As you can tell, I’ve been too busy to update this blog!!!!! RAAAAAAR!
*sits panting, admiring the wreckage, contemplating life*
But here’s why:
‘Fun Home’ is the greatest piece of musical theater in decades
I’m going to do a quick rundown of all the shows I’ve covered in some way for Backstage, which double as my NYC theater recommendations. If you can, do yourself a favor and check out some of this year’s extraordinary shows, many of which were just nominated for Tony Awards.
Hand to God: If you miss it, you’re committing blasphemy. Playwright Rob Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel are geniuses, check out my interview with them. The show deserves all the awards.
Fun Home: I cried so much during this musical, I was dehydrated. Possibly the most affecting, cathartic, brilliant, gorgeous, and wondrously personal show anyone could see. A lot has been written about its creators Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, here’s my humble addition to that.
PlayCo is currently staging one of the most innovative pieces of theater I’ve ever seen, Ludic Proxy. I highly recommend seeing the show, as well as reading this illuminating interview with its creator Aya Ogawa, who dared blend video games and theater. Read the article over at TDF Stages!
Even the briefest skim of my Mad Men coverage on this blog will reveal my undying love for all things Peggy Olson. You can imagine my delight at being able to sit with the actress who plays her and chat about The Heidi Chronicles, a thoughtful Broadway revival of a thought-provoking feminist play. Assuage your grief over the imminent end of Mad Men by checking out my Backstage cover story featuring Elisabeth Moss! She’s just the best.
Photo Source: Chad Griffith
Dylan Marron’s ‘The Human Symphony’
Wonderful internet wormholes you should fall into:
- Web series!: Good Cop Great Cop (superb absurdist comedy), Paragon School for Girls (if you want to feel a liiittle bit high), SRSLY (proof that creating your own online content can lead to lucrative work!)
- Kate McClanaghan, now a contributing Backstage Expert, has some really excellent advice for actors looking to break into the voiceover industry. Ditto Jennifer Ashley Tepper of NYC’s 54 Below when it comes to cabaret.
- Although the fervor of awards season has (blessedly) subsided, it may tickle you to learn where all this year’s acting nominees got their start on screen, especially if you’re still enraged about Patricia Arquette’s Oscar snub for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Also – my apologies – I wrote about next year’s Oscars too.
- I interviewed the writer behind Let the Right One In, the only horror theater I’ve ever seen that actually made me leap out of my seat like a ninny.
- David Ives is a theater genius! I got to pick his genius brain a little bit about his invigorating new collection of one-acts at Primary Stages, Lives of the Saints.
- Check out my alliteration: 9 Fabulous February Films!
Posted in Jack, Pop Culture, Theater
- Tagged Acting, Backstage, Criticism, Dylan Marron, Film, Oscars, The Human Symphony, Theater, TV, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
My Wicked-obsessed teenage self was very excited to sit down with the one and only Kristin Chenoweth recently. If you are in the New York area at all, get your hands on a ticket to On the Twentieth Century. It’s all-out musical hysteria and this diva completely nails it. Check out my cover story over at Backstage! And stay tuned!
Photo source: Matt Doyle
There are only two more chances to see Antonia Lassar’s rip-roaring, thought-provoking, solo-clown show Post Traumatic Super Delightful, at the New York Frigid Festival: Wednesday, March 4 at 5:30pm and Friday, March 6 at 8:30pm. See it! See it if you consider yourself a feminist, see it if you or someone you know identifies as a survivor of sexual assault, see it if you’re a college graduate. Lassar and director Angela Dumlao are using the power of theater to both educate audiences on an increasingly hot-button issue and offer a revolutionary way of discussing it: through laughter. Read my review below or over at TheatreIsEasy.com.
Antonia Lassar in ‘Post Traumatic Super Delightful.’ Photo by Kati Frazier.
BOTTOM LINE: Equal parts incisive and hysterical, Antonia Lassar’s one-woman show investigates sexual assault on college campuses using clowning and laughter as a means of healing.
Can sexual assault be funny? As one character in Antonia Lassar’s Post Traumatic Super Delightful points out, laughter “means connection with someone.” What better way, then, to cope with the lingering anguish of rape than finding a way to collectively laugh about it?
Lassar’s solo show, now playing at the Kraine Theater as part of the aptly named Frigid New York Festival, opens with a series of fart noises interrupting a tormented confession from a survivor. The scene invites you to laugh — in fact it dares you not to — just as the play later invites you to sympathize with an alleged rapist. Continue reading
Over at TDF Stages I wrote about Little Children Dream of God, an enchanting, funny, and voodoo-infused new drama from Jeff Augustin. I was lucky enough to chat with Augustin and director Giovanna Sardelli about how they evoked Haitian magic in Roundabout’s underground black box theater. See the show!
A scene from ‘Little Children Dream of God’
Some demons are imaginary and some of them are real, and during a climactic moment in Little Children Dream of God, they all engulf the stage.
Jeff Augustin’s play, now in Roundabout’s Underground series, follows a Haitian immigrant named Sula, who has floated to Miami on a car tire in search of a better life. Eventually, though, her past catches up with her, which leads to an explosion of voodoo power: Frantic drums tear through the speakers; dazzling light fills the tiny black box stage; and actress Carra Patterson stamps her feet and waves her hands, controlled by something guttural and fierce.