Category: Review

REVIEW: Damaged Goods

Combine Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a gay South Park you’d end up close to TOSOS Damaged Goods. Virginia Baeta’s queer metaphorical twist on a murder mystery is a fun and whimsical journey into the gender-bending world of Thomas Sparks, a private dick who is bent on bedding the seductive Iris Carnegie played by the uber-talented Karen Stanion.

Sexy, sultry and seductive, the cast of Damaged Goods are as smart as they are funny. If the writing doesn’t hook you, the adorable and enduring characters will. Although, good luck figuring out who the cis characters are, but perhaps that’s the point.

Photo: Karen Stanion and Virginia Baeta by Ben Strothmann.

TADA
15 W 28th Street
New York, NY 10001
Until March 18th, 2017 or
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REVIEW: Introducing Mr Wilde or Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class

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Written and performed by Neil Titley, “Introducing Mr Wilde, or Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class” is a smart and often cheeky introduction to the life and death of Oscar Wilde. Introducing Mr. Wilde has literally toured the world including sold out performances for the last three years at the highly competitive Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and is now at the Red Sandcastle Theatre as part of The Wilde Festival. What Titley lacks in flamboyant dress he makes up for with deliciously dreamy story-telling and a sincerity of character that was as compelling as he was funny.


Introducing Mr Wilde, or Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class
Jan 6–15, 2017, various showtimes
Red Sandcastle Theatre
922 Queen St E, Toronto

Street Children

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Street Children by Pia Scala-Zankel is pure unadulterated street realness. Unsettling at times, Street Children is set during the 1986 on the Hudson Piers in New York City and portrays the lives of the LGBT street youth in a real and honest light. This period in our history was one of the most exciting times for our community because our of our struggles an entire activist community was born.

This period was also the most dangerous because of the prevailing homo/transphobia as well as the AIDS crises. Street kids, hustlers, prostitutes, drug addicts and criminals are labels that are used to cast off the ‘other’ yet despite this this, these kids formed into a family that bonded together in order to ride the most tragic circumstances imaginable. Street Children is a ninety minute journey into the courageous lives of our communities unintended activists. If there is an activist bone in your body, this play will find and expose that part of yourself that is willing to fight and protect the most vulnerable people in our culture, LGBT street youth. #StreetChildren #NoShade

 

New Ohio Theatre
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Vertigo Theater Company

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Photo: Ted Alcorn


 

Black Boys

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As provocative as it is entertaining, Black Boys is a camp adventure into queer male blackness. Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy, and Thomas Olajide make up the three member performance team Saga Colectif which mix together personal stories, beautiful choreography, smart dialogue and potent stage presence into a metatheatrical experience that’ll reinvigorate your love for live theatre. The performances were potent, complex and brought out more questions than answers, which fuelled the sense of urgency behind the exploration of the ties the bind us to our past, and each other.

Black Boys
November 19 – DECEMBER 11, 2017
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre
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Photo by Tanja-Tiziana

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Hosanna

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Hosanna’s Higher Self
If Requiem For A Dream, Moulin Rouge and Carrie had a rendezvous their offspring would be a lot like Hosanna. Damien Atkins was riveting in his portrayal of Hosanna, an aging drag queen who models herself after the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Hosanna’s outrageously sharp tongue lands her in a fight with her biker boyfriend Cuirette played by the larger than life Jason Cadieux. From the first scene Jason and Damien had the room in the palm of their hands as Hosanna’s life gets told through a heated argument between the two of them which makes for an incredible amount of edgy tension.

The Gender Offence
I can see why this play was controversial, especially to some within the LGBT community because it portrays gender in a way that is arguably not realistic. Written by Michael Tremblay, Hosanna tells the story of a transvestite who ultimately comes out as a gay man.

The program labels Hosanna a “drag queen” which is quite different from how she actually was throughout the story. Typically a drag queen is someone who dresses up for theatrical purposes with the word ‘drag’ referring to clothing. That’s different from a Trans person who has chosen to live their life as another gender. One is entertainment while the other is an expression of authenticity so when our heroine Hosanna retires all of her womanly things and comes out as a gay man the suggestion is that Hosanna really just needed to find her prince charming and then she would be able to give up wanting to be a woman.

Being LGBT, coming out or coming of age are processes that propel people towards authenticity which something people generally desire more of over time.

Sexuality is far more fluid than we give it room for in our current binary system so perhaps her gender expression was more reflection of the time period in history. After all, this play was written in 1973 which was a time when our society was literally at war with the LGBT community. In many ways one could almost view Hosanna as a tragic love story because her choice to give up being a drag queen came on the heels of her realization that not only did society hate her, everyone in her community did too. Hosanna is powerfully acted and at its core is a twisted love story and beautiful train wreck all in one.

Blowing Smoke, The Irony of Scents 
Side note: The program notes say that playwright Michael Trembly had wanted the audience to experience the heavy cheap perfume Hosanna spritzed throughout the show but we Canadians have banned scents so the audience smelt nothing. Ironically all the way through the show both actors smoked ‘fake’ cigarettes made of what smelled like lettuce or rose leaf which is precisely 100 times more disgusting.

Hosanna
Young Centre for the Performing Arts
On stage from September 23, 2016

 

Blind Date: The Nose Knows

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Blind Date is a raw, intimate and honest portrayal of what it means to put yourself out there. Rebecca Northan creates an experience that moves beyond the traditional notion of theatre. The performance takes the entire audience along with them on a voyeuristic journey into someone else’s life and the date is both familiar and not. When I go to a play I sometimes wonder if the actors or director has considered the entire space. Often theatre is set up so that we go in, all face forward on our chairs and watch as the actors entertain us from the confines of the stage. Blind Date used up the entire space, the actors knew we were all there and this became “our” experience.

Prior to the show we’re all hanging out in the Cabaret space and mingling with the performers. You can tell who’s in the show because they have red clowns noses on which at first I didn’t quite understand because if this is a play about a blind date, how is a clown’s nose appropriate?

By the end of the show the noses provided two really important functions for me. First, they created a separation between the actor and the selected ‘date’. In this particular show the audience member was really on his game and I had brief moments where I forgot he wasn’t a professional actor. That being said there is an unbelievable risk being taken by both David Benjamin Tomlinson and Julie Orton because they become fully responsible for carrying the full weight of the performance. No matter what happens. When you stick an unknown entity such as an audience member into a full show there is no telling how many terrible things can go wrong. The audience member could just be impossible, difficult, afraid, defensive or a whole host of possibilities. I suppose on that’s not unlike going on a blind date where your mind will want to run over all the scary things that could go wrong which is precisely why this show works so leaving meriting on the edge of my stool for the whole show.

“Fundamentally it’s the same show every night but then again it’s not.” -Mark Aikman, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

The clown noses were also a metaphor for how brave it is to put oneself out there. Whether that’s in the form of a blind date or by being visibly queer when you make some portion of your self stand out you risk being made fun of. That’s kind of what the whole performance was like, a giant risk-taking adventure that paid off.

“Where does the date begin and the fantasy end? By constructing this simple yet brilliant meta-theatrical premise in her show, Northan has created a spellbinding evening of unpredictability and performance acumen.” -David Bateman, Bateman Reviews

The show takes the entire audience on a voyeuristic journey and David Tomlinson where truly lots could go wrong and yet nothing did. Even the moments when it seemed the ‘date’ was upstaging David, he handled it with mastery which filled the space with authenticity. I’m going back for another Blind Date.

Julie Orton and David Benjamin Tomlinson take turns in the starring role. Check the schedule below to see who’s performing when. Until October 9th, 2016 at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre.

 Photo of Julie Orton and  David Benjamin Tomlinson by Tanja-Tiziana.

Julie Andrews is the Devil

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Virginia Baeta and Andrea Alton in Julie Andrews is the Devil
A captivating Virginia Baeta with funny woman Andrea Alton in Julie Andrews is the Devil

Julie Andrews is the Devil is a funny and charming love story about Tabitha, played by a magnificent Andrea Alton, who is a lesbian nun fixated on Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music. When Tabitha goes to Provincetown during Women’s Week she meets her love interest, a guitar wielding lesbian folksinger hot-pot named Marissa, played by the captivating Virginia Baeta.

Directed by Ed Valentine, who boasts three Emmy awards for his writing on Sesame Street, Julie Andrews is the Devil has been selected by TOSOS, NYC’s first AND oldest professional LGBT theatre company, to participate in the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival this May.

To rephrase the Baroness from the Sound of Music “There’s nothing more irresistible to a woman than a woman who’s in love with her.”

Julie Andrews is the Devil
Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
May 2nd to May 15th, 2016

Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester!

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Raymond Helkio, Lady Bunny, Shirley U. Jest, Stonewall Inn, NYC
Raymond Helkio, Lady Bunny, Shirley U. Jest, Stonewall Inn, NYC

Trans-Jester is a fitly, potty-mouthed, politically incorrect, mean spirited show and the most fun I’ve had in years. Behind the succession of cheap-shots and endless poo jokes is a deeper, philosophical commentary about a culture of inclusive political correctness that has started to suck the uniqueness right out of the human race. But who really cares about deeper meanings when you’ve got comedy of this calibre. This show is funny as hell and can cleanse even the most hardened politically incorrect soul. I got there and thought “Oh my God, she did not just say that!” and then it got worse, in the best way possible.

Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester!
Until April 30, 2016
Stonewall Inn, New York City
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Trans-Jester is written by Lady Bunny and Facebook sensation Beryl Mendelbaum.

Line

Israel Horovitz’s Line is an authentic New York theatre experience in part because at 45 years it’s the longest running show and also because it’s a fine-tuned drama at it’s most absurd. Line takes us into the lives of five people who struggle to be first in line for a completely unknown event. It’s the story of their struggle to get ahead and a metaphor for urban life in general.

The set is comprised of a piece of masking tape stuck to the stage floor but that’s all that’s needed to bring to life this smartly written examination of winning at all costs. Marcus Brandon is captivating as Flemming, Christopher Augustin was over-the-top outrageous in his role as Stephen. This adaptation was produced by Women of Color Productions yet in a cast of five had only one was woman of color, the rest were men. Molly was brought to life by the fiercely sensual Lisa G., wife to Arnall who was played by a very moving Tony Del Bono. When Molly decides to sleep her way to the front of  the line it was an empowered move yet her husband kept referring to her as a ‘bitch’ which was a disconnect. In any event Molly was as riveting as she was passionate and Hector Brito balanced out the show’s shenanigans as the Latino funny man who was sparkling with charm.

Line
13th Street Rep
March – June, 2016
Monday evenings
Directed by Jacqueline Wade
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I Will Look Forward To This Later

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I Will Look Forward To This Later is the story of author Wyatt Holloway who passes away leaving his family to deal with the aftermath of a tumultuous life fuelled by Bourbon, art and infidelity. James Himelsbach plays Wyatt, the eccentric playboy who is a seamless combination of Ricardo Montalban from Fantasy Island and Henry Kane from Poltergeist.

His two sons, Robert and Samuel, played by Edward Bauer and Ben Beckley were the perfect opposites and helped to ground the story in reality. Betsy, Wyatt’s dedicated and now widowed wife is a strong-willed character who, like Wyatt, had been ignoring her marriage and was now having to face the reality of who they had grown into.

I Will Look Forward To This Later is rich with beautiful writing and the staging was much like William Boroughs’ A Naked Lunch in that it blended fantasy and reality into one intelligent and provocative package with just enough risk-taking to keep me at the edge of my seat.

I Will Look Forward To This Later
APRIL 4 – 23, 2016
New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher Street, NY
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Photo credit (above): Nick Benacerraf


Text by Kate Benson and Emily Louise Perkins

Directed by Jess Chayes
Dramaturgy by Stephen Aubrey
Production Design by Nick Benacerraf

Cast: Edward Bauer, Ben Beckley*, Vinie Burrows*, James Himelsbach*, Linda Marie Larson*, Emily Louise Perkins*

Costume Design: Kate Fry
Lighting Design: Christina Watanabe
Sound Design: Asa Wember
Movement Direction: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Creative Consultant: Barbara Samuels
Production Stage Manager: Megan Sprowls
ASM: Hanako Rodriguez
Movement Direction: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Producer: Lucy Jackson
Associate Producer: Emily Caffery

*courtesy of Actor’s Equity.

 

Fuerza Bruta

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Seriously, WTF was that?! The Fuerza Bruta experience was like watching the MOMA have sex with The Roxy – for our Canadian friends that’s like the AGO copulating with The Guvernment Nightclub… I’m definitely going back.

Fuerza Bruta
Daryl Roth Theatre
101 East 15th Street
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Dying Like Ignacio

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An actor and his best friend, a New York police officer, have tickets to see a play on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The officer cancels at the last minute and his friend gives the extra ticket to an unassuming man while waiting for the theater to open. . . This rather ordinary gesture sets the stage for playwright Louis Mascolo’s new dramatic play, Dying Like Ignacio. Mascolo weaves a tale of passion and suspense in which the limits of friendship are challenged, the consequences of sacrifice are questioned and the line between obsession and abuse are drawn.


Not since Oliver Twisted has a play taken me off guard in quite the way that Dying Like Ignacio did. It’s as moving as it is disturbing both because of its subject matter and in particular how each character’s relationship to it shifts over time. On the surface, Dying Like Ignacio is a dark tale about BDSM fantasies gone awry but it’s the relationship between Michael, played by a brilliant Jeff Hathcoat, and his best friend Maureen (Meredith Lark) that is most gripping because it drags “regular” people into the space between fantasy and abuse and while I had moments where I squirmed in my seat I was equally riveted by the complexity of the actors.

Dying Like Ignacio by Louis Mascolo
March 30 – April 10, 2016
Workshop Theater’s Main Stage Theater
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Produced by Willow Mill Productions, Directed by Karen Case Cook, Featuring *Michael Basile, Jeff Hathcoat, *Meredith Lark, *Thomas Raniszewski // *Actors’ Equity Association.

 

House Rules

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A clever play about forgiveness, House Rules is a smartly layered story about two Filipino families trying to make sense of the impending deaths of each others ailing parents. Mia Katigbak is hilarious as Vera, the sharp-witted mother of duelling sisters Twee and Momo whose stage presence is rivalled only by JoJo Gonzalez’s deeply moving performance as Ernie, the miserable bed-ridden father to JJ and Rod. Rod’s flaky boyfriend is played by the adorable Conrad Schott who is unpretentiously funny in his role.

The set was impressive with its multiple levels, each creating their own sense of space yet all open to one another; two living rooms, an elevator, a rooftop, restaurant and hospital all functioning in the same wall-less space. Impressive and creative as it was, the set and furnishings were large and took up a lot of physical space sometimes over-powering the actors or creating extraordinary distances between them and their mark on stage. Despite this, they still earn brownie points for trying something fresh.

Go see House Rules is a lovely reminder that the harshest parts of our lives can also be the richest – you’ll laugh, cry and even learn to appreciate the dysfunctional parts of your own family.

House Rules
March 25 – April 16, 2016
Here Theatre
145 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10013
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CAST
Tina Chilip
Jojo Gonzalez
Mia Katigbak
Jeffrey Omura
Conrad Schott
Tiffany Villarin
James Yaegashi

TEAM
Playwright: Rey Pamatmat
Directed: Ralph B. Peña
Scenic Design: Reid Thompson
Costume Design: Martin Schnellinger
Lighting Design: Oliver Wason
Sound Design: Fabian Obispo
Production Stage Manager: Jennifer Delac
Public Relations: Sam Rudy Media Relations
Producer: John Kurzynowski

 

Golden Boy by The Instigators

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Golden Boy
 by Clifford Odets is about Joe Bonaparte whose gives up on his dream of becoming a violinist when he gets seduced into the world of prize fighting. Joe Bonaparte is played by an entertaining Fergus Scully who could rival Billy Elliot for genuine tenderness. His on again off again relationship with Lorna Moon, played by Alexandra Allwine was filled with rich with meaningful moments.

On the surface Joe is risking his career as a violinist by subjecting his hands to injury but the real story is between Joe and his Italian immigrant father portrayed  by a powerful and moving Mark Couchot. Golden Boy starts off really big which only gives them room to go down but they make up for it with immersive acting and genuine moments of family, love and dirty business. The minimal stage elements were smartly placed and there was an ease and elegance with which all of the actors moved set pieces and framed the space. It doesn’t matter if you like boxing or not, this is a brilliant cast of actors who will literally take you into another world and for a play that was almost two hours long I left wanting just a little bit more.

Golden Boy
March 23-27, 2016
The Secret Theatre
Long Island City, New York
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Written by Clifford Odets, directed by Lillian Meredith, starring: Alexandra Allwine, Mark Couchot, Brian Dunlop, Bryan Hamilton, Hunter Hoffman, Kazu Imafuku, Tucker Lewis, Taylor Petracek, Fergus Scully, Elizabeth Seldin, Malachy Silva

The Snail

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A native of Italy, Fabio Zito has a history of work that has continually been supported and produced by his home theatre but the topic matter of his latest work proved to be too much and for the first time his script was rejected. Not being discouraged, Fabio went of the hunt for a replacement company who could provide them residence and a public performance space – enter the spunky East Village theatre Wild Project.

The Snail is a story about a boy who is locked in a body that he doesn’t recognize until he decides to start living as a woman and while the premise is intoxicating, the execution of the story fell short of making a connection with the audience. The Snail is part Jay & Gloria from Modern Family meets Brandon Teena from Boys Don’t Cry and while Arianna Luzi gave a mesmerizing performance as Andrew, it wasn’t enough to fully bring the audience into the narrative. New York has numerous trans/gender-themed plays (see MDLSX and Boy), some experimental and others very thoughtful, but The Snail was a slow and sticky attempt at telling somebody elses story and it reminded me of a life lesson my cohort Amy Pearl once told me.

For years, Amy had been trying to get her work accepted into Toronto’s queer Rhubarb Festival but Buddies in Bad Times Theatre turned her down. Frustrated, Amy called up the artistic director at the time (and founder) Sky Gilbert to find out why her work, despite being queer in content, was continually passed over. He told her that it wasn’t what was in her work but rather what wasn’t. Amy’s work was probably gayer then most gays could ever hope to be yet it was lacking the vulnerability and insights that can only come as a result of an actual lived experience. It’s not that Amy couldn’t tell a gay man’s story (she’s gayer then most gays I know), Sky was suggesting that she get comfortable in her own shows before attempting a mile someone else’s heels. It’s sage advice because most people spend their entire lives trying to unpack their own identities and so aiming to do that for another human being just pushes the story that much farther from reality.

 

Boy

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“THE BLINDING POWER OF LOVE, THE ENIGMA OF GENDER, AND THE COMPLICATED MYSTERY OF HOW WE BECOME WHO WE ARE.”


INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY. In the 1960s, a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold. A story of the blinding power of love and the complicated mystery of one’s perception of self, Boy is a moving play that calls into question how we become who we are.


Heidi Armbruster and Ted Koch are both powerful and deeply moving in their roles as Trudy and Doug Turner, the troubled parents of Adam, portrayed by the poignant and adorably complex Bobby Steggert. This is a play about a child’s heroic journey navigating gender roles and it’s also the story of a parents struggle to do the right thing in the face of growing concern that they’ve made a horrific mistake. Rebecca Rittenhouse is on point as Adam’s conflicted love interest with Dr. Wendell Barnes (played by Paul Niebank) playing his misguided but well-meaning psychiatrist.

Boy
FEBRUARY 23 – APRIL 9, 2016
WORLD PREMIERE
The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
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Boy by ANNA ZIEGLER, Featuring HEIDI ARMBRUSTER, TED KOCH, PAUL NIEBANCK, REBECCA RITTENHOUSE and BOBBY STEGGERT, Directed by LINSAY FIRMAN

Photo above of Bobby Steggert by Zack DeZon.

10 Reasons To See “A Broad Abroad”

(10) To hear her secret(s) to a happy life
(9) Because you love Paris in springtime
(8) And German Sing-A-Longs
(7) To feel like you’ve toured the world
(6) To see D’yan Forest face down, spread eagled
(5) Learn how to get laid by a camel
(4) You love a good story, especially when it involves sex
(3) To find what OMG, BFF and TMI really mean
(2) To participate in a group fantasy about Ahmed
(1) You’re looking for the quintessential New York theatre experience


A Broad Abroad
The Frigid Festival
The Kraine Theatre
85 East 4th Street, New York
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Written by D’yan Forest and Eric Kornfeld
Performed by D’yan Forest
Directed by Eric Cornfield
Piano Richard Danley

A few weeks back I interviewed D’yan on Closet Case for theBuzz, have a peek:


The critically acclaimed solo show premiered at The Orlando Fringe Festival last May. D’yan Forest performs her unique style of stand up, regularly at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC. She also performs her solo shows in New York, throughout the US and in Paris. Erik Kornfeld, who has written for Bette Midler and for The Rosie O’Donnel Show, directs. 

8 Decades of Music, Madness, and “Foreign Affairs.” Classy comedic “femme fatale,” D’yan Forest brings you her new show, A Broad Abroad to the New York Frigid Festival. The solo show takes you on her adventures, which began in Paris in 1955. Her comedy and songs (sung in French, Italian & German) include anecdotes about her swains throughout Europe including Italy, Austria and Jordan. She is joined by her longtime pianist Richard Danley.

Show Dates
Tuesday, February 16th at 5:30 pm
Sunday, February 21st at 3:30 pm
Friday, February 26th at 6:50 pm
Wednesday, March 2nd at 5:30 pm
Friday, March 4th at 8:30 pm
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Adults Only

 

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Matt Reeves, Rachael Lee, Farrah Crane (back to camera), Sam Gilroy, Tessa Borbridge and Matt Mundy in a scene from “The Needle through the Arm Trick”. Photo credit: Edward Morris.
Matt Reeves, Rachael Lee, Farrah Crane (back to camera), Sam Gilroy, Tessa Borbridge and Matt Mundy in a scene from “The Needle through the Arm Trick”. Photo credit: Edward Morris.

#CoreAdultsOnly | Directed by Alex Correia, Adults Only is comprised of seven one-act plays by Dean Imperial that illuminate the dark, ironic and awkward world of adulthood.

Boosting a cast of thirty incredibly talented actors, Shane Allen’s delivery during The Heart Attack was dead-pan brilliant as was Katie Lawson’s was captivating performance in The Polish

Nate Rollins and Shane Allen in a scene from “The Heart Attack,” part of “Adults Only”. Photo credit: Eulone Gooding.
Nate Rollins and Shane Allen in a scene from “The Heart Attack,” part of “Adults Only”. Photo credit: Eulone Gooding.

Starlet. If Theatre had sex with stand-up you’d probably get something like to Adults Only. It’s smart, quick and highly engaging plus as an added bonus the staging and lighting was as sophisticated as it was subtle.

Adults Only
February 6-21, 2016
TBG Theatre
312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor
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Tea in the Afternoon

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When Elizabeth, portrayed by the illustrious Tayler Beth Anderson, discovers that her grandmother has died and left the estate to a ‘mystery’ aunt named ‘Bes’ she is hurt. She locates Bes who comes alive because of a spunky and heartwarming Alice Spvvak whose character attempts to make sense of their increasingly confusing situation.

Tea In The Afternoon unfolds into a story about fantasy, money, misunderstanding, and above all, truth-seeking. But f you have ever cared for an aging loved one then you know that just because it’s true one minute does not mean it will be in the next. especially for the caregiver.

Tea in the Afternoon
By Vanessa Shealy and directed by Nick Corley
February 2 – February 7, 2016
The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row Studios
410 West 42nd Street
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Key Change

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Key Change is a raw and illuminating portrayal of prison life created by inmates from Her Majesties Prison Low Newton (HMPLN), a closed prison for female offenders, which later toured within the men’s prison system.


This prison cell was created in the lobby area of the theatre. A powerful demonstration of how terrible the living conditions are in prison.
This prison cell was created in the lobby area of the theatre. A powerful demonstration of how terrible the living conditions are in prison.

If you combined Women of Cell Block H with Clockwork Orange you’d come up with something close to the highly creative and fast-paced Key Change with it’s unapologetic story fuelled by top-notch actors who dive deep into the emotionally complex subject matter. A poignant and moving portrait of a failing prison system that, instead of rehabilitating  offenders, is literally crushing the lives of women who have already suffered extraordinary abuses. What do we expect when we take a woman who has been abused and toss her into prison?

Open Clasp.org.uk
Photo: openclasp.org.uk

Lacking safety and support she is doomed within a system that acts like quick sand, sending its victims in search of escape through one of the most realistic expressions of Heroin use I have seen on stage. I did expect that the characters would develop or grow but they didn’t and that may have been the point. Go see Key Change, its a raw, riveting and intense journey that will stay with you long after the performance.

Key Change
4th Street Theatre, NYC
until January 31st, 2016
TICKETS

Directed by Laura Lindow, written by Catrina McHugh, Key Change won the Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ Award 2015. Cast: Angie: Jessica Johnson, Lucy: Cheryl Dixon, Kelly: Christina Berriman Dawson, Kim: Judi Earl and Lorraine: Victoria Copeland