Author: Donna Herman

Wild Women of Planet Wongo

“Wild Women of Planet Wongo” isn’t really musical theater, it’s a spoof, a parody. An elongated SNL sketch, even. If the title doesn’t give it away, the fact that it’s being presented in the back room of the Parkside Lounge, a bar on the Lower East Side, should do the trick. Billing as “an immersive sci-fi comedy…performed ‘party-style’ in NYC” is a further clue to what you’ll be seeing, as is the fact that your ticket gets you your first “wongotini” free at the bar. My suggestion to you is that you take advantage of the offer. In fact, if you don’t drink, aren’t into Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the thought of being part of the show gives you hives, skip this one. However, if you enjoy going out to bars and drinking with your friends, but don’t have anything left to say to them, this could be a fun evening. Especially if you’re a 1950’s B-movie fan, love sci-fi, are not looking for challenging material and don’t mind standing.

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Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities

Call it a circus, call it a spectacle, call it a cabinet of curiosities, heck, call it dinner because you can fill yourself up on the snacks and drinks offered at the concessions, just go. See Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities” if you want to feel your mouth hanging open, your eyes open wide, your heart pounding in your chest, that little frisson of fear in your heart, and that sense of wonder and awe you maybe haven’t felt since you were a kid. “How’d they do that?”

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Introducing Sam Salmond

If you live in NYC it helps to be one step ahead of the crowd or you will spend your life in line, and cursing those who somehow knew to get there first. I’m giving you a head’s up about Sam Salmond right now. You’ve already missed “Introducing Sam Salmond,” at Joe’s Pub on Wednesday night. But unlike the perfect newly renovated NYC one-bedroom apartment you missed for under $1,000 a month, the opportunity to get to know this fledgling Broadway composer’s work will definitely come your way again. Start watching this guy. Look for his name. Look for the musicals “Eighty-Sixed,” “Uncool: The Party” and “Mother, Me & The Monsters.” Get tickets early when they open Off-Broadway. You can thank me later.

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Underground Railroad Game

There is an incredible level of trust between the two performers and creators of this piece, Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard. They are both highly talented actors who have put themselves on the line to bring the play to the stage. Kidwell and Sheppard developed “Underground Railroad Game” over the course of a couple of years with Philadelphia based theater company Lightning Rod Special. No doubt, it has taken a lot of highly charged work on behalf of Kidwell and Sheppard to get “Railroad” to this point both emotionally and physically. There are no neat answers, just raw, honest questions, that leave us clutching our blue and grey soldiers and hoping we won’t be called on or graded on this one. Don’t expect cliff notes on the how’s and why’s. Just an understanding that until we start bringing honesty without judgement to the table, we won’t be able to start fixing the very deep rooted problems we are ALL grappling with today.

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How to Keep an Alien

Don’t get the wrong idea from the title of Rough Magic’s offering “How to Keep an Alien” at Origin’s 1st Irish Festival. There’s absolutely nothing to do with space in the piece and the only strange creatures in it are from Oz – otherwise known as Australia – and Ireland. Presented at the Irish Arts Center from September 18th through October 1st, this is an autobiographical, not-quite-solo show written and performed by Sonya Kelly about falling in love with her partner Kate from Queensland. Oh yes, and then having to prove it to the Irish Department of Immigration. This is the U.S. premiere of “How to Keep an Alien” which won the 2014 Best Production Award at the Tiger Dublin Fringe, and subsequently toured to Brisbane under Gina Moxley’s direction. Moxley is also at the helm this time around, and the collaboration between her and Kelly is clearly a successful one. Moxley also directed and developed Kelly’s debut autobiographical solo show “The Wheelchair on My Face: a look back at a myopic childhood,” which was performed in the US as “I Can See Clearly Now” where it was a NY Times Critics’ Pick. Kelly clearly has a knack for mining the deep veins of personal experience to come up with theater and comedy gold.

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