginning of the play that she’s really a man and really wants to become transgender. The crux of the drama is between Alice and her lover Fiona, who, in the course of the play, becomes Adrian. But why the two of them moved to Rotterdam seven years ago, is never really answered in the play--rather posed as a recurring question--along with the question of whether or not they’re going to remain there. [more]

Boys of a Certain Age

February 12, 2017

This volatile quartet battle over the personal and the political during a Scotch-fueled weekend at Ira’s Fire Island house. There’s not much in the way of plot, but secrets are revealed, scores are settled and life goes on with new insights. It’s reminiscent of a Terrence McNally play but lacking in polish. [more]

PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band

January 24, 2017

A major flaw is Peer Gynt. Personable, co-composer Park plays the title role. When we first see him, he’s wearing a hipster wool cap, plaid shirt and eyeglasses. Possessed of a good singing voice, his acting ranges from pleasantly monotonous to ineptly excessive. He strains to be charismatic especially in his dance moves and doesn’t succeed. Park’s performance has stamina but lacks grandeur to carry the leading role of this full-length musical. [more]

The Great American Drama

January 24, 2017

Essentially it’s a glorified and arch 90-minute, scripted, sketch comedy show. The conceit is that it’s inspired by audience suggestions. The composition of the program changes from performance to performance. Throughout the show, slides are projected of printed extracts from online surveys of people’s theatrical preferences with the dates that they responded. These have been collected over a period of many months. The cast then performs a scene based on these answers. [more]

The Jamb

September 3, 2016

Besides achieving sensitive and strong performances from the cast, director David Drake masterfully fulfills the playwright’s intentions with his lively and brisk staging. The collaborative group UnkleDave's Fight-House’s fight direction is thrillingly realistic for several physical conflicts. [more]

Strange Country

July 26, 2016

These are among the choice zingers in playwright Anne Adams’ emotionally raw, earthy and often very funny contemporary dysfunctional Texas-set, family drama, "Strange Country." This entertaining piece of Americana has the humanity of Lanford Wilson, the quirkiness of Beth Henley and the unruliness of Sam Shepard. [more]

The Place We Built

May 6, 2016

As Hungary took a turn to the extreme right in recent years, anti-Semitism and xenophobia not only raised their heads, but became de facto pillars of the new government. The Place We Built delves into the personal plight of an ad hoc blending of often contentious, mostly loving twenty-somethings who inadvertently wind up building and creating a meeting place of like minds in the old Jewish Ghetto and thereby defying and antagonizing the powers-that-be. [more]

Wolf in the River

March 26, 2016

Directed by the author, "Wolf in the River" is an environmental production as the audience is invited to sit in folding chairs around a mound of earth with forlorn flowers, garbage and debris. However, there are set pieces and props located in the four corners of the venue as well. When the play begins, a man sitting in the audience gets up, strips off his shirt and shoes, and becomes the play’s narrator and master of ceremonies, as well as one of the characters. In an unnamed Southern American location, we are on the banks of a river (the audience is the river) filled with alligators. Six actors in pasty make-up wander around the outer perimeter of the room. Although the program does not explain their presence, the script reveals that they are the ghosts of those who have perished in the river. [more]

Connected

March 13, 2016

"Connected" is a series of short plays, each tackling our always-connected culture from a different angle. The first of four stories is about Meghan, a high schooler with a crush on one of the most popular guys in school. Midori Francis, the charming actress playing Meghan, decides to ask her crush to the prom and, after her theatrical prom proposal gets caught on camera and uploaded to YouTube, Francis’s timid teen reaches web celeb status, with her video collecting one million views in 24 hours. This story has a lot to say about what it means to be popular, and the juxtaposition of a down-to-earth girl rising to celebrity status opens the door to a thought-provoking conversation about the fickleness of fame, and the isolation that ironically comes with it. [more]

Monte Cristo

February 3, 2016

safe guess would be that most audiences coming to see New Light Theater Project’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ "The Count of Monte Cristo," one of most classic and exhilarating works of all time, are quite familiar with the material. A tragic tale of a man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit leads sailor Edmund Dantes to seek justice as he becomes the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo. [more]

Tonight/Jungle: Two Plays by Philip Ridley

January 31, 2016

Both teenagers are desperate for our approval and understanding of their lives and what they did, unlike the tabloids which have apparently had headlines branding them as monsters. Listening to their sides of their stories, we are initially conned into a false sense of security – always a dangerous thing to do in a Philip Ridley play. By the end, we discover these are damaged youth we would not want to know personally, but we understand their motives entirely from their point of view. [more]

Fulfillment

September 24, 2015

"Fulfillment" by the always surprising Thomas Bradshaw is about anything but the contentment and success implied by its ironic title. The Flea Theater’s production, directed to emphasize its undercurrents of eroticism and anger by Ethan McSweeny, is both shocking and sad. The audience witnesses the almost classically Greek downfall of a man done in by his own weaknesses. Anger, lust, pride and greed does in the central character. [more]

How To Live on Earth

September 19, 2015

Audiences will receive a refreshing and meaningful gift in "How to Live on Earth." This production sparks several of the big overarching questions, regarding the meaning of life and will also keep you chuckling throughout the 90 minutes. The mix of personalities blends really nicely together and ultimately proves that underneath it all we are all the same: human beings trying to figure out what will make us happy in this world (or the next!). [more]

Threesome

July 28, 2015

Yussef El Guindi’s "Threesome" is really a political treatise in the guise of a romantic comedy. Engrossingly performed by Alia Attallah, Quinn Franzen and Karan Oberoi, it is in the end more than a bit superficial and unconvincing, though it will generate a good deal of diversion. Chris Coleman’s direction covers up some of the play’s flaws by keeping the pace moving swiftly along. [more]

UNDERLAND

April 15, 2015

By: Courtney Marie Annie Golden and Daniel K. Isaac in a scene from “UNDERLAND” (Photo credit: [more]

No One Loves Us Here

January 28, 2015

Playwright Ross Howard’s new work illustrates the characteristically 21st Century sentiments of unbridled selfishness, feigned apathy, and perennial discontent. His pointed, political indictment of our skewed American values is simultaneously too hard to watch and too illuminating to ignore. "No One Loves Us Here" is an entertaining, engaging bloodbath that leaves its audience thinking lots and feeling little. Perhaps this is as it should be. [more]

Villainous Company

January 19, 2015

Asking us to stoop down to the level of three women willing to do many ethically reprehensible acts in the pursuit of wealth, Cahn challenges the notions of playing fair and working hard. Who would you throw under the proverbial bus in order to protect your livelihood? Is it ever justifiable to fight crime with more crime? Villainous Company raises these questions and more in the form of a short, fun play that is worth a watch but ultimately not worth too much thought. [more]

Back

October 27, 2014

Set in at ill-defined Halloween party raging somewhere in the universe between life and death, Back depicts numerous formerly living Greenwich Village icons, from founding father Alexander Hamilton to Flower Power movement leader George Harris, III. Cookie Mueller—writer, muse to the famous filmmaker John Waters, and AIDS victim—leads the proceedings as this scripted Pride Parade's grand marshal. Filled with recurring mantras, bizarre non sequiturs, and gratuitous nudity, the performance under review (the rotating script allows for different variations at different performances) followed—or, more appropriately—circled around the respective, untimely demise of both poet Frank O'Hara and actress Mueller. [more]

Written in Sand

October 17, 2014

This was my first in-person experience of Finley's work, and unfortunately it was a shambles. What could have been forty intense minutes of poetry and music was padded with rambling introductions and mostly aimless patter to more than twice that. The night I attended she was nervous and flustered, repeatedly losing her place in the program, and allowing herself to be distracted over and over again by a leaky water pitcher. (Why didn't the stage manager just replace it?) [more]

The Zombies: A Musical

June 18, 2014

Scenically the show is quite proficient, ingeniously using simple props with well-conceived wall projections and displaying funny animations and representing the locations of the town. A great detail is the reappearing small scurrying roach in Pedro's Café. Structurally the show is problematic. The second act is packed with action and revelations but at over two hours with intermission, it all feels too long, the length diluting its effectiveness. [more]

The Diorama

June 3, 2014

A diorama presents an obvious simulacrum of life at some period. The closest thing here is a simulacrum of a simulacrum. With embellishments by authors Jennifer Brown Stone and David S. Stone that took over whatever concept they had, presumably something to do with when a loony tune becomes a flat out loon and how to tell the difference. This is dangerous territory for experienced authors. The authors have rushed in. [more]