This year’s summer offering by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Amerike – The Golden Land, is a perfect fit for the NYTF’s mission: “to celebrate the Yiddish experience through the performing arts by transmitting the rich cultural legacy in exciting new ways that bridge social and cultural divides.” It’s not surprising that Amerike – The Golden Land does that so perfectly, since it was commissioned in 1982 by the Workmen’s Circle to do just that. WC Director of Education, Yosl Mlotek, tapped Moishe Rosenfeld and Zalmen Mlotek – now the Artistic Director of the NYTF – to write the piece. And yes, Zalmen is Yosl’s son, and Moishe is Yosl’s nephew. Making Zalmen and Moishe cousins. And you’ve just played a round of what is affectionately known in NYC as “Jewish Geography,” or “are you a landsman (google it)/six degrees of separation.”
The chronicle of a woman who is emotionally on the ropes, and of the psychologically beat up family and friends in her corner.
The cataclysm that shocks the audience into intermission is stunning. I won’t spoil if for you but will say as the audience recovered there was a rush to Google the horrific event that shook the room and changes everything. It leaves you longing for act 2.
In the cozy Triad Theater, Me the People: the Trump America Musical is causing an uproar – the good kind. Satirizing the Trump experience (without an actual Trump thank goodness) a talented cast takes us through our paces with hilarious impressions and songs. Sitting together in a small theater having a drink and a good laugh, we kindred spirits are refreshed for the next stage of the fight. In resistance we trust!
The sprawling emptiness of the South West’s desert is mirrored in the hearts of four troubled characters in Abe Koogler’s “Fulfillment Center”, an exploration of existential anxiety and human disconnectedness set in and around a New Mexico shipping facility.
With a convoluted story of love and deception, Shakespeare puts on a show that percolates with humor and drama. Love may triumph all but you have to travel a winding road to get there. Shakespeare makes an audience work. And it’s always worth it.
South of Katz’s Deli on Houston Street, somewhere along the narrow urban labyrinth of tattoo parlors, bike shops, slick bars and knish bakeries on the crowded, short blocks that comprise today’s hip lower East Side, there is a private club so private that I am not allowed to mention its name in this article. For the initiated, it has sister outposts in Hong Kong and London, and when one enters into its spare reception area just a few...
There’s nothing wrong with The Traveling Lady but there is little bite to it, little memorable about it, nothing surprising to take away. If you like Horton Foote, you will probably like this one.
The Front Row Center Pieces – Our favorites from the 2016-2017 season.
The one-act play has long been a favorite form of both novice and seasoned playwrights. Tennessee Williams wrote 43 of them over the course of his 50 year career. Begun in 1977, this season is Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays. This year’s 15 selections are broken up into 3 evenings of 5 plays each, that are running in repertory from May 14th through June 30th. Reviews of Series A can be found here, and Series B can be found here.
With a thin script by early career playwright Isla van Tricht, this year’s Brits Off Broadway festival concludes not with a bang, but with two whiners.
A grieving father and husband, Nikolai Koslov (Declan Conlon), is having a hard time letting go of his rage. After his wife and two children lose their lives in a plane crash, his main concern is for those who survived. Was it an accident? A terrorist act? Who is responsible? And, most of all, who will be punished?
This is a talented group of performers and musicians. In addition, there was a ton of effort put into this production – just the special effects and sound alone are impressive. And you can feel the enthusiasm among the cast and crew. Everyone is giving it everything they have. Still, the level of storytelling only achieves that of a college spoof.
In a dimly lit basement speakeasy in Williamsburg, you can walk back in time as you join the fictional Poe Society in their attempt to unravel the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe’s death. Fortified by a delicious cocktail and tasty nosh, you can sit back and enjoy the scary.
Because of Bank of America and Delta withdrawing their financial support, this production will be getting way more attention than it deserves. Not that it is a bad production. It is a ho-hum production that has so many wink-wink elements stuffed into it that it becomes unbalanced. The concept of making this a contemporary setting started out as one thing and them morphed into a being all its own.
The production is a jeweled symbiosis of playwright Martyna Majok’s unique script, Jo Bonney’s spot on direction, Wilson Chin’s tone setting design, and four actors so real that you forget you are watching a fictional stage play.
Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton are together again at Pangea with a new show Beautiful Mistake. And are we not the better for it? I don’t know if audiences come to these two for the music (which is out of this world) or just to see these two bask in each other’s company. Who cares?
A. A. Milne has succeeded in blending light drawing room comedy and subtle drama in an examination of family dynamics and identity. What happens when reality intrudes on genteel British family life?
If you like your brains scrambled, or over easy, or poached or any way other than the way you usually carry them around, Derren Brown is the fella for you. This one is a Jeeze Louise of the Highest Order.
A zebra and a unicorn have a great deal in common but they are not the same. It might be tempting to take the extraordinarily rich and fully staged Groundhog Day currently on Broadway, as a mere remake of the 1993 film. It’s not. The film was a terrific zebra; the Broadway musical, is a kind of unicorn.