Women Stage the World March For Equality in Theatre June 11
By Carey Purcell
11 Jun 2013
Women Stage the World, an advocacy project from The League of Professional Theatre Women, lead a suffragette-inspired parade and march on Broadway June 11 at 6 PM.
The event is an equality march to get the same number of women working in the theatre as men.
"The parade will be a celebration of our accomplishments and a chance to engage the public in a conversation about the future," Mahayana Landowne, who co-chairs the Advocacy Committee, said in an earlier statement. “Given the public interest in Governor Cuomo’s Women's Equality Act and Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In,' the timing could not be better for this conversation. We see it as an inflection point and we are seizing the moment to raise awareness and change up the status quo."
"Women buy two-thirds of the tickets and represent 65 percent of the audience," playwright Deborah Savadge, one of the co-chairs of the Advocacy Committee, added. "The irony is that 80 percent of the time, the storytelling on stage is shaped by men's voices, not women's."
Women Stage the World is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre, and the gender barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 as playwright, director and designer.
The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit organization with a membership of almost 500 women that presents numerous events each year as part of its mission to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the field.
More information about the march can be obtained by visitingtheatrewomen.org.
Director Shorts: Jeremy Bloom
In between the longer, in-depth interviews with NYC’s Indie Directors, I’ve decided to include some “shorts.” So lighter, shorter interviews to whet your appetite! Here’s the gist: I ask a few questions via email, they reply, then I send follow up questions. Then they get to ask me a question!
My first interviewee for “DirectorShorts” is Jeremy Bloom. Jeremy enjoys working with new playwrights and with new music, Jeremy directs his original adaptations including La Boheme (Spoken), Peter-Wendy (Dark), and Leaves of Grass (Nude). No idea is too un-theatrical, and the more visually exciting, the better. No form is too theatrical, but the more emotionally grounded, the better. You can learn more about him here. CP: Hello Jeremy! Thank you for being part of the inaugural DirectorSpeak off-shoot: DirectorShorts! You get to set the tone for this series – I hope you’re up for the challenge!
JB: Me, too! I’m sure it will be great. I’m ready, so fire away!
CP: Excellent, let’s jump right in. Was there any one incident or point in your life that convinced you that directing was what you wanted to do?
JB: Yes, indeed. It was in 1989, when I saw a a gardening cart behind my grandparents’ house and thought “that should be a stage.” We could wheel it around, and it created an elevated platform anywhere we wanted.
Read more here: http://catlander.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/director-shorts-jeremy-bloom/
Seamus Mulcahy, left, and John Patrick Doherty "Billy Witch."
Lust, Longing and Lanyards: Ah, Camp
‘Billy Witch,’ Onstage in Queens
By ANDY WEBSTER
Published: November 13, 2012
In his gleeful romp “Billy Witch,” Gregory S. Moss (“punkplay”) takes familiar ingredients of high school horror — summer camp, a lake, a forest, ghost stories — and hurls them into a whirlwind of comic sexual awakening.
The audience at the Astoria Performing Arts Center gathers before a curtain to meet Counselor Becky (Dawn Luebbe) and Counselor James (Nicholas Urda) and hear opening remarks from the camp’s imperious director, P D Lockwood (John Patrick Doherty). Then we are admitted to Camp Blue Triangle, nicely rendered in Tim Brown’s tree-laden set. (Chris Barlow, the sound designer, provides unobtrusively effective cricket chirps and owl hoots.)
The campers include the 14-year-old Oliver (Seamus Mulcahy), a shy outsider seeking to change his life. Change certainly arrives, thanks to puberty, not to mention Oliver’s fair-weather friend Arden (a petulant and amusing Eric Bryant), a boy of drastically arbitrary moods and sexual preferences; the mysterious Kid (Andy Phelan), who strikes a bargain with Oliver; Sandy (Liz Wisan), a garrulous gossip and flirt; and Miranda (Aimee Howard), a shy girl with eyes (and tentacles) for Oliver. We also learn about Billy Witch, a camper who in 1982 vanished in suspicious circumstances and has haunted the premises ever since.
As directed by Erik Pearson, the show pursues strange tangents — Lockwood’s comically terrifying lecture about women, the counselors’ unsettling arts-and-crafts presentation on the preparation and meaning of God’s-eyes— but doesn’t lag. (Nor does the buoyant cast.) And you may never again see the first tentative kiss of adolescence exchanged between a boy and a bespectacled she-squid.
“Billy Witch” continues through Saturday at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent Street, at 30th Road, Astoria, Queens; (866) 811-4111, apacny.org.
Immigrant Led Astray in His New Home‘Probation,’ by Yoshvani Medina, in Spanish
By ANDY WEBSTER
Published: July 24, 2012
The playwright and director Yoshvani Medina was born in Cuba, and judging from “Probation,” his engaging work presented by Repertorio Español at the Gramercy Arts Theater, he is consumed with ambivalence about that country. Throughout the play, essentially a dialectic between pro-Cuban and pro-American sentiments, Mr. Medina resists taking sides, wisely preferring to explore gray areas in each perspective.
A prologue presents an unspecified but recent military skirmish in Cuba: A dying Fredo (Sandor Juan) extracts a promise from Pancho (Alfonso Rey) that he will take care of Fredo’s son, Freddy. A year later Pancho is in Miami, and Freddy (also Mr. Juan) and his pregnant wife, Yenny (Hannia Guillén), arrive to start a new life. Pancho sets up Freddy at a shady clinic engaged in Medicaid fraud; the wry, skeptical Yenny seeks employment as a standup comic.
Freddy knows Pancho’s offer is suspect, but the money proves too tempting, and before long he has a house, two cars and the feds on his trail. When the authorities close in, he eyes a return to Cuba, but Pancho, the godfather to his son, tries to dissuade him. (“In Cuba, people have nothing,” he says. “Everything belongs to the government,” which prompts Freddy to retort, “And everything here belongs to the banks.”) Yenny, now a journalist and blogger, has ideas of her own.
The production is in Spanish, which a new, unobtrusive captioning system translates, leaving non-Spanish speakers to savor Mr. Medina’s assured direction and the appealing cast. (Jorge Noa and Pedro Balmaseda’s stark, malleable set keeps the focus squarely on the actors.)
Freddy, who is earnest but seducible, is eclipsed by the cynical Pancho, whose gruff observations can be hilarious, though their more heated exchanges verge on the didactic. Ms. Guillén’s character offers vital leavening, with monologues about sex and the lessons she’s learned in America; her blog is called I Live in Miami (and I Know Its Entrails). Unseen is Freddy and Yenny’s baby, Fred, part of a future generation fated to inherit the impasse between countries so close and yet so very far apart.
“Probation” continues through Sept. 27 at the Gramercy Arts Theater, 138 East 27th Street, Manhattan; (212) 225-9999, repertorio.org/probation.
Spare Times: For Children, for July 13-19
By LAUREL GRAEBER
Published: July 12, 2012
‘Everything About School (Almost)’ (Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday through Thursday) It’s not too early to think about school, especially when it’s done with singing, dancing and humor. That’s certainly true in this musical revival from Tada! Youth Theater, with a book by Eric Rockwell and a score and lyrics by Mr. Rockwell and a variety of writers. The subjects touched on include gym class, cafeteria food and young love, as the characters progress from second grade through high school. (Through Aug. 4.) Fridays, and Tuesdays through Thursdays, at noon and 2 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 4 p.m. The noon shows this Friday and Tuesday are sold out, as are both Thursday shows. Tada! Theater, 15 West 28th Street, Manhattan, (212) 252-1619, Ext. 128, tadatheater.com; $15; $8 for 16 and under; $25 and $15 for premium seats.
Summer in the City: Theater Edition
Here is our list of must-see off-Broadway shows!
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Amanda Mactas
New York City is known for its spectacular Broadway shows. But you can get equally stunning and entertaining shows without the hefty price tag and the hustle and bustle of the theatre district. Check out these must see off-Broadway shows!
The Flower Thief: Presented by Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time Festival, this play, written by Pia Wilson, is one to see. The story centers around Clark, who is grieving over the loss of his twin brother and is clinging to nature's promise of renewal. Clark turns to stealing flowers as everything else around him slowly wilts. This show, directed by Heidi Grumelot, will run August 2-19 at The Red Room at 8pm. Tickets are available here for $18.
Probation: Repertorio Espanol presents the New York premiere of Yoshvani Medina's Probation at Gramercy Arts Theater. The show will be be presented in Spanish with subtitles via in-seat Simultext Captioning System. The play is a timely story about compromising moral values in order to get rich quick. A Cuban man brings a friend's son to the US and the boy takes a job as the director of a medical clinic after trying out hard labor. However, his world turns upside when he gets arrested by the FBI on charges of Medicaid fraud. Tickets are on sale here for $27 and the show runs from July 12th until September 27th.
The Change Season: Sink or Swim puts on quite a show with both David Auburn's Proof and Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband at The Connelly Theater. Performances go from July 5th-July 29th. In both shows, the characters are living a life of illusion and lies. Women in each show must look inside themselves and realize that they must change the way they view themselves and others in order to move forward. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here.
King Kong: Horse Trade Theater group presents RadioTheatre in the only live on stage performance of King Kong...ever! We all know the story of the giant gorilla who climbs the Empire State Building, so no need to explain it to you. This great adventure uses a cast of fabulous storytellers, and original orchestral score, and a bundle of sound effects to bring the story to life. Tickets are $35 and available here; the show takes place at the 45th Street Theater beginning August 1st.
Chess: This special concert to benefit The Actor's Fund, will be performed one night only on July 30th at 7:30pm. Robert Cuccioli, Natascia Diaz, and Drew Sarich will be starring in the show, which takes place at LaGuardia Arts at Lincoln Center. The show follows a love story set against an international chess championship between American and Russian players, inspired by the 1972 match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Tickets are $67.50 for general admission of $128.50 for reserved seating. They can be purchased here.
Le Prince et le Pauvre: Otherwise known as The Prince and the Pauper, this show, put on by CETM and Cutter Productions, in association with the Midtown International Theater Festival, will be showing the New York premiere of this classic story at the June Havoc Theatre. The show will be presented in French with supertitles and an encore in English for three performances only, July 27-29th. The story follows a young prince and a pauper who decide to switch places. The show is being directed by Gaelle Pouliquen and $18 tickets can be purchased here.
My Mind is Like an Open Meadow: 59E59 Theaters and Hand2Mouth Theatre bring you the New York premiere of Erin Leddy's show. The writer lived with her grandmother for a year in 2001 and recorded her memoirs...the product is this show, in which the audio of the elderly actress comes to life and journeys between two generations of theater performers. The show goes from August 1st until August 19th. Tickets are $25 and available here.
CAPTAIN CRASH vs THE ZZORGWOMEN- CHAPTERS 5 & 6
The Science Fiction Rock Musical
Book and lyrics by DAVE PIERCE
Music by STEVE HAMMOND, RICK JONES, and WESTON GAVIN
Choreographed by ROBERTA RAYMOND
Directed by RICHMOND SHEPARD
STARTING JUNE 20TH AT THE RICHMOND SHEPARD THEATRE
OPENING NIGHT IS THURSDAY, JUNE 28 AT 8 P.M.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT 212-684-2690
Like the Saturday afternoon movie serials of the 30’s and 40’s, the show starts with the end of Chapter 4: Captain Crash, his beautiful secretary Dulla, his sidekick Swede and The Professor are trapped and about to be killed by the Snakepeople. Somehow, they miraculously escape.
Their ship is hit by a meteor shower, and they crash-land on the planet Zzorg, where the population is all women. They are caught in the nefarious schemes and traps of these voracious women. Will they escape? Will they succumb to the malevolent schemes of The Zzorgs and their beautiful King? Will Captain Crash continue fighting evil throughout the galaxy?
Come and see the show, with its singing, dancing, gymnastic Zzorgwomen, and the staunchest, most Patriotic, American Hero in The Galaxy.
CAPTAIN CRASH plays the following regular schedule:
Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and are now available at 212-684-2690 or ½ hour prior to performance at the theater.
Running Time: 2 hours
The production features costume design by Justine Rivera, lighting design by Brett Maughan, and sound design by Samm Vella.
Prison Dancer: The Show Based on Viral YouTube Sensation
The dancing inmates of Cebu come alive on stage.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Amanda Mactas
The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Prison Dancer Live, LLC. are bringing the show Prison Dancer to a theater near you! The show, written by Romeo Candido and Carmen De Jesus and directed by Jenn Rapp, will be showing at St. Clement's from July 20th until July 28th. The show follows the lives of eight Filipino maximum-security prisoners, whose lives are changed when a video of their dance-based rehab program goes viral on YouTube. The dark prison suddenly finds itself in the spotlight and these hardcore criminals are given a second chance. Furthermore, the show is inspired by a true story! Tickets are $20 and available for purchase here. Check out the performance schedule below:
Friday, Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 22nd, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Friday, Jul 27th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 28th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 28th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
See the real Dancing Inmates of Cebu breaking it down to MJ in this video!
Dancing Inmates of Cebu - Thriller
As a hardcore theater geek, one of the things I love most about spring is the new crop of shows that blooms every year. And even though there's a lot of action on Broadway right now, there are plenty of smaller, less expensive but just as enjoyable kids' productions playing in New York City.
We've gone through all of the listings and picked out the best shows bowing on NYC stages this season. While a couple are at the New Victory (you can't really do a roundup of quality family theater in this town without mentioning 'em), we're also shining a spotlight on less well known theaters and troupes. From circus feats to fractured fairy tales, pop-rock musicals to page-to-stage adaptations, here are our top 13 kids' shows playing this spring.
Up to You – Chelsea
Friday, April 27-Sunday, May 20. Visit the website for the complete schedule.
TADA! Youth Theater
15 West 28th Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue
$20-$25 for adults, $8-$15 for children
Ages 5 and up
I'm really looking forward to this musical about a tense student council election in a fictional high school. Despite being set in the late '70s, the show explores challenges facing kids today, like peer acceptance, bullying and wanting to be popular. Since it's performed by local kids and based on the experiences of composer and book writer Eric Rockwell, it's sure to feel real.