Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Frost/Nixon: 04/24/2007

Some great plays spring from actual events. For me, the David Frost interview of Richard Nixon in 1977 was just a post-script to the story of Watergate. But in this real-life drama, playwright Peter Morgan has found the inspiration for an epic battle of wills between two media figures. In Frost/Nixon both Frost and Nixon have everything at stake during the course of these multi-hour dialogs, but as told by Morgan, only one of these men can be victorious. The text is more slanted towards the Frost character (his team has several narrators, while Mr. Nixon has only one) but a fair fight is still to be had because if your underdog is played by Frank Langella he has more than a fighting chance. Similar to that other recent historical British import, Stuff Happens, Frost/Nixon suffers from a little too much plodding exposition at the beginning, but by the end you can't help but be fully involved.

For Tickets & Info: www.frostnixononbroadway.com

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mike Daisey Gets Dissed (at ART)

Seriously, my jaw dropped when I watched this. Another reason to stay the hell out of Boston.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs: 04/13/2007

Transport Group's production of William Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs is something to see. Director Jack Cummings III has stripped the play down to essentially just the text itself, disposing of anything resembling a traditional set and all but the most essential props. Cummings puts all his trust in the play and his uniformly excellent cast and the results transcend what could be, if given a more traditional “museum piece” re-creative staging, a rather creaky evening. This production focuses on the idea that this is a memory play, setting much of the action behind scrims and placing a haze on what is being seen and remembered. And what is being remembered is the difficult relationship of Cora and Rubin Flood and the effects this has on their children Reenie and Sonny. While homosexuality is never mentioned, the coded signals are there in the character of Sonny: the over-baring mother, the distant father, the “outsider” status among the other children and his love of movies and movie stars. As Sonny, the very young Jack Tartaglia gives a very respectable performance, but the real treat of the evening is Michele Pawk as Aunt Lottie – it's a juicy part and Pawk doesn't miss one opportunity to shine. If there is one downside to the production it is that the deliberately tableau-like blocking doesn't vary, making for a restrained climax – but that's actually a minor quibble in such an outstanding evening.

For Tickets and Info: www.transportgroup.org

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Armed & Naked in America: A Naked Angels Issues Project

Armed and Naked in America consists of 14 established and emerging playwrights' sometimes scathing, sometimes funny, always insightful responses to life during wartime America, presented together on one stage. Week 1 features a bill of eight plays by distinguished playwrights, including Betty Shamieh, Theresa Rebeck (The Scene), as well as Academy Award-nominated Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries) and Itamar Moses (Bach at Leipzig). Week 2 features six different plays and playwrights, including Tony and Drama Desk winner David Rabe (Hurlyburly), Tony Award winner Warren Leight (Side Man), Will Eno (Thom Pain), and Pippin Parker. Short videos by some of the city's hottest sketch comedy groups, music performances, and special guests from the worlds of politics, media and entertainment will also complement the performances.

SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Week 1:

President and Man
by Louis Cancelmi,
with Lizbeth Mackay, Brandon Miller, Chris Sarandon, directed by Evan Cabnet
Woman at War
by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros,
with Zabryna Guevara,
directed by Davis McCallum
Myrtle Beach
by Dan Klores,
with Katherine Crockett,
David Deblinger, Yul Vazquez,
directed by John Gould Rubin
by Itamar Moses,
with Brian Avers, Bess Wohl,
directed by Michelle Tattenbaum
by Deirdre O'Connor,
with James McMenamin, Nancy McNulty, directed by Dave Dalton
by Theresa Rebeck,
with Kate Nowlin, Jeanine Serralles,
directed by Rebecca Taichman
Anne” from Sonnets for an Old Century
by Jose Rivera,
with Zabryna Guevara
directed by Davis McCallum
The Machine
by Betty Shamieh,
with Amir Arison, Ron Cephas Jones, Hortencia Colorado, Marshall Factora, Gaby Hoffmann and Reno,
directed by Marisa Tomei
With video:
“Great American Wars: Episode 6”
by Movie Geek; Co-creators: Dylan Dawson & Aaron Maurer
“Creation Nation On the Street”
by Creation Nation; Creators: Billy Eichner, Benjamin Salka and Robin Taylor

Week 2:

After the Deer Hunter
by Nicole Burdette,
directed by Jodie Markell
Bully Composition
by Will Eno,
with Elizabeth Marvel, Thomas Jay Ryan,
directed by Daniel Aukin
by Cindy Lou Johnson,
with Sarah Sweet,
directed by Pam MacKinnon
Gilgamesh the Prince
by David Rabe,
directed by Evan Yionoulis
Amici, Ascoltate
by Warren Leight,
directed by Evan Yionoulis
Ever Less Free
by Pippin Parker,
directed by Frank Pugliese
With video:
“A Toast” by The Harvard Sailing Team
“60” by Andy Blitz

For Tickets & Info: www.dukeon42.org

Friday, April 06, 2007

Beware The Blog!

The currect issue of Time Out New York, it's Spring Theater Preview Issue, has a section on “20 Dirty Secrets about NY Theater.” #3 is “Beware the blogotainmercial” and states:
“You know that clever theater blog you bookmarked, the one with inside dope on the edgiest shows and artists? Be careful—it might be a PR tool. Marketing departments have offered drama bloggers free seats to write about hipster-skewing plays such as Pig Farm and Dying City. Mind you, theaters don’t demand positive write-ups; they just want the cool-kid buzz. Blogs to trust: George Hunka’s Superfluities, Isaac Butler’s Parabasis and Jaime’s Surplus.”
Now, theater “critics” are given free tickets to review shows all the time. Might that be a PR tool in the hopes of getting a good review and in turn sell more tickets? Say it isn't so! Why is it if bloggers are given free tickets it's morally reprehensible? Establishment Media is scared shitless all the time. First it was the internet. And now that most of them have an on-line presence, along come the bloggs to have them shaking-n-baking all over again. TONY's white list of approved bloggers all are great bloggs. I read them daily. Several of them are also extensions of Establishment Media. So beware that...

Now, that said –
  • I don't accept free tickets for shows I write about on Off-Off Blogway. (Mostly because I wish to keep this blogg anonymous and I'd loose the anonymity is I started accepting free tickets. I don't think it's wrong to accept free tickets and write about said show as long as you are honest.)
  • I only see shows I want to see.
  • I only write about the shows I want to write about, which is most of the shows I see, but not all of them.
  • I'll post discount offers if asked because I think theater tickets are generally too expensive.
That's all. Peace out.

Discount Offer For DYING CITY

I really loved Dying City.

Don't miss the opportunity to see this excellent production of this great play.

There are discount offers for the show, so please take advantage of them:

With a student I.D., up to two tickets @ $10/ticket: DC4TONY

Up to 6 tickets @ $45/ticket, open to anyone: DC45LCT

For tickets go to: www.broadwayoffers.com and use the codes above.

Monday, April 02, 2007

2007 Lucille Lortel Nominations

Here they are...I didn't realize it had been such a dull year Off-Broadway...

The Busy World Is Hushed
Dying City
Indian Blood
Stuff Happens

Gutenberg! The Musical!
In the Heights
Spring Awakening
Striking 12

¡El Conquistador!
No Child?

King Hedley II
Landscape of the Body
Two Trains Running
The Voysey Inheritance

Michael Mayer, Spring Awakening
PJ Paparelli, columbinus
Derrick Sanders, King Hedley II
Daniel Sullivan, Stuff Happens
David Warren, The Voysey Inheritance

Hinton Battle, Evil Dead the Musical
Andy Blankenbuehler, In the Heights
Devanand Janki, Henry and Mudge
Bill T. Jones, Spring Awakening

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Goes Boating
Russell Hornsby, King Hedley II
Peter Francis James, Stuff Happens
Lee Pace, Guardians
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Voysey Inheritance

Rebecca Brooksher, Dying City
Jill Clayburgh, The Busy World Is Hushed
Patricia Heaton, The Scene
Gloria Reuben, Stuff Happens
Laila Robins, Sore Throats

Arthur French, Two Trains Running
David Greenspan, Some Men
Ron Cephas Jones, Two Trains Running
Robert Sella, Stuff Happens
Harris Yulin, Frank's Home

Anna Camp, The Scene
Mamie Gummer, The Water's Edge
Nina Hellman, The Internationalist
Michele Ragusa, Adrift in Macao
Sherie Rene Scott, Landscape of the Body

David Korins, Jack Goes Boating
Eugene Lee, The Hairy Ape
Anna Louizos, In the Heights
Derek McLane, The Voysey Inheritance
Allen Moyer, The Busy World is Hushed

Gregory Gale, The Milliner
Gregory Gale, The Voysey Inheritance
Susan Hilferty, Spring Awakening
Willa Kim, Adrift in Macao
Valerie Marcus Ramshur, Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen

Kevin Adams, Some Men
Kevin Adams, Spring Awakening
Christopher Akerlind, KAOS
Jeff Croiter, The Internationalist
Japhy Weideman, Jack Goes Boating

John Collins, Faust
Martin Desjardins, columbinus
Robert Kaplowitz, The Internationalist
Brian Ronan, Spring Awakening
Eric Shim, Essential Self-Defense

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Wooster Group Goes To The Opera

Up next for the fabulous Wooster Group will be LA DIDONE in which Francisco Cavalli's 1641 opera, La Didone, in which Aeneas, prince of Troy, lands on the shores of Africa after a violent sea storm and falls in love with Dido, queen of Carthage collides with Mario Bava's 1965 cult movie Terrore nello spazio (better know as Planet of the Vampires in the US), the spaceship Argos crashes on the planet Aurora, and its crew becomes locked in a desperate battle with zombies!

The premiere of this new work will be Kaaitheater in Brussels, May 19th - 24th, 2007. No word on when we will see it in NYC.

For info: www.thewoostergroup.org