887 by Ex Machina

How is it that I have only just discovered Robert Lepage’s fascinating work? No surprise that Brooklyn Academy of Music introduced me to him, by way of the utterly absorbing multimedia theater performance called 887. He and his unbelievably talented group of collaborators, Ex Machina, created an entire world on the stage, taking us not…

By Morning

Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do? — Buddhist koan In a darkened room, a young man in a black suit runs his finger across a lampshade. On the coffee table is a bottle of whisky and three half-finished drinks. Dead flowers slump in a vase. Light shines…

Escaped Alone

I came very close to adding Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill to my BAM subscription this winter but in the end, it did not make the cut (I had to be very selective at the time.) Luckily, my friend Rebecca ended up with an extra ticket and I had the privilege of seeing this terrific play…

The Winter’s Tale

This was a bittersweet 2016 Next Wave Festival for me this year. For numerous reasons, I missed out on many shows I wish I could have seen. Thank goodness for the BAM social media team for sharing so much about the performances I could not attend. It was kinda sorta like being there. That said, I…

Finian’s Rainbow

Sometimes you just get lucky. You find money on the sidewalk. You get an unexpected check in the mail — or you find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, like Finian did. In my particular case, I was generously gifted with two tickets to see Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre…

Ardor

Noun, meaning enthusiasm or passion. I like that. I have been savoring the new play, Ardor, by Matthew Gasda, ever since I had the privilege of experiencing it Saturday evening, and I wanted to be sure I understood the exact meaning of its title. How to write about it coherently, however, eludes me. The play…

Phaedra(s)

I set off a smoke detector as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, but it was not because I was smoking. It was because of the hot mess of passion Aphrodite stirred up in the poor Phaedras – all three of them — played with a sizzling ferociousness by the inimitable French…

Denmark

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” —  Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV Picture this: It is 8 pm on a perfect June day. I am seated on risers in a lovely white room on lower Broadway. A perfectly composed contemporary kitchen and living room is artfully placed in the foreground. Sheer curtains stir in the…

The Glory of the World

The winter season at BAM has begun, and I’d like to propose a toast to The Glory of the World. I had seen Big Love at BAM in 2001 (by the same writer/director team) so I was excited to see what they had dreamed up this time. It was a raucous party, that’s what it was. It…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part II

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I attended my last event as part of the fabulous Spinning Wheel Festival last night at BRIC — joy because this was an incredible experience and sadness because it is nearly over. (The first two events I attended are reviewed here.) This two-week multimedia festival was…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part I

Dig it, man! On Friday night at BRIC, I was thrilled to attend the opening of both the interactive exhibition and the multimedia performance of The Spinning Wheel, based on the life of steve ben israel and The Living Theater.  The Spinning Wheel Festival was brilliantly conceived by steve’s son, hip hop theater artist Baba Israel….

Steel Hammer

“He laid down his hammer and he died. Lord, Lord. He laid down his hammer and he died.” I have had Pete Seeger’s voice singing his version of the folk song, John Henry, racing through my head like a runaway train ever since I left Steel Hammer — a collaboration between composer, Julia Wolfe, and SITI Company….