Tagged under "theater" (6)
Theater: Jack of Tarts
"Playing at La MaMa e.t.c at 74 E. 4th Street, in lower Manhattan through February 17th, Jack of Tarts takes a bitter topic and wraps it into a coarse sugar show."
Tagged on October 10, 2010
What To Do When You Hate All You Friends
What *do* you do when you hate all your friends? Sure, you can renounce all friendships; decide that it's simply too frustrating, heartbreaking or straight up annoying to try to keep up with the folks that keep asking for your time and demanding your attention. We all know the drain that creeps in on a Friday night when your phone keeps beeping and everyone wants to know when you're getting to the party and you really just want to watch a movie in bed by yourself. Of course, there's the other option. Larry Kunofsky's new anti-social comedic play explores the dark side of those friend groups that always seem to move in packs. You watch the friends in awe because they are the epitome of what you thought friendship was going to be like when you finally reached adulthood. Everyone gets a birthday party and everyone attends. There's always a pre-party and an after party and a secret room for the real friends during the party. Offend a friend and there isn't an argument, simply a small acknowledgement that, well, you screwed up somehow. Everyone knows the dirt in everyone else's life because, of course, they all just care so much about each other. You know you want to be a part of the friends. Directed by Jacob Krueger, What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends introduces us to the rules, rankings, and motivations that make up such a group. When Matt, a stoic, friend-hating man (Todd D'amour) meets the bubbly center of attention Celia (Carrie Keranen) he finds himself slowly drawn in to the dangerous world of friends. Soon he is the center of attention and Celia is slipping in rank and before the play is over he has completely unraveled the group. While this all makes the play sound rather dark and more than a little disquieting, it's really a hilarious reflection of the bizarre rituals we put ourselves through all in the name of being a part of the friends. With spastic narration by the fantastically awkward Enid (played perfectly by Amy Staats), What To Do is an amusing jaunt into the discomforts of friendship. What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends is closing this Saturday, 8/23/08. Check out www.hateallyourfriends.com for ticket info. Also check out fourchairs.org to find out more about what the theater company has coming up.
Tagged on August 21, 2008
The Judgement of Paris is Decadent and Dark
  In an art world saturated with Post-Modernism and memoir, the beautiful depiction of a classic story is a refreshing departure.   Performed on the scaffolding-lined stage beyond the glass façade of the theater at 303 Bond Street, The Judgement of Paris weaves the ancient tale of Helen of Troy into a darkly decadent setting of “French Can-Can girls, Greek tragedy, golden apples, baroque pageantry, courtesans, goddesses, circus freaks, blonde bombshells, [and] Spartan warriors.” Choreographed and directed by Company XIV’s founder, Austin McCormick, The Judgement of Paris is a stunning piece of theater that presents a distinctly modern take on traditional Baroque movement. It is more than just a dance performance or a ballet. The six performers of The Judgement of Paris are completely captivating as they depict, through music, lighting, dance and monologue, the rise and fall of the love affair of Prince Paris of Sparta and the married Helen of Troy. Over the course of 90 minutes, the audience is lulled and shocked and made uneasy as the six on stage slowly unravel the fates of our Paris and our Helen.   According to their mission statement, Company XIV is a Brooklyn-based mixed media dance/theater company that seeks to present "unique historical and cultural dance perspectives through the exploration various artistic partnerships." This all results in a successful hashing together of gorgeous frivolity and heavy themes.   Though The Judgement of Paris will be closing at the end of May, the company has several projects in progress. The Judgement of Paris is playing Friday, 5/23, Saturday 5/24, Friday 5/30, and Saturday 5/31 at 8pm at 303 Bond St in Brooklyn. Each performance is $20 for adults, $15 for students.   For more information, check out www.companyxiv.com    
Tagged on May 27, 2008
8 Women: A Karaoke Murder Mystery
It only plays once a month, but good things come to those who wait. Last night I checked out the February performance of 8 Women: A Karaoke Murder Mystery at Jimmy's No. 43, a cozy little pub boasting beer I'd never heard of in the East Village. I wasn't sure what to expect as I sat down in the tiny back room, a few feet from the modest stage, but as soon as the show kicked off, I spent the good part of 2 hours laughing my ass off. Based on a French film by Francois Orzon, 8 Women is a classic whodunit with more than a few twists. Imagine the movie Clue, take away the men, and throw in a whole lotta scandal and some Britney Spears for good measure. The story centers around the murder of Marcel, wife of the pompous character Gaby, who finds it most inconvenient that her entire family (all of whom happen to be female) decide to gather for the holidays in the wake of this tragedy. Much of the script simply consists of letting the vastly different yet equally strong personalities bounce off each other, such as the clandestine alcoholic grandmother, Mamy, and the seemingly angelic Suzon, bursting with knowledge (and other things) and home on break from "university". Set in the early 20th century French countryside, these eight women find themselves trapped in Gaby's home with a dead body in one room and an overload of estrogen everywhere else, and slowly, but surely, everyone's secrets start to come out. Oh yeah, about the karaoke. One moment I've got Louise, the seductive maid, practically in my lap (told you this place was small), and the next moment, psychotic spinster Augustine is standing on a chair next to me singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the top of her lungs, complete with karaoke accompaniment playing from the bar speakers. Another lucky audience member accidentally became part of lady of the house Gaby's torrid (and completely unexpected) makeout session with Pierrette, the sister of her deceased husband. Not a very nice way to remember your dearly departed spouse, to whom she'd devoted an impassioned rendition of "Leader of the Pack" an hour earlier. I'm not going to give away the ending or even clue you in on the other characters that make up this powerhouse of a cast, but I will say that for $5, you're guaranteed a front-row seat to this extremely (ahem) interactive production. Special kudos go out to director Leigh Hyle for not only adapting the play to this tiny space, but using it to her advantage! E-mail 8womenreservations@gmail.com for tickets or click here for more info.
Tagged on February 29, 2008
Piaf: Love Conquers All - The Soho Playhouse
Yesterday evening, I had the privilege to attend an 8pm performance of Piaf: Love Conquers All at the Soho Playhouse. A one woman-play starring Canadian actress Naomi Emmerson and written by Roger Pearce, Piaf is a truly exquisite and heart-wrenching piece of theater. The play is structured as a personal narrative, which intermittently gives way to vignettes of the great French chanteuese's tragic life, all of which are brilliantly portrayed by Emmerson. A less accomplished actress could have succumbed to the quick gear shifts in time and context within the script, but the transitions were absolutely seamless as we were at once able to experience both a retrospective account of Piaf's life and the events and emotions that made her time on earth so striking. The set design was sparse yet elegant, containing white furniture in a sketched style, and accented only by the color red; quite appropriate for an account of Piaf's life, often associated with her most famous work, "La Vie en Rose." Featuring 13 songs originally sung by the French songstress ("Non, je ne regrette rien", "Mon Dieu", and others), Piaf provided the audience with the depth of knowledge required to understand the heartache and emotion behind her legendary work, all the while managing to throw in a laugh here and there. Also, it is extremely important not to ignore the beautiful piano stylings of accompanist Carmela Sinco, whose skill and grace complemented the performance immeasurably. I knew very little about Piaf's life as I stepped into the theater, and I was accompanied by a friend who knew still less than I. I would like to note that both of us have been listening to "The Legendary Edith Piaf" since we've woken up this morning. Piaf: Love Conquers All is running as a special limited engagement at the Soho Playhouse, closing on January 20th. Tickets are still available online at www.sohoplayhouse.com, and I assure you, it will be money well-spent.
Tagged on February 15, 2008
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