A Seasonal Press Calendar
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SEPTEMBER 27 TO OCTOBER 8 (CHANGED FROM AUGUST 30 TO SEPTEMBER 17)
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. The play, evocative of Melville's "Billy Budd," uses a murder mystery in a Black U.S. Army base during World War II to expose angers and resentments among African Americans that curiously mimic white racist attitudes. The play won the Pulitzer Prize, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play and an Obie Award for Distinguished Ensemble Performance.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/soldiers_play.htm
OCTOBER 5 TO 28
THE WORKSHOP THEATER, 312 WEST 36th STREET
Based on actual events, "Mesquite, NV" by Leegrid Stevens is a dark comedy about power and politics that is part Coen Brothers and one part Preston Sturgis. It's set in the retirement community of Mesquite, Nevada and dramatizes a contentious recent municipal election there. The campaign turned nasty as complaints of sweetheart deals and fraudulent travel vouchers were leaked to the local press. Accusations quickly divided the town, leading to complete political upheaval, the downfall of both candidates and the installation of foolish and shallow dilettantes to replace them. The play reflects unpleasant truths of the American political pathology with such humor that we can chuckle at ourselves while we shudder at them. Thomas Cote directs.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/mesquite.htm
OCTOBER 11 TO 31
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 resuming its 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, light fare, absinthe service 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" and "Sleep No More," with one significant difference: unlike most immersive shows, which are dance-driven, this one is text-based. It is presented in the former basement speakeasy of St. Mazie Bar and Supper Club, 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn (between Havemeyer and Marcy). Production went on hiatus June 28 and resumes with this Halloween Edition.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/cooping.htm
OCTOBER 18 TO NOVEMBER 10
PANGEA RESTAURANT & SUPPER CLUB
LINDA GLICK IN "TEACH ME TONIGHT"
Linda Glick, a spicy and seasoned redheaded chanteuse, will unveil her newest cabaret show, "Teach Me Tonight." The evening features an eclectic program combining new works written by Glick and Musical Director Ian Herman together with classics and signature songs by Charles Aznavour, Alberto Manzanero and others. Glick's cabaret performances have been described as "full of grace and dignity, leavened by a touch of continental cynicism" by Backstage (Eric Haagensen).
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/glick.htm
OCTOBER 19 TO NOVEMBER 19
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE PRESENTS "FREIGHT: THE FIVE INCARNATIONS OF ABEL GREEN" BY HOWARD CRAFT
CASTILLO THEATRE, 543 WEST 42ND STREET
Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre, in association with Castillo Theatre, will present the Off-Broadway debut of "FREIGHT: the five incarnations of Abel Green" by Howard L. Craft, directed by Joseph Megel, starring J. Alphonse Nicholson. The play depicts an African American "Everyman" who exists in five dimensions of America's modern era. In each incarnation--as minstrel, cult leader, FBI informant, struggling actor and fallen mortgage broker--he is trapped between the American Dream and the American Nightmare. We witness the trials of a simple man trying to make decisions that will allow him to survive in what the great African-American poet Claude McKay called "this cultured hell that tests my youth." The piece was initially developed by Craft, Megel and Nicholson at StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was presented Off-off Broadway by StreetSigns/New Dog Productions at HERE in July and August, 2015, where it received glowing reviews and was a New York Times Critic's Pick. Woodie King's New Federal Theatre is now presenting the piece to share it with a wider audience, to elevate this resonant play to the Off-Broadway level and to introduce playwright Howard L. Craft to New York audiences, especially African Americans.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/freight.htm
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL
Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village in Theater for the New City's 41st annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Tuesday, October 31 at TNC, 155 First Avenue. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for real witches, everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. An explosive fall tradition, the event is held annually on the actual night of Halloween and celebrates artistic creation and fertilization. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Customarily over 1,500 wildly-clad celebrants gather for dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of Cabaret and Theater. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/halloween.htm
NOVEMBER 2, 9, 16
PANGEA RESTAURANT & SUPPER CLUB, 178 SECOND AVE.
STEPHANIE TRUDEAU IN "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 an homage to the arts of Mexico at a time when our southern neighbor is the focus of stereotyping and right-wing disrespect in America today. Trudeau introduced the piece at Pangea last Spring. November 2 is a Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, and Ms. Trudeau is planning special visuals to celebrate.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Stephanie_Trudeau_Pangea.htm
NOVENBER 2 TO 19
LA MAMA E.T.C.
CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE IN "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD"
In the era of alternative truth, it is timely to revisit three 1960s national traumas which are shrouded in dense cobwebs of multiple conspiracy theories: the assassinations of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King. To elucidate them with puppet theater wisdom, Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre revisits these tragedies in "The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald," conceived, written, and directed by Vít Horejš and co-directed by Matthew Cahoon. The piece represents the main protagonists as a peculiar cross between Greek tragic figures and stock characters from traditional puppet murder mysteries.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Vit_Oswald.htm
NOVEMBER 9 TO 26
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"PRAGUE 1912: THE SAVOY CAFÉ YIDDISH THEATRE" BY LU HAUSER
"Prague, 1912: the Savoy Café Yiddish Theatre" by Lu Hauser is a comedy based on a provocative chapter of literary history. A Yiddish Theater troupe came to Prague that featured Itzhak Lowy (sometimes written Yitzhak Levi, Djak Levi and Jizchak Löwy) and his players, among whom was the zaftig, fading yet alluring Mme. Trassik (sometimes recorded as Mania Tshissik). The troupe subsisted more on selling baked sweet potatoes than ticket sales. They were interviewed by a young writer, Franz Kafka, and they changed his life and art forever. Kafka went on to write plays for the troupe, but his relationship with theatricals was not a source of naches (pride) for his forceful and pragmatic father. "If you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas!," he admonished his son. Kafka's experiences with Mme. Trassik and "Jak" Löwy had a strong effect on the path of surrealism in Western literature. This three-character play is a comedy of their colaborative process.
The play's world premiere is directed by George Ferencz, who guided playwright Lu Hauser in the evolution of the play, which was written between 2009 and her death in 2011. It was the successor to Hauser's other play on Kafka, "Kafka's Quest," which TNC premiered in 2015. Jenne Vath plays Mme. Trassik, John Barilla plays Lowy and Jason Howard plays Kafka. Director George Ferencz is best known for his stagings of landmark plays by Sam Shepard. His TNC productions include "Lincoln on Hester Street," "Fear Itself," "Piecework," "Delicate Feelings," various plays by Toby Armour, and "The Space Show," the first TNC production at 155 First Avenue. He is also a resident director at La MaMa, where he has staged over 30 productions.
NOVEMBER 19 TO DECEMBER 16
GENE FRANKEL THEATRE, 24 BOND STREET
"THE BLACK GLOVE" BY AUGUST STRINDBERG
In August Strindberg's version of "A Christmas Carol," a lost black glove found in the entryway to a large apartment building the day before Christmas Eve mystically passes through the hands of many of its residents as it bestows a Christmas spirit. Presented by August Strindberg Rep. Newly translated by Robert Greer (Artistic Director), directed by Mr. Greer.
FEBRUARY 2 TO 11
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS' 43rd ANNUAL DANCE CONCERT AND POW-WOW
The 43rd annual Thunderbird American Dancers Dance Concert and Pow Wow will offer dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions. The event has become a treasured New York tradition for celebrating our diversity by honoring the culture of our first Americans. A Pow-Wow is more than just a spectator event: it is a joyous reunion for native peoples nationwide and an opportunity for the non-Indian community to voyage into the philosophy and beauty of Native culture. Highlights will include storytelling, a Hoop Dance, a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes), a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes), a Deer Dance (from the Yaqui Tribes of Southern Arizona), a Fancy Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes) and a Robin Dance and Smoke Dance (from the Iroquois). As the audience enters the theater, they will be serenaded by the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to join in the Round Dance/Friendship Dance (in evening shows) and a Contest Dance (in matinees). After the program, the dancers stay for photographs and to meet the audience.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Pow-Wow.htm
FEBRUARY 8 TO MARCH 11
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE PRESENTS "HARRIET'S RETURN"
CASTILLO THEATRE, 543 WEST 42ND STREET
At a time when the USA is deciding to honor Harriet Tubman with her image on the 20 dollar bill, Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre presents the 20th anniversary return of "Harriet's Return," a bioplay on Harriet Tubman written and performed by Karen Jones Meadows. The production takes audiences on a deeply personal, high energy journey into the private and public life of this famed Underground Railroad conductor, spiritual icon, revolutionary, and entrepreneur, whose life spanned nine decades and still influences the consciousness of people throughout the world.
FEBRUARY 22 TO MARCH 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"SUBWAY STORY (A SHOOTING)"
"Subway Story (A Shooting) will be the fifth play in the GUNPLAYS series written and directed by William Electric Black. The entire series has been presented by Theater for the New City. In 2014, Black launched the series with "Welcome Home Sonny T," a drama that spotlighted two significant forces driving the current epidemic of gun violence: the social impact of alienation and unemployment on young black males and the declining influence of black ministers as a force of stability in affected neighborhoods. The second play in the series, "When Black Boys Die" (2015), premiered in 2015. The third, presented for 2016 Gun Awareness Month, was "Death of a Black Man (A Walk By)," a play with hip hop verse, chanting, songs and poetry. The fourth play, "The Faculty Room" (2017), was an immersive drama set in a high school that is in a hard lockdown because an argument between two students has escalated to armed conflict because of the prevalence of guns in the school.
EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 16
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
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