A Seasonal Press Calendar
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OPENED OCTOBER 8, NOW EXTENDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 9
HARLEM REPERTORY THEATRE
TATO LAVIERA THEATRE, 240 E. 123RD STREET
"THE WIZARD OF OZ"
Harlem Repertory Theatre stages "The Wizard of Oz," co-produced by the Yip Harburg Foundation, for young (and young-at-heart) audiences. This production of the classic musical has a multi-racial cast, a jazzy underscore and authoritative dramaturgy by representatives of the Yip Harburg Foundation. Director/choreographer is Keith Lee Grant, Artistic Director of Harlem Rep, who is in the midst of a four-year project of presenting four classic musicals that have lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, who was known in his lifetime as the "social conscience of Broadway."
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/oz.htm
BEGINS PREVIEWS MAY 3, OPENS JUNE 7
ST. MAZIE BAR AND SUPPER CLUB, 345 GRAND STREET, BROOKLYN (WILLIAMSBURGH)
"THE COOPING THEORY: WHO KILLED EDGAR ALLAN POE?"
Poseidon Theatre Company, an emerging theater company, is mounting its first original, immersive site-specific show: "The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?," an intimate theatre event for only 30 guests per night featuring craft cocktails, food (full dinner menu available) and a paranormal experience, all framed by the great words of the master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. This is a mystery play in the genre of "Then She Fell" (http://www.thenshefell.com) and "Sleep No More" (http://m.sleepnomorenyc.com), with one significant difference: unlike most immersive shows, which are dance-driven, this one is text-based. It is presented Wednesday evenings in the former basement speakeasy of St. Mazie Bar and Supper Club, 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn (between Havemeyer and Marcy).
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/cooping.htm
PRIVATE PERFORMANCES BY APPOINTMENT
IN LIVING ROOMS, SCHOOLS, WINE BARS AND OTHER INFORMAL SPACES
GEORGE BARTENIEFF IN "I WILL BEAR WITNESS: THE EARLY YEARS OF THE HITLER REGIME"
Schools, wine stores, living rooms--these are the venues where George Bartenieff, one of the most respected actors of his generation, and his Obie-winning playwright/director wife, Karen Malpede, are recreating "I Will Bear Witness: The Early Years of the Hitler Regime" (2002), a play adapted for the stage the diaries from the diaries of of Victor Klemperer. This one-person play, tracing the rise of Hitler, premiered at CSC Rep and played to acclaim in New York, London, Berlin, Washington DC and toured Europe and the U.S. for three years.
Malpede and Bartenieff have created the 40 minute piece that has been performing in living rooms, and last night in an art gallery in Woodstock, and next week at Thirst Wine Merchants in Fort Greene. The text is focused on the early years of the Nazi regime and its echos with today are powerful and powerfully felt by audiences, who have time for important dialogue after the piece. The piece recounts the time of Hitler’s election through events following Kristallnacht. Klemperer records in minute detail the manifold reactions of Jewish and Christian neighbors and friends, their shock, despair, rage and acts of resistance.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/klemperer.htm
MAY 17 TO 28
STUDIO THEATRE, THEATER ROW
French playwright Jean Anouilh wrote his "Antigone" during the Nazi occupation of France. It became a symbol of resistance as freedom fighters viewed the heroine's defiance as a crie de cœur of patriotism. The play, written with a modern sensibility, is based on the Greek tragedy of the princess who dies for burying her brother's corpse against the orders of her dictator uncle. Its parallels to modern times are exciting and provocative. Fusion Theatre's mission is to strengthen classic plays with the great art of opera. The production will use the 1946 translation by Lewis Galantière, which is distinguished in itself, but will be enhanced by sung selections from five classic operas. All members of the cast have a rare combination of talents: they are masterful opera singers who are also accomplished actors. Directed by Eilin O'Dea.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/antigone.htm
MAY 24 TO JUNE 10
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN
"DAUGHTERS OF THE MOCK"
The 50th season of The Negro Ensemble Company, a year-long retrospective of some of the troupe's signature works, continues at Theatre 80 St. Marks with "Daughters of the Mock" by Judi Ann Mason. The play is a poignant and suspenseful statement on disappointment and regret set in a Creole family that is struggling to break with mystical traditions that have bound it up for generations. Director is Denise Yvonne Dowse, who worked with the playwright on "Beverly Hills 90210" and previously directed Mason's similarly-themed play, "Eddie Lee Baker is Dead." The play is set in a family of women which is dominated by its grandmother, who has the powers of a Voodoo priestess. There are no male figures in the play, which is aching with loss and unfulfilled love. The fate of the family's men is an enigma that is revealed shockingly and late in the play. Unlike most of Judi Ann Mason's work, this play does not buffer its themes of loss and love with comedy; rather, it channels them, Greek tragedy-style, into the mystery of the "mock" -- a curse which is passed down through the women of the family.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/mock.htm
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
In "Mary V," a Pirandellian, feminist appropriation of Shakespeare's historical play, an all-female cast battles for control of a production of "Henry V," led by their king, an actress named Mary. The play explores ways in which actors' commitment can break down the relationship between illusion and reality and how the division between femininity and masculinity can yield destruction for both sexes. Theater for the New City presented the play last summer in its 2016 Dream Up Festival and will now present it for a full production. Playwright Rebekah Carrow heads a cast of 16 as the upstart king; Charlotte Murray directs.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/MaryV.htm
JUNE 1 TO 24
WORKSHOP THEATER, 312 W. 36th STREET
"Composure" is a six-character play by Scott C. Sickles. A year after an on-campus unrequited love murder-suicide, Fletcher Driscoll, 48, returns to his hometown alma mater to direct "Romeo and Juliet," the play selected to commemorate the tragedy. As he attempts to helm a tasteful production, he begins a casual fling with Jeff Landry, 52, a recently out and divorced administrator. Meanwhile, Fletcher encounters a high school acquaintance with whom he shares a disturbing history, while Jeff attempts to maintain a friendship with his ex-wife as they mourn the loss of her brother. Long-held feelings and secrets come to light bringing Fletcher and Jeff closer while threatening to tear them asunder as opening night approaches. It's a romantic drama about the resonance of loss. "Composure" received two 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Director (Emmy Award winner Fritz Brekeller) and Outstanding Original Full-Length Script. Playwright Scott C. Sickles just received his fifth Emmy Nomination. Directed by Fritz Brekeller, who won Outstanding Director at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for The Workshop Theater's developmental production of "Composure." He won an Emmy as part of the directing team of "One Life to Live."
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/composure.htm
JUNE 2 TO 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
YANGTZE REPERTORY THEATRE OF AMERICAN IN "410[GONE]"
" 410[GONE]" by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is a play about love and loss. Seventeen, a Chinese American boy, who has committed suicide wanders into the Chinese Land of the Dead, a dominion ruled by the Chinese Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey King. The time is suspended, and an arcade dance console holds the key to transmigration. His elder sister, Twenty-One, has been reliving the night of the suicide in order to find Seventeen. After a series of hilarious events between the land of the live and the dead, Twenty-One finally meets Seventeen again only to realize she has to set him free. Directed by Chongren Fan, cast of five. In English with Chinese subtitles.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/410.htm
JUNE 11 TO 26
JUDSON MEMORIAL CHURCH
"FAUST 3: THE TURD COMING, OR THE FART OF THE DEAL"
"Faust 3: The Turd Coming, or The Fart of the Deal" is a political satire of the Trump fiasco, written by Paul David Young and directed by Augustus Heagerty. The play presents a Faustian bargain between the populace, and their chosen king, a deceptive, Mephisophelean clown figure. Although the clown is offensive, vulgar, and evil, the people agree to sign away their future on the gamble that the clown will improve their lives. They are shat upon instead. In sermon-like tweets, the clown king communicates his predatory intentions, based on perversions of the Beatitudes and other parts of the Gospels. The sensitive ego of the clown king leads to nuclear war and worldwide devastation. Playwright Paul David Young is author, most recently, of "Kentucky Cantata" (HERE, 2015). His "In the Summer Pavilion," a Backstage Critic's Pick, was a highlight of the 2011 NY International Fringe Festival. It was subsequently produced Off-Broadway at 59e59 Theaters in 2012.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Faust3.htm
JUNE 9 TO 25
LA MAMA E.T.C.
YARA ARTS GROUP IN "1917-2017: TYCHYNA, ZHADAN & THE DOGS"
This new theatre piece with poetry which examines what individuals do when a society crumbles. The show was conceived and directed by Virlana Tkacz using the poetry of Pavlo Tychyna (Ukraine's greatest 20th century poet), Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine's greatest 21st century poet) and the songs of Zhadan's rock group Zhadan and the Dogs. The show is introduced by a live installation featuring New York poet Bob Holman performing his own poems inspired by Timothy Snyder's book “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century." The show is performed in English, while Zhadan and the Dogs sing in Ukrainian.
In 1917, there was great hope in Kyiv as the Russian Empire disintegrated, but then a series of invasions led to twelve changes of government in three years. Pavlo Tychyna, Ukraine's greatest 20th century poet, watched people in Kyiv struggle with chaos and tyranny and wrote a collection of twelve poems, "Instead of Sonnets or Octaves." That collection, translated by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps, provides the main text of the piece. It is punctuated with songs by Zhadan & the Dogs, a Ukrainian nine-member rock group led by Serhiy Zhadan. Zhadan is famous for his poetry and songs about everyday people caught in today's conflict. The group hails from Kharkiv, a city close to the war zone in eastern Ukraine. Director Virlana Tkacz created the piece with artists in Kyiv using the twelve Tychyna poems as text. She then had Serhiy Zhadan and his band, Zhadan & the Dogs, burst through the scenes, supplying high-energy songs that propelled the piece forward. Reviews from the performances in Kyiv praised the production as wonderful to behold and so relevant to contemporary events as to be painful.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Yara_Tychyna.htm
JAY THARP THEATRE AT SYMPHONY SPACE
THE CAPITOL STEPS IN "ORANGE IS THE NEW BARACK"
The Capitol Steps, America's premiere political-musical-satire troupe, returns to New York on Fatrher's Day for two performances at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street, Upper West Side). The troupe will offer its newest show, "Orange is the New Barack," a brand-new vaudeville-like comedy show with a mix of song and standup, lampooning our modern political leaders, taking on the major issues of the day and providing sneak-peeks at the troupe's next album. There will be one show at 3:30 PM and one at 7:00 PM. The shows will provide such treats as "Small Hands" (sung by Melania, a parody of Pointer Sister's "Slow Hand"), "Tweet Tweet" (a parody of "Rockin' Robin," inspired by the President's tweet storms), "Don't Know Much About History" (with Nancy DeVoss crooning "Don't know much about history…Don't know much biology") and "Putin on the Blitz," based on "Puttin' on the Ritz," in which Vladimir explains his philosophy on asserting power ("...Russian force I must assert – don't make me take off my shirt – you'll say 'tsk tsk' – Putin is a risk...").
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/cap_steps_SS.htm
PANGEA RESTAURANT & SUPPER CLUB, 178 SECOND AVE.
"CHAVELA: THINK OF ME"
"Chavela: Think Of Me," written and performed by Stephanie Trudeau, is more than just a musical cabaret based on the songs of legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. It is also a documentary theater project that traces the famed ranchera singer's artistic evolution and the key relationships of her life, including those with her musical mentor, Jose Alfredo Jimenez (the world's greatest composer of ranchera songs), the painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the great Cuban courtesan Macorina, and the producers, notably Pedro Almodovar, who enabled her comeback at age 74 after a 15 year battle with alcoholism. The show is a refreshing homage and celebration of the arts of Mexico at a time when our southern neighbor is the focus of stereotyping and right-wing disrespect in America today. A return engagement for a show that debuted May 15.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Stephanie_Trudeau_Pangea.htm
AUGUST 5 TO SEPTEMBER 17
CITY STREETS, PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY STREET THEATER TOUR, "CHECKS AND BALANCES, OR BOTTOMS UP"
Theater for the New City's award-winning Street Theater Company will open its 41st annual tour August 5 with "Checks and Balances, or Bottoms Up!," a rip-roaring musical in which a young New York Catholic School girl is galvanized into a community activist. Free performances will tour City streets, parks and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs through September 17. Book, lyrics and direction are by Crystal Field; the musical score is composed and arranged by Joseph Vernon Banks.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/stth17.htm
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN "A SOLDIER'S PLAY"
The 50th season of Negro Ensemble Company, a year-long retrospective of some of the troupe's signature works, culminates with "A Soldier's Play" by Charles Fuller (original production November 20, 1981), directed by Charles Weldon.
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