"CURTAIN CALLS" #188
By Pat Launer
The Oresteia’s Treatment is conflated,
While a Sailor’s Song is celebrated.
Each Hold, Please gal becomes an arch-rival
But Renny and Backbone are tales of survival.
ALL AT SEA
THE SHOW: Sailor’s Song, by John Patrick Shanley, who won the Tony and Pulitzer for Doubt and an Oscar for “Moonstruck.” The play was overshadowed by Doubt, which was written the same year, 2004. This is its West coast premiere.
STORY: “If you could take life by the wrist and dance, I
think it would be a waltz.” So says Rich, a commercial seaman. And that’s just
how his memory plays out. He’s looking back at one summer spent in a coastal
town, when he went to be with his uncle and his dying aunt. At the local bar,
he meets a provocative, sensual, irresistible pair of sisters. One’s a psychic
medium, an “automatic writer” who channels a Punjabi salesman from
THE PLAYERS/THE PRODUCTION: The play has a sort of magical realism about it. At New Village Arts, Kristianne Kurner and her crack design and creative team have brought the perfect degree of dreamy romanticism to the production. Nick Fouch has designed a lovely, evocative set, split between the café/bar and the front wall of the uncle’s cabin, gently lit from within, where the comatose aunt lies dying. Between the two playing spaces is a rowboat that, without a lot of technical fanfare, glides enchantingly across the floor, as do the performers. Justin Hall’s lighting (starry sky and all) enhances the amorous mood established by Adam Brick’s sound design, a wild mix of music specified by Shanley – from Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” to Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Lonely is a Man Without Love.” As schmaltzy as it may sound, it all works wonderfully, under Kurner’s meticulous direction of a stellar ensemble.
Robin Christ and Doren
Elias were once professional dancers (she in ballet, he in modern) before
injuries cut short their careers. This is the first return to that artform for
both. Christ choreographed, with Grossmont College Dance instructor Kathy
Meyer, who created Christ’s heart-rending solo, set to Otis Redding’s “Try a
Little Tenderness.” The dancing and the outstanding ensemble carry us into this
magical world of Fate and missed opportunity, titillating possibilities savored
even in the shadow of death. The setting is supposedly southern Atlantic,
though the dialects smack of
Manny Fernandes is both grounded and airborne as the confused and self-doubting Rich, an ordinary man (in the throes of a kind of midlife crisis), yearning for extraordinary experiences: “Adventure…exotic places, explosions, beautiful women.” He’s too land-locked to notice that they’ve come to him, in ways he never anticipated and can only recognize in retrospect. Fernandes breathes credible life into this fascinating character of contradictions; his interactions with his uncle and the women are marvelous, thought-provoking, incisive. As his two-pronged potential paramours, Amanda Sitton and Amanda Morrow are delightful, and as irresistible to us as to Rich. Sitton is the otherworldly blonde and Morrow the sensible brunette. Their caring, competitive, sisterly exchanges are perfectly paced. Elias is wonderful as the crass and cantankerous Uncle John, who’s spent his life burying himself in sensual escape (booze, women, world travel) until he’s confronted with death, the depth of his love and the loss of his anchor. As that ballast, Christ is aptly ethereal (she only comes alive after death), filled with the wild zeal and energy of a life re-lived through one last dance. When Elias joins her for a pas de deux, there are more than a few sniffles in the house. The play is a little capricious; its messages are sometimes a tad sentimental. The language is both earthy and lyrical. And the production is wonderful.
THE LOCATION: New Village Arts in the Jazzercise Studio, through April 29
THE SHOW: The Treatment, the West coast premiere of the latest political work of Eve (Vagina Monologues) Ensler. The two-character drama premiered Off Broadway last fall.
THE STORY: The duo is unnamed. He’s a sergeant; she’s a major. His wife sent him to see her. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“I can’t get hard. I can’t get still. I can’t get quiet. I can’t get anything”), he refers to himself as a “PTSD freak.” She’s the stiff, starched shrink who’s going to get to the bottom of his pain, though it seems to be for reasons other than medical healing. She has her own baggage and agenda, though her character is far less well defined and less believable than his. Her unconventional means of ‘treatment,’ acutely akin to the interrogation tactics he himself has used in the war, careen way over the line of professional propriety into the realm of the inconceivable and unbelievable. But, as they say, “all the rules have changed” in this war. This unidentified conflict is all about torture and enemy combatants. Ensler has never been known for subtlety. Her war is as clear as her thematic points: What really happens in places like Abu Ghraib? Are the perpetrators of violence victims, too? And where in the chain of command does responsibility and accountability lie? Her thesis, or hypothesis, is too on-the-nose. The relationship between these ‘combatants’ is questionable and often objectionable. But the dialogue is intriguingly rapid-fire, especially at the outset. And the play is a terrific vehicle for a bravura performance.
THE PLAYERS/THE PRODUCTION: Under Delicia Turner Sonnenberg’s precise direction, Matt Scott gives a tour de force performance. We watch his defensive paranoia turn to head-pounding hysteria, as he deals with blinding delusions, hallucinations and flashbacks, and ultimately winds up stripped naked (physically and emotionally), spewing all the inner turmoil, pain and regret for the orders he followed, the torture he inflicted, the repercussions he endures. It’s a stunning accomplishment. Jennifer Eve Thorn (who should be wearing a bona fide uniform, frequently referred to in the text) maintains her stiff diffidence (though she could be even more starched and icy), until she moves from the sedative injections to the less conventional (and more sexual) approaches. We ultimately learn of her personal motivation, but we never quite get who she really is or why she never leaves her ‘lair.’ Still, her intense interactions with the sergeant in the first scene, the pitch-perfect pauses and eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations, are thrilling. Amy Chini’s set is somewhere between a hospital, a prison and a stark interrogation cubicle, all gray and metallic. Jennifer Setlow lights the room provocatively: alternately dim or fluorescent, with a sliver of light peeking through the gunmetal blinds. Though the play has plenty of problems, the central, searing performance has none.
THE LOCATION: Moxie Theatre in the Lyceum Space, through April 29
WORKIN’ 9 TO 5
THE SHOW: Hold Please, by native Del Martian Annie Weisman (Be Aggressive). The play was commissioned and developed at South Coast Repertory Theatre, and is being revisited by then-dramaturge Jerry Patch, now artistic director of the Old Globe. The play had an Off Broadway run in 2003
THE STORY: Consider the comparison. Hold, Please concerns women in the workplace. Glengarry Glen Ross (recently seen at 6th @ Penn Theatre) concerns men in the workplace. But what a difference! Sure, Weisman is still a blossoming young writer and maybe it’s not fair to place her work beside that of veteran playwright David Mamet. But he was only 37 when he wrote his Tony-nominated play; and she’s now 33. Not to belabor the point, but both plays feature a bevy of fairly unsavory employees doing unpleasant, if not downright malicious things to their colleagues. But the stakes are high in Mamet’s play, and we secretly relish the underhanded dealings (a touch of schadenfreude, perhaps). But in Weisman’s play, besides being catty, conniving and competitive, one of the most heinous acts is stealing candy from each other. Oh yes, in a vendetta against men, bosses, misogyny, office inequality and a personal humiliation of years ago, one secretary (aren’t they all called Admins these days?) convinces the others to come down hard on one of the partners for sexual harassment. He’s fired. And it’s the wrong guy; the head honcho is really the predator. No one seems to care, despite the fact that the accused is innocent, Hispanic, and has a wife dying of cancer. Oh well, just another day in the secretarial (cess)pool. This is more a slice of life (unappealing as it may be) than a well-plotted play. There is the well-balanced generation gap: two older women, two younger. The former may have fought for equality, but they’ve come to accept their subordinate status, while the battle for equality is completely lost on the junior members of the clerical quartet; they’re straight-ahead ladder-climbers in whichever way suits them (sleeping with the old boss or kissing up to the new one). It isn’t a pretty picture, but it isn’t a particularly compelling or amusing one, either.
THE PLAYERS/THE PRODUCTION: The production is improbably both sluggish and hyperactive. The pace of the scenes often lags, except for the snappy, sex-obsessed interactions of the two 20-somethings. Weisman has a terrific ear for the speech patterns, cadences and topics of her contemporaries, an early gift she demonstrated in her delectable Be Aggressive, which premiered in 2001 at the La Jolla Playhouse. The older women are saddled with far less interesting characters and dialogue. The role played (as always, quite convincingly) by the exceptionally talented but here under-challenged Kandis Chappell, is a stereotype: the rule-follower (and secretarial rule maker) who’s been on the job forever and covets her tiny piece of office turf. Her less angry and uptight comadre, symbolically named Grace (Starla Benford), has also been there and done that (with the boss, etc.), though she’s more temperate and forgiving. But she doesn’t really add much to the mix, and she willingly conspires in all the devious goings-on, which puts quite a tarnish on her saintly star. In fact, her character seems superfluous. The two newbie secy’s are a delight; Stephanie Beatriz as the dark-haired seductress, and Kate Arrington as the blonde bimbette who’s hellbent on getting ahead no matter what, even if she doesn’t know where she’s going. Their boyfriend angst and antics are witty at times, though the satire and humor could be much sharper, and it’d be nice to feel like there’s actually a point to all the machinations.
The production is attractive, but there’s an excess of activity. Lights (David Lee Cuthbert) flash convulsively between scenes; stage business (including a round-robin of desk-switching) seems contrived; the sound (Paul Peterson) is antic, angular, electronic, and repetitively punctuated by the whooshing sound of the telephone and the endless reiterations of the company name in answering them. Director Kirsten Brandt, who’s done so much exciting, electrifying work, doesn’t bring her usual edge to this production. Maybe it’s the play. But the result feels flat and insignificant. It may aspire to painting a gritty portrait of post-feminist females and their elders at work, but it isn’t very comical, political, deep or complex. It all seems like much ado about rather little, on the part of all concerned.
THE LOCATION: The Old Globe’s Cassius Carter Centre Stage, through May 6
THE FAMILY THAT SLAYS TOGETHER…
THE PLAY: Oresteia, the trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, first performed in 458 B.C., written by Aeschylus, considered the father of Greek tragedy. The only surviving trilogy of Greek antiquity, the plays have been conflated into one evening’s (bloody, murderous) entertainment by adapter/translator/scholar Dr. Marianne McDonald.
STORY: The theme that courses through the trio of plays
is crime and punishment, revenge and retribution. The actions
of one family progress from personal blood feud to bloodthirsty vengeance to
the more balanced meting out of justice. Agamemnon focuses on the
triumphant return of the King of Argos from the Trojan War. Waiting for him at
home is his wife, Clytemnestra, who, along with her new lover, Aegisthus, has been planning the murder of her husband,
because he sacrificed their daughter, Iphigenia, so he could win the war
THE PRODUCTION/THE PLAYERS: In McDonald’s straightforward but linguistically lofty adaptation, Agamemnon, the longest of the three plays, comprises the first act. The Veteran Chorus (Fred Harlow, Steve Jenson and Dough Hoehn), with its crutches, canes and walkers, sounds like modern-day military vets, lamenting the unending ravages of war. Unfortunately, they are fairly static (though rather nimble for their disabilities), and they have more than half the lines in the play, many of them long-winded, name-laden exposition, and this doesn’t drive the action or story.
Then come the outraged Clytemnestra (fulminating Sylvia Enrique), her sleazy, crown-craving lover (Chris Fonseca), and her victorious husband (imperious Dónal Pugh), who seem more Greek than modern in their mien. Still, the relevance to current wars and internecine battles isn’t lost on us. But then, the entire sensibility changes. The second act (the last two plays) takes on an almost campy cast. Suddenly, music is added to the proceedings (composed and directed by Leigh Scarritt). Electra (sweet-voiced Tiffany Jane) has a Goth appearance (costumes by Douglas Lay), and her ballads are redolent of “American Idol” schmaltz and sentimentality. The five Furies, scuttling along the ground with their ultra-long red fingers, look like B-horror movie escapees.
The cast in general is uneven, but standouts are
Monique Gaffney as the wild, African-influenced Cassandra, and the all-powerful
goddess Athena; Pugh as the returning hero Agamemnon and the god Apollo, who
defends Orestes authoritatively (except for his odious remark about the Father
being the “the real parent; [the Mother] is simply the host”). Also noteworthy,
THE LOCATION: 6th @ Penn Theatre, through May 13
SHOWING REAL SPINE
THE SHOW: Backbone: A Personal Story of Triumph, a commissioned work choreographed by Charlene Penner, kicks off 6th @ Penn’s Resilience of the Human Spirit Human Rights Festival 2007, which runs through August 12. Penner’s Butoh Ritual Dance, this time performed without the traditional chalky whiteface, is inspired by the post-War, anti-Establishment Japanese avant garde artform.
Her piece, a study in pain and survival, features four females, initially arrayed as a family at play. Then, they are set upon by heavily armed soldiers (a grainy, unclear projection on a sheet loosely tacked to the upstage wall), one of them is killed, and the rest are tortured or traumatized.
Myriad tortuous scenes are played out, most unforgettably Penner in her ‘pain box,’ making her precise and painstakingly slow Butoh moves in two small cage-likespaces that can contain her folded body but not her palpable anguish. Her face is a thesaurus of suffering. She’s joined onstage by another adult, Cynthia Jemmott, and the two young girls: Timyra-Joi Timyra and Sarah Nicolas. Though they all have dance backgrounds, their moves are far less dancerly than those Penner executes. They hold hands, they circle, they sing (‘Kumbaya,’ no less, with all its verses!).
Nicolas, who portrays the slaughtered tot, re-appears as a ghostly observer, seen through an upstage window. Symbolism abounds: a child’s stuffed animal (a hippo with zebra stripes), and most effectively, a long strip of shiny red fabric, which stands for blood and torture, abuse and agony. It spews forth after the shooting, snaking its way across the stage. The hippo is wrapped in it. Inch by inch, Penner takes it in, consuming it as she tries to ‘eat’ and submerge her pain. She chokes on it spasmodically. After a time, she lets it out, gradually, and her effluent is neatly, ritualistically, gathered, cleaned up and hidden away by Jemmott. The fabric is used for curtains, a sign of life and rejuvenation, a return to normality. But a small strip of red is always visible; the awful memories never fade.
From the isolation and torment to a gradual, reluctant reunion, the piece moves from devastation to anticipation. The ultimate message is undeniably uplifting. Timyra cuts pieces of the red cloth and makes roses, which she shares with the women, affixes to their clothes. They have turned their poison lemons into lemonade. After much internal and external struggle, they embrace the possibility of trust and love, joy and companionship. Though some parts of the piece are unduly abstruse and others too direct, there are some striking, stunning images, and a message about the promise of hope and compassion, even after the most horrific and hideous of experiences. The ‘Backbone’ of the title refers to the literal spine, that which holds the body erect, which can be broken and also healed; and also, metaphorically, grit, guts, courage, stamina and moral fiber. Fitting image for the start of the ‘Resilience of the Human Spirit’ Festival.
THE LOCATION: 6th @ Penn off-nights (Sunday-Wednesday), through 4/24.
FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY
THE SHOW: Renny’s Story, written by
Trajman was born in
play is set from 1939 to the present, chronicling Renny’s
life and her philosophy of life: upbeat, filled with compassion and hope. There
was a bit of backstage drama, too. Last year, the play was performed by local
actor Kimberly Kaplan. But for the last few performances this month, she was
constrained by laryngitis and couldn’t appear. Understudy to the rescue: Laurie
Lehman-Gray, whose father was a German Jew also forced to come to
ALL ALBEE, ALL THE TIME… Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward
Albee was once again part of the SDSU Design/Performance Jury, which
was created by professor/scenic design-master Beeb Salzer 23 years ago.
Salzer introduced him as “the greatest living playwright in
The play chosen by the
faculty this year was Fuente Ovejuna,
As the event is structured, three student groups present their direction and design ideas, and a scene from the play. They’re then questioned and critiqued by an imposing array of professionals, which this year included South Coast Rep artistic director Martin Benson, scenic designer Tom Buderwitz, lighting designer York Kennedy (an associate artist at the Old Globe), costume designer Maggie Morgan and actor/director Sean Murray. The student presentations were fascinating, and unique: the first two groups shared their actors, but one presented the scene in English and the other in Spanish. The differences were appreciable; the lyricism of the original language was striking, and the addition of live music and dance were outstanding (if at times a bit overwhelming). The third presentation was a film version, which brought a whole other sensibility and energy to the story. Interestingly, they all chose the same scene, which was a pivotal moment in the play, the commander’s attempted rape of a lovely young townswoman. The jurors were both supportive and critical/analytical, as they always are, and the students acquitted and defended themselves well. The best-regarded design was a scenic model by Jungah Han. The most theatrical moment was when Martin Benson stepped forward to re-direct a scene. It was wonderful to watch him work.
What the students do is brave, impressive and often imaginative. But it’s always the jurors’ comments and discussions that are most exciting. The topics ranged from period research to working within financial constraints when mounting a production. It was, as always, a most successful, enjoyable and educational experience, something I look forward to every spring.
And there were more philosophical musings the next day, when Albee appeared at a fundraiser for the Playwrights Project, headed by that other Salzer, Deborah, the powerhouse who founded the extraordinary and far-reaching organization 22 years ago. Playwright Annie Weisman, still in town for the weekend opening of Hold Please at the Globe, made a heartfelt statement about how Deb Salzer was the first to convince her she had stories to tell. She went on to win the statewide Plays by Young Writers contest, and she’s currently writing a touring production for Playwrights Project. Meeting Edward Albee 15 years ago, she said, “showed me the enormous power of words. His playfulness and musicality with language, his intellectual rigor and emotional veracity, even sometimes telling ugly truths, inspired me.”
And there was a scene from one of this year’s Plays by Young Writers, Thomas Hodges’ funny/serious Stage Directions, with Marcus Cortez and Andrew Kennedy reprising their roles. Hodges sat for a little chat with Albee, which was delightful and insightful. Albee, sometimes an insufferable curmudgeon, was gentle, kind and genuinely interested in the young man. Hodges’ frankly autobiographical play, about a budding gay writer, inspired Albee to talk more about himself than he usually does. After revealing a good deal about his family and upbringing, he maintained that he has never written about himself personally. He said he became a playwright after he “failed at every other art form,” including painting and composing, writing short stories and poetry. He wrote his first play at 14 (a 3-act sex farce), but his next one didn’t appear till age 28, and that was Zoo Story, “the first thing I ever wrote that felt like it came from deep within me. No lies, no subterfuge. My thoughts naked. And it felt good.”
EDWARD’S WORDS OF WISDOM:
After a half-century of playwriting, his advice to Hodges included the following:
“Survival is having an accurate self-appraisal of how good you are and how good you can be, and the tenacity to hang onto those things without compromise.”
“One question you should never answer: ‘What is the play about?’ The proper response is ‘About 1 ½ hours.’ It’s about everything that happened before the play began and after. The play is parentheses.”
“Every time you write a play, you’re revolutionizing theater. If you don’t offend somebody, there’s no point in having written the play.”
things Albee had to say:
“The arts hold a mirror up. You don’t like it? Change things. The most popular forms of literature don’t do that. They don’t raise questions; they just tell us how wonderful we are.”
“The one thing that distinguishes us from all other animals is that we are the only animals that make art, the metaphor to refer to and examine ourselves. Our tails fell off and we grew art.”
“The NEA gives $115
million a year to the arts.
“The state of arts education is appalling. We may be one of those societies headed downward before we hit our zenith. Unless you have a society esthetically educated, you have a society of educated barbarians.”
NEWS AND VIEWS…
… WHAT’s YOUR REVIEW? Go online at kpbs.org, and post a COMMENT on my reviews… and I’ll be glad to have an online chat with you.
… All the way with NVA…
Though bureaucratic delays forced New
Village Arts to open Sailor’s Song
at their old stomping grounds, the Jazzercize studio,
construction has officially begun on their new downtown
… Giving something back: Psychotherapist Al Germani, artistic director of Lynx Performance Theatre, has instituted a “1 ticket – 1 dollar” donation program. For every ticket purchased for the Lynx production of Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, one dollar will be donated to “various child and adolescent abuse treatment and prevention programs.” And as an extra enticement to new audiences, anyone who’s never attended a Lynx performance can get One Free Ticket to Drive, as long as they pay the $1 Child Abuse donation fee.
…On the Bevell…. Former Fritz artistic director Bryan
Bevell was back in
… The Great Migration… As the culmination of SDSU’s month-long celebration of the works of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck, called “Enduring Voice of California,” the Theatre Dept. is presenting The Grapes of Wrath (adapted by Frank Galati), April 27-May 6. Outgoing department chair Nick Reid directs. On May 1, scenes from Steinbeck books will be presented through readings, film clips and theatrical presentations, followed by a discussion. For info about all the Steinbeck festival events, go to http://cal.sdsu.edu/steinbeck/scheduleevents.htm
.. A recent note from former San Diegan Bryna Weiss, who has a lifetime of theater and TV credits, strongly recommends that you take the scenic drive up to the Laguna Playhouse, where she’s appearing in the American premiere of The Master of the House, by Israeli playwright Shmuel Hasfari. It’s a timely, thought-provoking comedy about remodeling a house – and so much more. Bryna says it’s getting standing ovations, and she’s thrilled with her part in it. Through April 29. www.lagunaplaywhouse.com
…Getting to the Root of
things… Sledgehammer Theatre’s
upcoming production, Beckett3, features the
music of Tim Root, Seattle-based
composer/performer/improviser. In 1985, Tim was a founding member of Sledge,
and has collaborated with co-founder/artistic director Scott Feldsher on many productions. On
May 8, Tim will be featured in a pre-opening rehearsal, to which audience
members are invited to bring their own instruments. The next night, the
opening, Tim will perform live and will participate in a post-show discussion
on Beckett and other subjects. The site-specific show runs May 9- June 3 in an
empty storefront warehouse at
…Perspicacity and Tenacity:
Although he lost his cozy little
WISH, WILL! It’s the 443rd
birthday of William Shakespeare, and you’ll want to join the San Diego Shakespeare Society in
celebration. The birthday party, to be held at the Folly Theatre in the lovely
THE BUSINESS OF SHOW: The Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) is presenting its annual 3-day intensive training program, “Producing for the Commercial Theater,” to answer the dramatic question: What on earth does a commercial producer do – and how do I get to be one? Participants spend their weekend with theater professionals like Rocco Landesman (The Producers) , Kevin McCollum (Avenue Q), and David Stone (Wicked), along with other producers, general managers, theater operators, press and literary agents and theatrical attorneys, who cover topics like marketing, management, working with non-profits and legal issues… prep for producing on Broadway or anywhere else. May 4-6, $400. Register at www.comercialtheaterinstitute.com.
…Perfect Re-creation: Sandra Ellis-Troy will serve as lead actor and director of a
reading of A Perfect Ganesh, the Terrence
McNally comic drama she assayed, with Pat DiMeo, at
North Coast Repertory Theatre a decade ago. Ellis-Troy and DiMeo
reunite to tell the story about two
..Greece & Peace… The Chronos Theatre Group is back… with a staged reading of Aristophanes’ Peace. The comedy concerns a man, tired of war, who flies to heaven on a giant dung beetle to find Peace and bring her back to Earth. Celeste Innocenti and David Cohen (of Grass Roots Greek fame) appear, and Doug Hoehn directs. At the Lyceum Theatre, Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30pm. 619-295-5047.
…The Music of
ASPIRATIONS: Aspire Playwrights
Collective presents an evening of short works by emerging playwrights. The
staged readings include the terrible girls by Jackie Goldfinger, directed by Esther Emery and Chelsea Whitmore,
featuring Rhianna Basore, Sara Beth Morgan, Erika Phillips and others. Phases
is written and directed by Kristina Meek and features Lee Lampard et al. Welcome Home, by Jennie Olson, is directed by Tyler Hewes.
Saturday, April 14 at 8pm, at the
.. And speaking of new works, Don’t Miss the annual UCSD Baldwin New Play Festival. This year’s lineup of four full-scale productions and one staged reading looks fascinating and provocative, as usual, and stars the top-rated undergraduate and graduate actors, helmed by the school’s adept directors. April 18-28, in various performance spaces on the campus. See the theatermakers of tomorrow today. http://theatre.ucsd.edu/NewSite/season/newplayfest
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE:
… John Malashock is putting himself ‘On the Spot.’ His latest endeavor, in his new NTC
digs, guarantees a view of dance that people rarely get to see: the creative
process of new choreography in action. This weekend (4/13-15), he invites you
into the private world of artistic trial-and-error, as he begins creating Stay
the Hand, his major new collaboration with Iranian-born composer Shahrokh Yadegari and video
artist/filmmaker Tara Knight. The beginning of this process leads to part two, ‘Persian Sketchbook,’ where Malashock, Yadegari and Knight, along with company dancers, show the
results of their creative “sketching” (5/18-20). Both events take place in
studio 200 at Malashock Dance, inside the new
.. Also on the dance floor, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective is
celebrating its 25th anniversary with a spanking new season that
begins in May. The Myth Project II, Sensitive Habitats is a co-production with
Sushi and will be held in two
distinct locations on two successive weekends: at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park (5/3-4) and outdoors at Oak Crest Park
in Encinitas (5/12-13). The dance pieces will weave a story of myth and
folklore about the settlers of Encinitas and
… SUSHI continues its 2007 Spring TAKEOUT SERIES: Focus on
Community Collaboration, with a variety of activities. A visual art
exhibition, “The Photography of Elazar Harel,” photos from local dance performances, at the
Mandell Weiss Gallery in
MAN, OH MAN!... Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater,
in co-production with the San Diego
State University School of Music and Dance, and the SDSU Dept. of Theater, presents
Mandance, to showcase “the virtues of masculinity”
BUTTER UP! Seven, the latest work by choreographer Traves Butterworth and his Butterworth
Dance Company, celebrates the company’s 7th anniversary. The
seven individual dance pieces include Quake,
an athletic solo set to live drumming by Twon; Civil, a multimedia world premiere
dealing with the cost of war in
'NOT TO BE MISSED!' (Pat’s Picks)
Sailor’s Song – delicate, beautiful production; heart-rending and thought-provoking
New Village Arts in the Jazzercise Studio, through April 29
The Treatment – searing, intense (if flawed) play; gut-wrenching performance by Matt Scott
Moxie Theatre in the Lyceum Space, through April 29
The Long Christmas Ride Home, A Puppet Play with Actors - surprising, disturbing, unpredictable and excellently executed (Note: These puppets and this play are definitely not for kids)
Diversionary Theatre, through April 15
T.S. Eliot said “April is the cruelest month.” But not if you’re in a theater!
© 2007 PATTÉ PRODUCTIONS, INC.