BERNSTEIN/COMDEN/GREEN: ‘ON THE TOWN' (REVIEW PICK, NY) and more...


BERNSTEIN/COMDEN/GREEN: ‘ON THE TOWN' (REVIEW PICK, NY)

(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/16; via Pam Green.)

And now, a show about sex that you can take the whole family to: the kids, the grandparents, even your sister the nun. That idea may sound kind of creepy, or (worse) dreary. But I assure you that the jubilant revival of “On the Town,” which opened Thursday night at the Lyric Theater, is anything but.

On the contrary, this merry mating dance of a musical feels as fresh as first sunlight as it considers the urgent quest of three sailors to find girls and get, uh, lucky before their 24-hour shore leave is over. If there’s a leer hovering over “On the Town,” a seemingly limp 1944 artifact coaxed into pulsing new life by the director John Rando and the choreographer Joshua Bergasse, it’s the leer of an angel.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/theater/in-on-the-town-the-city-is-candy-colored-heaven.html

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com

 

     

SARAH KANE: ‘4:48 PSYCHOSIS’ (REVIEW PICK, NY)

(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/20.)

The basic strategy is as simple as it is devastating: Go ahead, open up that sealed room; let some light into the darkness. Then watch helplessly as the darkness devours the light.

That’s the operating theory behind the TR Warszawa company’s stunning reinvention of “4:48 Psychosis,” Sarah Kane’s sustained suicide note of a play, which opened on Sunday night at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.

As adapted and directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna, this Polish-language (and language-transcending) production ropes its audience into unconditional engagement with a baleful, private spectacle of self-destruction. “See me,” says its unnamed heroine, fully and unflinchingly embodied by the brilliant Magdalena Cielecka. “Touch me.” The words are a taunt, since she is so far beyond our reach.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/theater/448-psychosis-a-polish-adaptation-of-sarah-kanes-play.html?hpw&rref=theater&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well    

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com

     

NEW CREATIVE PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH AND WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN—BOND STREET THEATRE INITIATES TWO INNOVATE PROGRAMS: A YOUTH-LED COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AND HELP FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN

(from Bond Street Theater, October 2014: http://www.bondst.org/?utm_source=New+Afghan+Projects+Press+Release&utm_campaign=Two-Project+Press+Release&utm_medium=email)

While other organizations are pulling up stakes, Bond Street Theatre is stepping up its activities in Afghanistan with two new programs addressing youth and women. With 64% of the population under the age of 24, Afghanistan's future rests on its youth.  One half of those youth are young women who face a justice system based on local customs rather than rule of law. This fall, Bond Street begins a two-year program motivating youth to design and lead community improvement projects, and introduces creative programming into Afghanistan's women's prisons and juvenile correction centers. 

Creative programs engage youthful energy and imagination

Building Community through Creativity in Action provides 375 youth across Afghanistan with the mentorship and tools to design and implement volunteer projects that will directly improve their communities. Facing a watershed moment in their country's history, Afghan youth need stimulating and practical programs that can help them realize their potential as active agents for positive change in their communities. 

With an emphasis on at-risk and marginalized youth, the program selects 15 young men and women in each of 25 provinces to participate in the community action program.  Based on Bond Street's decade-long experience initiating youth-led programming in Afghanistan, the project guides young men and women through community needs analysis and leadership training, and provides them with the organizational skills to develop realistic action plans to address local problems. 

The program culminates in a nationally televised presentation featuring the best community improvement projects as models of local cooperation and youth-led initiative. With winners decided by audience vote, the program will provide a source of inspiration for youth nationwide. 

The goal of the program is to bring together youth across ethnic, religious, and gender lines to give the widest selection of individuals a sense of agency and self-confidence, create new bonds across ancient divisions, and form a productive network of young leaders.

The project builds on Bond Street Theatre's 12 years initiating creative community programs in Afghanistan, and is supported by the Embassy of the United States in Kabul.

Providing a voice for incarcerated women

The Creative Arts Program incorporates theatre-based methods into the rehabilitative process for women in the Afghan justice system, providing them with emotional support while incarcerated and helping to ease reentry into society. The first of its kind, the program addresses the emotional and psychological needs of imprisoned women and their children, and provides them with much-needed outlets for self-expression. The program will be initiated in the Herat Women's Prison.

Despite the dramatic improvement in human rights since the fall of the Taliban, Afghan women continue to suffer severe social and economic inequalities. This is especially pronounced in the justice system, which imprisons women for violating social and religious norms, including rape and fleeing abusive domestic situations. According to Human Rights Watch, 95% of girls imprisoned in Afghanistan are serving time for moral or zina crimes, as are 50% of incarcerated adult women.

Working in partnership with Simorgh Theatre of Herat, an all-female theatre troupe, the Creative Arts Program gives women who have been deeply debilitated by violence and injustice a safe environment to discuss problems, learn their legal rights, and develop the communication skills and confidence to speak out.

Young children are often incarcerated with their mothers. Although this proximity is emotionally beneficial to mother and child, prison can have lasting traumatic effects on children, including poor socialization skills, lack of cohesive family identity, and diminished self-esteem. The project provides an active, creative play process necessary for children's proper development.  

 

The goal is to create a self-sustaining drama and storytelling group in the prison, run by the women themselves. The program will be conducted in the Herat Women's Prison, the second largest in the country, and will serve as a model, encouraging similar activities in women's prisons throughout Afghanistan.


The Program is made possible through generous support from Dining for Women, an organization working to impact the lives of women and girls worldwide.

 

Bond Street Theatre has a been initiating creative projects for peace in conflict zones globally since 1984, and working in Afghanistan since 2003. The company conducts a variety of workshops, trains all-female theatre troupes that reach isolated women, and builds the capacity of local organizations to design and implement programs for social development. Bond Street's recent Voter Education & Fraud Mitigation Project reached over 200,000 Afghan voters.

Visit Bond Street Web site:  http://www.bondst.org/?utm_source=New+Afghan+Projects+Press+Release&utm_campaign=Two-Project+Press+Release&utm_medium=email

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com

     

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIMMING THE LIGHTS ON BROADWAY

(Michael Pollak’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/17; via Pam Green.)

Q. Now that all the recent fuss has subsided over Broadway’s dimming (or not dimming) its lights for Joan Rivers, could you tell me who first received that honor?

A. The tradition began in the 1950s, and started slowly. According to a 2013 article in The New York Post, house lights in all Broadway theaters were first dimmed in honor of Gertrude Lawrence, who died of viral hepatitis at age 52 in September 1952 while she was starring in the Broadway musical “The King and I.” (She had gone to a hospital right after appearing in a matinee in August, The New York Times reported.) The second honoree, according to Time magazine, was Oscar Hammerstein II in 1960, for whom theater marquees briefly dimmed in a Broadway blackout the likes of which had not been seen since World War II. The third honoree, according to Playbill, was the actor Alfred Lunt in 1977.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/nyregion/a-brief-history-of-dimming-the-lights-on-broadway.html?_r=0

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

‘NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, 10/27 PLAYDECK

Openings and Previews

Angels in America

BAM's Harvey Theatre

Ivo van Hove directs Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s five-hour production of the epic play by Tony Kushner, set in New York City in the nineteen-eighties, which tells the stories of several people whose lives are affected by AIDS. In Dutch with English supertitles. Oct. 23-25.

Get Tickets

A Delicate Balance

Golden

Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Lindsay Duncan, Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins, and Martha Plimpton star in a revival of Edward Albee’s play from 1966, in which a suburban couple living with the woman's alcoholic sister are visited by their daughter, fresh from the breakup of her fourth marriage, as well as their best friends. Pam MacKinnon directs. In previews.

Get Tickets

(Read more)

http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com

     

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