- In Pictures
- Meat Market
- Union Square
…and other March Downtown theater atrocities
BY TRAV S.D. Recovered from the Oscar ceremony yet? It’s that wonderful annual event where we periodically learn that our nation’s “greatest” and “finest” actors can’t even read lines off a teleprompter! Call me an old stick in the mud, but I like performances in our Downtown theaters just fine!
To wit: Talking Band is reviving Sidney Goldfarb’s 1983 play “Hot Lunch Apostles” — which concerns a group of carnival strippers who start performing stories from the Bible. The company will transform La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre into a fairground, complete with game booths, food stands and geek shows. Furthermore it stars one of my favorite actor-singer-songwriters: Loudon Wainwright III (author of the hit single “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” and the classy anthem that introduced his son to the world, “Rufus is a Tit Man”). It also features choreography by the Downtown burlesque scene’s very own Tigger. Exciting stuff, and on view through March 18. For tickets and info: lamama.org.
I was hoping to hear about more Irish-themed shows and events for St. Patrick’s Day, but word of only one has reached my ears. Fortunately it sounds compelling (or it wouldn’t have made this column.) March 1 through 19, the cell will be presenting “The Irish Cell” — a night of Irish one-acts by Larry Kirwan (lead singer of Black 47) and short story writer Seamus Scanlon. Kirwan’s “Blood” concerns the 1916 kidnapping and torture of union organizer James Connolly by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Scanlon’s “Dancing at Lunacy” is a fictionalized story about the IRA during the Thatcher era. Well, they can’t all be a barrel of chuckles! By the way, the cell calls itself a “salon” — which means that after the show, you can get your hair and your nails done! (No, no, I’d better retract that. Some of you just may believe it!). For more info, please go to thecelltheatre.org.
A bulletin from the folks at HERE: It’s hard to believe, but New Georges (New York’s indie theatre for “venturesome” theater artists who just happen to be women) is now 20 years old. If you’ve ever wonder what their name means, consider who the Old Georges might be (Eliot? Sand?). They’ll be marking this milestone with a gala celebration at HERE Art Center on March 2. To get your tickets, visit here.org.
From March 8 through April 7, the Culture Project will observe Women’s History Month by presenting the 2012 Women Center Stage Festival, which promises 30 days of new works and works-in-progress from female theater artists at all stages in their careers. The Rachel Klein Theater Ensemble and Mariah MacCarthy (formerly of Purple Rep) will be among the artists represented. The festival takes place at The Living Theatre. For a full schedule and other info, go to cultureproject.org.
I am glad to see that CollaborationTown is reviving “The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos.” I caught Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell’s satire of “Mother Courage” (and so much more) in the New York International Fringe Festival a number of years ago, and loved it from beginning to end. My assessment at the time is that for those well-versed in 20th century theater history, it’ll be a laugh riot. For those not, it’ll likely zip right over your head. Is it is really the Deepest Play Ever? Well, it says so, right in the name, so it must be true! Decide for yourself, at the New Ohio Theatre March 9 through 25. See sohothinktank.org for more dope.
And speaking of dope, you won’t want to miss “Part Time Prostitute, the secret life of a Wellington hooker” — playing at The Red Room March 20 through 28. It’s not a play, ladies and gentlemen. It’s an autobiographical performance piece by a Wellington, New Zealand sex worker that promises “filthy language,” “adult themes’, and (ye Gods!) “statistics!” I hear things can get pretty racy down in New Zealand. That’s where they do it kiwi-style. For info and tickets, visit horsetrade.info.
And while we’re on this subject, perhaps you will be interested to know about “Satan’s Whore, Victoria Woodhull.” Woodhull, of course, was not a whore but a feminist hero — first woman presidential candidate, first woman to broker stocks on Wall Street, first woman to publish a weekly newspaper, and an advocate for suffrage and, yes, free love (this was an era when marriage laws were without qualification oppressive to women). So, you see, no one in our time would ever regard Woodhull as Satan’s Whore, except…oh, dear. It looks like we haven’t made that much progress after all, have we? At any rate, this is another good one to see during Wom3n’s History Month. It’ll be at the always-progressive Theater for the New City (TNC), March 22-April 8.
Also at TNC this month, the most exciting news of all: Charles Busch is presenting his version of “Judith of Bethulia” March 30 through April 28. It’s a takeoff on the 1914 D.W. Griffith masterpiece (itself based on a Biblical story) featuring “lepers, whores, eunuchs, centurions, evil generals, youthful poets and a beautiful red-headed widow.” I am so excited about this show, I’m already camping out in the theater lobby writing this on my laptop so that I can be sure and get a seat. Only three and a half weeks to go! For info on both of these TNC shows go to theaterforthenewcity.net.
A couple of vaudeville odds and ends before we part. Canal Park Playhouse has two shows for variety loves this month: “Stunt Lab” — a family show featuring a yo-yo master and a contortionist (March 10-April 4); and “House of Ghostly Haunts” — a spook show by Cardone The Magician (March 27-April 17). Find more info at canalparkplayhouse.com.
And last but most certainly least: please join me and some of New York’s top variety artists for a celebration of the 4th anniversary of my blog (Travalanche). We’ll be screening episodes of my Vaudephone web series and otherwise causing unseemly disruptions calculated to alarm the authorities. It’ll be at Bar 82 (136 Second Ave.) on Friday, March 2, at 8pm. Come on up and say hi!