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Flavorpill on Pretty Theft

Thursday, April 30, 2009 0 comments


(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Todd d'Amour, Marnie Schulenburg)

A short but sweet little shout out from Flavorpill's Patrice Contino - read it here, and then come see the show! Read the full story

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Karen Tortora-Lee on Pretty Theft


(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Cotton Wright, Candice Holdorf)

Karen Tortora-Lee, a theatre blogger with neighborbee blog, has written a warm review that really engages with the twists and turns of the story.

Read it here, and then come see the show! Read the full story

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Just Shows To Go You's Patrick Lee on Pretty Theft


(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Candice Holdorf, Todd d'Amour)

A good review from Patrick Lee over at Just Shows To Go You appreciates both the collage structure and underlying sadness and danger of the play, as well as a call to action that all the movie producers reading this blog should heed.

Read it here, and then get your tickets here! Read the full story

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nytheatre.com on Pretty Theft

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 0 comments


Chris Harcum's review of Pretty Theft is out at nytheatre.com, and it's a good one. I especially like how he connected with an unexpected moment of Suzy's near the end of the play - a moment that has always been one of my favorites.

Read it here, and then get your tickets here! Read the full story

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The New York Times' Anita Gates on Pretty Theft

Monday, April 27, 2009 0 comments


A great and heartfelt review from Anita Gates at the New York Times.

I especially like that she identifies the choice Allegra makes in the middle of the play as a moment that crosses a line to cause serious consequences, and connects that to a later choice Marco makes. The more we've lived with the play, the more these details and subtle connections have risen to the surface, and it's good to hear they're coming across. Read the full story

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Adam and Angela interviewed on the Broadway Bullet

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Cotton Wright, Brian Pracht, Lynn Kenny)

A great interview with Pretty Theft director Angela Astle and playwright Adam Szymkowicz on the Broadway Bullet.

Listen, and then get your tickets here! Read the full story

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Jon Sobel on Pretty Theft



(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Zack Robidas, Lynn Kenny, Brian Pracht)

A great review from Jon Sobel, who writes for his own blog The Bagel and the Rat, as well as reviewing for Show Showdown and Blogcritics. I love that he felt the subtle fairy tale elements of the play, as well as catching the juxtaposition of Marco's definition of beauty against Allegra's.

Read it, and then come see the show! Read the full story

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Toby Thelin's "Theatre Knights (&Daze)" on Pretty Theft

Sunday, April 26, 2009 0 comments

Link

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Maria Portman Kelly, Marnie Schulenburg)




A great review from theatre artist Toby Thelin on his blog, Theatre Nights (&Daze). There's nothing better than seeing someone genuinely moved by a performance right after the show - especially in the first week when you're exhausted and doubting everything. Toby's post-show reaction, and his review here, help remind us that this is a story very much worth the telling. So read the review here, and then come see the show! Read the full story

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Zack Calhoon's "Visible Soul" on Pretty Theft

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Brian Pracht, Marnie Schulenburg)

Playwright and actor Zack Calhoon wins the race as the first review out for Pretty Theft! As always, he has some interesting insights, especially into the structure of the play. Read it here.


Read the full story

Pretty Theft Preview Tonight - $13 Tix

Thursday, April 23, 2009 0 comments

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured Cotton Wright, Brian Pracht, Lynn Kenny).

Pretty Theft starts tonight! Tech week has been grueling but we are close and tonight we have our first audience - will you be there?

Also, we have $13 tix available this weekend with the code PRETTY - but opening night is nearly sold out, and the other nights are selling quickly, so I recommend buying in advance.

Click here to make it happen - and see you at the theatre! Read the full story

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Pretty Theft Out Takes: Part 1

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 0 comments

As a bonus for readers of this blog, we'll be posting cut scenes from Pretty Theft, our production opening this week.

Allegra and Suzy are two teenage girls running away from all sorts of things, and growing uneasily closer in the uncomfortable quarters of the car. Adam kept the dialogue, but cut the short monologues in the final version. The scene plays great without the monologues...BUT in the final version, Suzy never directly addresses the audience. This subtle shift throws more emphasis on Joe and Allegra's journey as the only characters who directly address the audience (the Ballerinas do, but in a more presentational, story-telling fashion).

The cut parts are in italics.

SCENE 21
(ALLEGRA and SUZY in the car.)

ALLEGRA (To audience.)
We go north to go south and we zig zag zig across the
continent like headless chickens or weather balloons forced
to cling to the ground. We try to be weightless and
free but we are tied to the earth, we are tired, and we are
quickly running out of cash.

SUZY
I have to sleep in a bed tonight I don’t care what you say.

ALLEGRA
How are we gonna buy gas to get back?

SUZY
I can figure something out.
(Pause. SUZY speaks to audience.)

SUZY
At night, I like to lie in the back of the station wagon
and watch the stars come out while Allegra drives.
Allegra does not like this. I can feel it in the way
she drives. She feels deserted and left out.
Because the stars are all mine and the whooshing cars are
hers. The headlights blind her and trail across the
windshield. The stars lull me to sleep.

ALLEGRA
Why don’t you sleep in the back again? You seem to
like that...

(And the scene continues)

Besides losing the only direct connection between Suzy and the audience, we also lose the detail that Suzy's and Allegra's jealous friendship extends even to the stars. It may also be Suzy's only real moment of peace in the play.

Worth cutting? Yes. But it's always fascinating how a small cut can have major effects. To see how this cut plays out, you'll need to see the show! Read the full story

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Mike Criscuolo interviews Adam

Actor and writer Mike Criscuolo has posted a great interview with Pretty Theft playwright Adam Szymkowicz on his blog, nytheatre mike.
Check it out here! Read the full story

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Two Bits from Crain's

Two interesting theatre stories from Crain's New York Business -

1.) a look at how an increase in ticket sales for Off-Broadway shows is helping make up for the drop in donations;

And 2.) an article on Leonard Jacobs' new business model for his blog, The Clyde Fitch Report.

For #1, it's great to see a rise in ticket sales, especially for friendly companies like the Women's Project (our Managing Director Heather Cohn is a member of their Producer's Lab). It is, of course, also daunting that this increase is not enough to offset the loss in donations. Still, it's heartening to think that when times are tough, more people go to the theatre rather than less. (That puts us, if memory serves, in the good company of tobacco, alcohol, and pornography as recession friendly comforts.)

For #2, I hope this venture of Leonard's works! Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #21 -- David Ian Lee

Saturday, April 18, 2009 1 comments


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

DAVID IAN LEE


Playwright, May 4th


Previous Flux stuff: David appeared as an actor in our Imagination Compact, and as a playwright has workshopped Sleeper, Dog Show, and Long Sought, More Perfect at Flux Sundays.


We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!


Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

One of two gold rings belonging to my grandfather, which I promptly lost. When I broke down, sobbing, and told him what I’d done, he said, “David, I’m ashamed that you’ve stolen, but I can tell you’ve had this on your chest for a while, and it takes a big man to admit his mistakes. And for that, I am proud of you.” And then he gave me his other ring.


Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?

The 2000 Presidential Election.


Question #3: What do you find pretty?

Rain. Starlight. Dancers.


Question #4: What do you find beautiful?

Whispers.


Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?

Time. Infinite, infinite time.


Bio: David proudly originated the role of Karel Capek in the 2007 world premiere of Mac Roger's Universal Robots. In New York: Ronan Noone's award-winning The Lepers of Baile Baiste, Nat Cassidy's The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots, Jon Kravetz's Prayer (Fringe 2008). Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Utah Shakespeare, Sedona Shakespeare, Milwaukee Rep, Tennessee Rep, Arizona Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Seven Angels, Los Angeles' Haugh Performing Arts Center. Film / TV: "As The World Turns," "One Life To Live," "Crutch", "Save the Forest". As Playwright: Sleeper (Published NYTR 2009), The Dog Show, Pinecone, The Latchkey Pool, Liberty & Joe DiMaggio, Long Sought; More Perfect (in development for 2009).

Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #20 --Corey Ann Haydu


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

COREY ANN HAYDU

Playwright, May 4th

Previous Flux stuff: Corey is a Flux Sunday playwright and actor, where she has workshopped her plays like Club and Wife Training.

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

I am a rule follower through and through. I am terrified of authority
so I never really went through a rebellious stealing phase. I don't
think I've ever even snuck into a movie theatre without paying for a
ticket. I follow any rule, no matter how stupid it is. One of my
ancestors was a Salem witch, so maybe I'm scared of ending up with the same fate?

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?

My wallet! At Starbucks, which is practically my home away from home.
So it felt like a particularly offensive act.

Question #3: What do you find pretty?

The color yellow. Nighttime. Dresses. Lilies. The East River.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?

Sintra, Portugal. Easily the most beautiful place on earth. It's a
magical fairy land on a hill.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?

The book "The Giver", I would steal it and put my name on it. I wish I
had written it. I would also have to steal the process of writing it-
I wish I had come up with it and lived in those characters brains for
longer than just the length of the book.

Bio: Corey is a Flux Sunday participant and this is her first official
collaboration with Flux! She is a member of Impetuous Theatre Group
where she recently was a writer for their 47:59 Festival- She wrote
the first act of The Blame Game, and Gus wrote the second half.
Corey's first play "Abandon" was part of Impetuous' Imbryo Series.
Recently it was accepted into Valdez Alaska's Last Frontier Theatre
Conference
. Corey will be traveling to Alaska to direct a staged
reading of the work for the festival this June. Hip Obscurity recently
produced a reading of Corey's play, "Flash Photography". Her short
stories have been published in various literary journals and she
recently received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Press' Family Matter Contest for her story "The One Named Faye.
As an actress Corey has worked with Impetuous Theatre Group, Boomerang Theatre Company, Hip Obscurity, Ripple Productions, Prophecy Productions, Two Guys and a Credit Card, Manhattan Children's Theatre, and many more. Read the full story

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Fringe Connections

A very nice post from Martin Denton on his blog, nytheatre i, about an email he received from New York International Fringe Festival Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy about the Fringe, Flux, Pretty Theft, and creating a community.
It's an honor to get a shout-out from two people we respect as much as Martin and Elena - thank you both! Read the full story

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Trailer for Pretty Theft

Zack Robidas, the actor who plays Bobby in Pretty Theft, interviewed the other actors and playwright to find out:

1. what they find pretty,
2. what they've stolen,
3. and the worst thing that's been stolen from them.

It's pretty cool - so check it out!



And while you're at it, get your tickets for Pretty Theft here. Read the full story

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Adam Szymkowicz interview on nytheatrecast!

Thursday, April 16, 2009 0 comments

Our intrepid Pretty Theft playwright Adam Szymkowicz is interviewed by fellow playwright/blogger Matthew Freeman on nytheatrecast! Check it out here.

And check out there episode guide here.

Thanks to nytheatre.com! Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #19 --Kelly O'Donnell


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

KELLY O'DONNELL

Director, May 11th

Previous Flux stuff: Kelly directed the full productions of Riding the Bull, Rue, Life Is A Dream, and 8 Little Antichrists. She is directing our upcoming production of J.B. She also directed the Food:Soul of This Storm Is What We Call Progress, and acted in the F:S of Pretty Theft. She is also playing Tegan in the upcoming production of The Lesser Seductions of History.

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

I stole tee shirts from the school store of my Catholic high school when I was a sophomore. I ditched the loot in a hole in the wall in my parent's basement.
Somehow the Disciplinarian heard from an anonymous tipster that I was the thief.
He called me into his office and interrogated me for at least an hour. Dozens of times he asked me if I did it and he even used techniques to get to my emotions so that I would break down and admit it. My heart was racing and I felt like I was going to cry the entire time but I somehow held it together and denied and denied and denied. I sat in the chair and I told myself that I will never admit to it because I would have been expelled in a heartbeat. He eventually gave up but he let me know that he knew that I was responsible and that I should do the ethical thing and admit it. I looked him dead in the eye and told him that whoever said that I stole the tee shirts must have a serious vendetta against me because I am completely innocent.

I never got in trouble for it.

Sadly, I got a text from my sister today telling me that he died in his sleep last night. R.I.P. He was doing the right thing and I was so wrong. So wrong.

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
My dog. Seriously, my dog. My 6 month old shih tzu. In 2002, someone broke into my apartment while I was at work. They stole all my jewelry, some money and the dog.
I've never met anyone else who had this happen to them. I tried so hard to find him - I even worked with a pet detective (yes, they actually exist). I managed to get on Fox News, the New York Post, 1010wins and several Queens papers. I posted "Missing Dog" signs all over the neighborhood and sent signs to every vet and animal hospital in the city. Many people contacted me saying that they think they found my dog and I traveled as far as Long Island to meet them and their found dogs. It was never him.

I never found him.

Mickey, I hope you are ok.

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
Skyscrapers. And pretty ladies.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
Gong to a place far from New York with very little artificial light, laying on my back and looking at the universe. Wow.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
An old abandoned theater in the city that Flux can call home.
Read the full story

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Congrats to Marnie for 24 Hour Musicals

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 2 comments


Michael Nagle for The New York Times From left, Marnie Schulenburg, Rachel Dratch, Mandy Gonzalez and Tracie Thoms in “Rachel Said Sorry” at the Gramercy Theater on Monday night.

Marnie Schulenburg, our Joann from Angel Eaters and our upcoming Allegra in Pretty Theft, was asked to participate in the 24 Hours Musicals, a star-bangled benefit for the Orchard Project. The New York Times blogged about it, and you can read about it here.

Go Marnie! Read the full story

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On Missions and Paradoxes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7 comments

I've been enjoying the blog Mission Paradox by Adam Thurman for some time now. Adam is the Director of Marketing at Court Theatre, and in general his posts give a positive, warm-spirited take on the institutional theatre experience. However, in this recent post, "Your Future (Perhaps)", he talks about the life span of artist-run theatre in what feels to me like a dangerously general, almost patronizing, way. As Flux is an artist run company, I thought I'd try posting a response. First, give his post a read here.

His sketch of the life span of an artist run company is funny in the way stereotypes are - by sending up the way things often are, humor is generated by flattening the complexity of the way things actually are. And the moral of the story, that theatres should talk about the long-term meaning of their short term actions, is clearly well-intended.

But what really rubbed me the wrong way is the scorn he has for the idea that the 'real' mission statement of an artist-run organization is to showcase the artists involved (his word, definitely not mine). He describes this as the fatal flaw of a failed artist run organization.

To make a potentially hazardous analogy, a Mission Statement is the Declaration of Independence for a theatre company, NOT the Constitution, and certainly not the Democracy itself. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" sound good, but aren't a whole lot more specific than "enlighten, challenge and inspire". And the idea that "all mean are created equal" may be in our country's mission statement, but we're a few hundred years in, and still trying to make that mission manifest. It is the Constitution - the WAY in which this country works - that is infinitely more important than the Declaration.

The fatal flaw is not having a bad Declaration - the fatal flaw may be having a bad Constitution.

Flux has operated for some three years now with a mission statement as flawed as those Adam describes in his post. And every year, at our annual retreat, we dig back down and try to find a better way to articulate why we work together.

But the majority of our time is spent discussing HOW we work together - not only in terms of structure, but in terms of values, aesthetic and otherwise. And those discussions of how we work together extend outwards to our audience. This discussion is as tumultuous and full of contrary opinions as any opt-in democracy, and we certainly still have a LONG way to go (may we always have a long way to go). But a Mission Statement is at best a compass - it isn't the boat, it isn't the wind, it isn't the hands on deck. And if it points you towards the rocks, turn the other way.

That's where the most insidious ideas of the post live. Court Theatre produces plays and so does Flux. The work of artists is 'showcased' in both examples. So why is it all right for an institution to produce the work of artists, but not artists to produce the work themselves?

According to this post, it's because artists sleep with each other and set designers want six packs - in other words, artists are children who need administrators and institutions to protect them from themselves. And why are artists children? Because they want to showcase their art.

And art alone is not enough. The art must have a mission, because without one, it's existence cannot be justified. It must increase test scores, or help local businesses, or make people nicer to each other. It needs after show discussions, and buildings with comfortable lobbies, and well-researched program notes. And of course it needs ever larger administrative wings to pay for the lobbies and programs, and gate keepers who can explain the importance of it all to the audience, and protect the artists from themselves.

The mission of any real work of art is nothing more or less than the experience of it. If that experience could be put into a statement, you could just read the statement, and skip the play.

A theatre company should exist because the beauty of the artists' work combined exceeds what they could create alone. A theatre company should exist because of a unique alchemy and shared language that develops over time between the artists and the audience. A theatre company proves its value by creating an aesthetic experience that becomes essential to how its audience knows the world.

For me, the worst statement from Adam lives in his comment section, where he says:

I have an issue with people forming 501(c)3 and claiming they serve the "public". Of course if they were honest about it, then I don't know if the nonprofit model would be right for them.
Who exactly is this "public"? Are the theatregoers of Chicago who don't attend the Court somehow not the "public"? How big does your audience have to be before it becomes the "public"? Is it the theatre's longevity that gives their 501(c)3 it's worth, or did the Court prove their enduring value anew with their recent production of Wait Until Dark? The Court's Artistic Director has directed over 30 productions in the Court's history. Does that make the theatre just a showcase for him?

Of course not, and I hate the sarcastic tone I just used. The truth is, I'm grateful for the Court, the same way I'm grateful for any theatre that manages to keep its doors open, for however long they are able to do so. I'm grateful for the 50 year institutional theatres, and I'm grateful for the scrappy artist run companies that burn themselves out in 5 years making great work.

But the idea that a theatre company exists to serve a mission is corrosive. A theatre company exists to empower artists to engage audiences with their work. That can happen institutionally, and it can happen independently. It happens best when a theatre company explores HOW to work together.

But the WHY...the WHY is either on the stage, or it isn't there at all.

Ah, well, perhaps the lady doth protest too much. Obviously, Adam struck a chord of truth or I wouldn't have posted at such length about it. But The Lord Chamberlin's Men didn't have a mission statement, nor Moliere's troupe, though perhaps the Theatre of Dionysus did and it was lost in the burning Library of Alexandria...

Anyway. Onward! Read the full story

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James Comtois on Crystal Skillman's Birthday

Sunday, April 12, 2009 0 comments

James' has a nice review of Crystal's play Birthday here, (h/t Leonard Jacob's blogroll). I've been wanting to write about the experience myself, but James had done it so well, I need only add my amen to the chorus, and hope along with Leonard that the play finds longer life. It is a lovely play, full of surprising details that make it stick in your mind much longer than its 40 minute running time. Congrats to Crystal, Daniel and Rising Phoenix! Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #18 --Kate Marks

What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

KATE MARKS

Director, April 13th

Previous Flux stuff: As a director, Kate participated in the Imagination Compact and Flux's 3rd Annual Little Pond Retreat, as well as directing at many Flux Sundays. As a playwright, her play Bird House was featured at several Flux Sundays, and is gearing up for a KNF July production!

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?
My big sister’s private teen-age secrets. (I read her diary and love letters.)

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
A feeling of safety

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
Loving Moms and Dads, light hitting the buildings and bright colors...

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
Paco, water, the sky, kid’s imaginations, muscles and elephants

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
Christina Aguilera’s voice.

Bio: Check out Kate's website! Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #17 --Tiffany Clementi

Friday, April 10, 2009 0 comments

What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

TIFFANY CLEMENTI

Actor, April 6th

Previous Flux stuff: Tyclee in Rue, Estrella in Wake to Dream (The Dream Project), AD for Life is a Dream, Sheila Callaghan in Brantley/Lightening, 1/3 of God in The Alpha and the Suzan, Philostrate in A Midsummer's Nights Dream, co-Costume Designer for Other Bodies, Nola in Angel Eaters, Lolo in Channeling (Battle of the Bards), Lulu in Lipstick and Wrenches (Poetic Larceny), upcoming Marie in The Lesser Seductions of History, Food:Soul coordinator and all around Core Member rock star!

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

When my cousins and I were little (there were 8 of us) we stole all the change from the main fountain in Chautauqua thinking it was free money. When our parents found out they made us go to the police and then we had to put all the change back into the fountain. Not only did we still change but I guess we stole people's wishes. UGG!

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
Trust

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
The reflection of the sun or the moon is shining on water. To me it is so peacful and pretty.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
I find my family and friends beautiful. I have been blessed with both.
Sitting in nature and listening to its sounds is beautiful.
Human kindness is beautiful.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
Beautiful legs! I think I would steal my wedding day so that I could do it all over again. It was such an amazing day and I had so many of my friends and family there, it was beautiful. I think if I could I would also steal anger from everyone so all the anger in the world would be gone. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny -- April 13th

Thursday, April 9, 2009 0 comments

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Zack Robidas)

Because inspiration is the sincerest form of larceny...

POETIC LARCENY - PART 2
Monday, April 13th
7PM
At Small Pond Studios, 38 2nd Ave, btwn 2nd and 3rd Street

The Director
Kate Marks

The Playwrights
Johnna Adams, Jeremy Basescu, James Comtois and Crystal Skillman

The Actors
Ryan Andes, Carissa Cordes, Kelli Holsopple, Kitty Lindsay,
Anthony Wills Jr, Travis York



WHAT'S GOING TO GET LIFTED

Wicked Pigs (Johnna Adams) steals from Pretty Theft a major character and a minor character and some choice lines. Joseph and Cotton (James Comtois) steals from Wicked Pigs a name, some lines, and from Pretty Theft an unexpectedly good kiss. It Glows (Jeremy Basescu) steals from Joseph and Cotton two character names, a Red Bull and Vodka, and from Pretty Theft, a wrench. Geek (Crystal Skillman) steals from It Glows a well-named hamster, a title for a comic, and vodka.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE THERE

1. You will see pig murders, Princess Leia impersonators, and potential world domination!
2. You will learn the dangers of dipthongs!
3. You will see the return of Imagination Compact artists like Jeremy Basescu, Kelli Holsopple, Kitty Lindsay and Anthony Wills Jr!
4. Four different plays, four very different characters named Joe(y)!
5. The chance to purchase $11 discounted tix for the opening weekend of Pretty Theft!

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SEAT

Email August Schulenburg at gus@fluxtheatre.org.
Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
There is a $5 suggested donation
Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #16 - Carissa Cordes

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 1 comments

What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

CARISSA CORDES

Actor, April 13th

Previous Flux stuff: A new Flux Sunday participant!

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?
I tried stealing second base once...I got caught. Oh, and on my sixth grade basketball team there was this girl who would always hold the ball directly behind her head, so whenever we scrimmaged I always stole the ball from her. Also i try to steal some zzz's whenever I can.

Question 2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
My sense of safety and self in my neighborhood was stolen on a night four years ago when a neighbor forcefully stole my backpack from me half a block away from my apt. The idealism came back quickly, but shadowed with realism...and I still panic and go into survival mode when someone walks directly behind me for longer than necessary.

Question 3&4: What do you find pretty? What do you find beautiful?
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" For me a person may or may not have a pretty face, but it is in knowing them as a person -then I will find them beautiful.

Question 5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
A moment of pure joy to keep in my back pocket.

Bio:
Carissa has been a long time fan and supporter of Flux and is incredibly flattered and pleased to be asked to participate in Poetic Larceny. Carissa is currently in the process of creating new theatre and is usually involved with some project or another. She has recently been seen with Red Handle in Yellow Electras and with Mir Productions in the world premiere of The Mary Trilogy as La Madia, the killer mother, and was in Mir's original dance theatre piece How to Be a Doll. She also was a part of Octavia Cups' Whistle Me Higher. A past role of great joy was Rosalind in Hudson Warehouse's As You Like It.

Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #15 - Carolyn Ratteray

Monday, April 6, 2009 0 comments





What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

CAROLYN RATTERAY

Actor, May 4th

Previous Flux stuff: Read Pip during the development of Rue, and then went far away for too long to MFA land - we're so glad she's back!

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?
Office supplies from a place of work for some theatrical purpose

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
Hmm...two women stole a bunch money from my bank account by way of stealing checks of mine

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
Hamsters

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
Healing and transformation

Question #5:
If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
I would steal more Time with people who have passed away already

Bio: Carolyn has worked at the Pearl Theatre Company, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Jean Cocteau Rep, Theatre Ten Ten, Shenandoah Shakespeare and the Old Globe, where she received her MFA. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #14 - Crystal Skillman


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

CRYSTAL SKILLMAN

Playwright, April 13th

Previous Flux stuff: First time with Flux, now on the regular invite list for Flux Sundays

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

When I was around like 13, I went on a little vacation with my best friend and her family up to her grandparents’ place in Massachusetts. While there, we went to this warehouse store called Building 19 (which still exists! http://www.building19.com). It’s a crazy place full of books and crazy ass shit - tons of books, toys, clothes. Now, my friend and I had recently gotten into “testing our coolness” with doing the old “five finger discount”. We were still doing it that day, when an older big, fat guy in a suit came and found us, while we were joking around trying on men’s shoes, clomping around. He asked us to come with him and took us into this little wooden paneled backroom, sat us down. He said he had seen me stealing and had me on tape. I knew my friend was also stealing, but he never mentioned her, just me. He showed me the tape where I’m doing some of the dumbest shit in my life – stealing like a transformer or go-bot or something (!), a scarf, maybe like a pin. Cheap $3 things I didn’t need, didn’t even really want and for what? I had $40 in my pockets that my parents had given me. I’d never really understood what I was doing. I think I was just following through on the act of stealing to belong, to have that little secret of getting back at the world or something. Anyway, when I was sitting there watching the version of me that was doing these stupid, stupid things, I was shaking and crying like no tomorrow. This guy was scary and he was saying I could go to jail. It felt like everything was ending right there and then (only later did the comedy of my 13 year old friend saying things like “Let her go. She’s only a kid!” sink in). My friend’s parents got called in of course. It was agreed that the store wouldn’t press charges unless I swore to never return to the ill fated Building 19. I had never felt that kind of humiliation, especially as the sweet, nerdy four eyed best friend, which is what I was to my friend’s family. Later in their living room of this posh New England house, my friend’s parents drilled me and I must admit I was pretty awesome about taking the fall, really protected my friend to the end (of course the irony was she was way more of a shoplifting junky than me). But the worst thing was that they left it up to me about telling my own parents when I got back. The choice was mine. And I did tell them. My dad was disappointed but fine, like “we all make mistakes” kinda thing. But my mom? She wouldn’t talk to me for like a month. That was hard. But I’ll tell you what – I never was tempted to steal again. :) All it takes is a teeny wooden paneled room, a fat guy in a cheap suit chewing you out and a shitty video of you being a moron to teach you that lesson.

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?

My name! My current dayjob is being the receptionist at an architectural firm (I actually write a lot of my plays at the front desk ☺). Anyway, at my job, I order cars for my bosses when they go to the airport. One day I got a call from those that do the billing in Chicago who told me the car service we use was insisting I’d ordered a pick up (for a name non of us reconized) that cost about $300. The car place tapes all the calls and the manager, who knew me for at least a year, said she was dead certain it was my voice on that call! That she listened to it and it was me going on for 12 minutes. When she talked to me, she said “That’s you Crystal.” I felt really crazy. I asked to listen to the tape myself. When I did I recognized immediately the old Admin’s voice (she was fired a month ago). On the tape, she was clearly setting up an inside pick up (the expensive, fancy one where they wait with you for a sign!) for some friend getting picked up at JFK going to the Bronx. On the tape, when the car place asked the name of who was calling you heard her say, in the most chilling, calm manner, “Crystal”. Said my last name without them asking. Spelled my last name out letter by letter: S-K-I-L-L-M-A-N. When I heard her pretending to be me, I was stunned. Never had experienced that before. Here I was, actually sad she got fired because I thought we were friends at work! Man. I also learned through this event that a perky, happy women’s voice sounds the same to everyone, even to this car service lady who was fooled. Eventually this tape was played on a conference call for others in our office, who confirmed it was not me, but this crazy wack-a-doodle. But it was really, really strange to know someone had pretended to be me and for the silliest of reasons. And it was a real damper as this happened a year ago, about this time, on my birthday. Luckily this year, I’ve had the best birthday ever with Rising Phoenix Rep opening my new play Birthday (actually on my Birthday last Thursday!) which’ll run thru April 10th. And the comedy does continue - now whenever I call up that car place they always ask: “Is this the REAL Crystal Skillman?”

Question #3: What do you find pretty?

I can officially say a Betsey Johnson dress because I just bought one on sale (with awesomely mis-matching shoes!) for the Women’s Project Sadie Hawkins Day dance on April 29th (http://www.womensproject.org/on_our_stage.htm) and I’m in love. I looked right at it and was like, now that – that is pretty!

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?

Moments lead to big epiphanies. Like the dusk evening turning black with the streetlights glowing, someone confessing a secret to you, you realizing something important just to yourself while rocking out to your ipod on the train, turning the page and feeling a real connection to what you’re reading, feeling yourself change as a result. And there is a very corny but true one – my husband’s face every time I come home.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?

I went to the Morgan library a few months ago and one of the cool things they had on display was Tennessee Williams’s private journal. It was open to a page where he was figuring out how much to tip this male prostitute he’d just been with. It was so awkwardly touching, funny and sad about these teeny everyday things for him, scripted in his large script on this simple lined notebook. Amazing stuff. Would love to steal that. Take that Mr. Morgan!

Bio: Crystal Skillman's play The Telling Trilogy was produced by Rising Phoenix Rep and is published in Plays & Playwrights 2008. This summer her play 4 Edges, produced by Amphibian Productions and written in the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, was workshopped as one of the four selected plays at the 2008 New Harmony Project Theatre Conference. As well, Crystal's new play The Sleeping World was workshopped at Lincoln Center (with director Scott Ebersold) as part of the 2008 Director's Lab. The Vigil or the Guided Cradle, featured in hotINK 2008, received a mini-workshop directed by Erica Gould for New Georges and will receive a reading at Rattlestick. Past productions and commissions include: Summerland (Gideon Production's Blueprint Project); Apocalypse Neo (co-written with Rob Neill and Justin Tolley, NY Neo-Futurists); Flow (E.S.T/Sloan Commission) and Ballad of Phineas P. Gage (Drama of Works/HERE). She is the bookwriter/lyricist for the musical That's Andy (composer Kevin Carter; conceiver Robert Jay Cronin) and is co-writing the rock musical 72 Devils with director/composer Jerry Ruiz. Her play The Ride, second play in The Telling Trilogy (directed by Daniel Talbott), was nominated for a NY Innovative Theatre Award. In addition to being a member of the Women's Project Playwrights Lab, Crystal is a member of the MCC Theater Playwrights' Coalition, E.S.T, Rising Phoenix Rep and the Dramatists Guild. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #13 - Ryan Andes


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

RYAN ANDES

Actor, April 13th

Previous Flux stuff: 1st time with Flux, unless you count the Tribal Battle of the Bards Dance Circle (of which he was the Prime Minister) ((and we do - count it, that is))

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!


Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?
In high school, my best friend at the time and I orchestrated the theft of his dad's 1976 Mercedes 420S series racer. While pops was away on vacation for a week, we snuck into the garage in the middle of the night and pushed it into the street and drove off. His dad found out (of course) and reported it to the police. Three days later the car broke down in a synagogue parking lot and we had to ditch it. The cops found it and brought it back, mostly unharmed, but the harm we did to that man's soul was irreparable.

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
I have lost a lot to thieves. Wallet(s) in Barcelona (2 times), money, backpacks, gym clothes, hood ornaments. But the single worst blow dealt was the theft of my laptop the day I returned home to the USA after living in Rome for a year. The laptop itself was inconsequential, although its loss did suck. During that past year, I spent almost every day uploading photos and keeping a journal of my time and adventures in Rome. It disappeared out of my luggage cart while loading my car outside of Newark Int'l Airport, my first day back in the US. And, of course, I didn't back anything up.

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
A hillside of wildflowers. A Tiffany lamp. The sleek lines of a Ducati. Flocks of birds. Dew on a leaf. Blown glass. Some bugs. Houseplants.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
The way a body of water reflects sunlight at dusk. Dusk. Cloud formations. When trees meet cliffs. Ancient Marble sculpture. Microcosms. Warblers. Squirrels. Iridescence in nature. Green eyes. Intelligent hands. Honesty. Sunlight. An individual snowflake. Formations of geology. Flowing water. The smell of dirt. Groups of trees. Uninhibited laughter. Ospreys. When words and music fuse perfectly.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
There is a piece of a 3500 year old sculpture, a broken chunk of yellow jasper, in the Egyptian wing at the Met. It is the face of a woman, but only the chin and lips remain intact. What remains betrays a perfection of beauty unparalleled, and the broken edges display a sharp contrast to the softness captured in stone. The mind fills in the beauty that is lost to the centuries, and it becomes flawless in the imagination. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #12 - Cotton Wright

Sunday, April 5, 2009 1 comments

What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

COTTON WRIGHT

Actor, May 11th

Previous Flux stuff: A Flux Member whose past Flux credits include Thalia in Rue, Actor in The Dream Chain, Ben Brantley in Brantley/Lightning, Actor in The Imagination Compact, Azazyel in Angel Eaters, 1/3 of God in The Alpha and the Suzan, The Internet in Channeling, Ari in Narrator 1, Supervisor/Allegra's Mom/Ballerina in Pretty Theft, and many Flux Sundays and retreats

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?
The worst thing I've ever stolen? Or the worst thing I've ever stolen and felt badly about? Cause that would be one of those little party favor boxes when I was 7 years old. I was still susceptible to guilt at that point, as a child who's just stolen something should likely be. My mother threatened to take me back to the store and make me tell them what I had done, the prospect of which still makes me feel ashamed 20 plus years later. Besides that, the worst thing I've ever stolen would have to be the occasional unsuspecting heart. I maintain that these have not been my fault.

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
The worst possession that's been stolen from me would be my Metro card - stolen out of my backpack one morning on the subway. On a more metaphysical level, the worst thing that's ever been stolen from me would be my idealism, some time during my sophomore year of college. I don't know that I knew it had been stolen until I watched the same thing happen to my little sister when she was in college. It was a very unsettling experience.

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
Trimming. I have an irrational love of trimming - ribbons, sequins, craft boa, etc. I don't know quite where this love came from, but it's certainly there. Trimmings shops are actually more exciting to me than candy stores. Things that sparkle. Things with sprinkles. Sweeping staircases. Summer dresses. Freshly painted rooms. Clean kitchens.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
The airport dance. This is the "dance" you do when you see someone you love come into the baggage claim area at the airport, once they've made it through security but before you've gotten to attack them with hugs and snuffles. Other things, of course, are beautiful too, but the airport dance kind of takes the cake at the moment.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
Time. Sweet jesus, lots and lots of time. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #11 -- Jeff Lewonczyk

Friday, April 3, 2009 0 comments


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

JEFF LEWONCZYK

Playwright, April 6th

Previous Flux stuff: Wrote the funny melancholy play The Minotaur's Daughter for our Imagination Compact

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

When I worked at the town library in high school I stole a few library books – that was pretty crummy. My most audacious theft was on the last day of my senior year, when I walked into the school’s art supply closet and just stuffed my backpack with as much stuff as I could make fit.

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?

When I was in college a girl I was dating managed to get into my dorm room, sniff out my journal, and read all the exasperated and judgmental things I had written about her.

Question #3: What do you find pretty?

Stuff that’s neither ugly nor mediocre nor beautiful.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?

Stuff that’s neither ugly nor mediocre nor pretty.

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?

Probably Western Ireland, which I found breathtaking when I visited a few years ago. I don’t know where I’d put it, though. Maybe in the Grand Canyon, which I would also steal.


Bio: Learn more about the Lewonczyk Legend here. Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny -- April 6th

Thursday, April 2, 2009 -1 comments

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Todd D'Amour)
Let The Stealing Begin

POETIC LARCENY - PART 1
Monday, April 6th
7PM
Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510

THE DIRECTOR
Jessi D. Hill (Angel Eaters)

THE PLAYWRIGHTS
August Schulenburg (Riding the Bull)
Jeff Lewonczyk (The Granduncle Quadrilogy)
Katherine Burger (Morphic Resonance)
Rob Ackerman (Tabletop)

THE ACTORS
Johnna Adams, Tiffany Clementi, Ian Heitzman
Rebecca McHugh, Matthew Murumba, Aaron Michael Zook

WHAT'S GOING TO GET LIFTED
Lipstick and Wrenches (August Schulenburg) steal from Pretty Theft a thief, a waitress, a storytelling style, a line or two, and lipstick and wrenches. From Lipstick and Wrenches, Jeff Lewonczyk's Sweet Lungs steals sharks, a shade of lipstick, virile orchids, reincarnating divinity, and the name Lulu. From Sweet Lungs, Katherine Burger's Low Tide steals a bloodcurdling scream, a priest, a rowboat, a wharf, a line and a possibly indifferent God. From Low Tide, Rob Ackerman's Human Resources steals a full moon, fear of death, and a line (and he stole from Pretty Theft an unexpectedly good kiss and lipstick!)

WHY YOU SHOULD BE THERE
1. Playwright extraordinaire Johnna Adams is acting!
2. The chance to purchase $10 discounted tix for the opening weekend of Pretty Theft
3. An Angel Eaters Trilogy reunion with Jessi Hill, Tiffany Clementi, Rebecca McHugh, August Schulenburg and Ian Heitzman
4. The return of Midsummer rock stars Aaron Michael Zook and Matthew Murumba
5. Four surprisingly beautiful and funny short plays that steal the best from each other

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SEAT
Email August Schulenburg at gus@fluxtheatre.org.
Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
There is a $5 suggested donation

What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?
Read the full story

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Pretty Theft on Aaron Riccio's "What Sounds Cool"

Aaron Riccio has kindly chosen our production of Pretty Theft as one of his "What Sounds Cool" selections for April 2009. It's a great list which also includes plays from Electric Pear, Banana, Bag and Bodice, and New Georges. That's good company!

And after you pay your visit to Aaron's blog, why not take advantage of our Poetic Larceny special discounted rate of $10 for opening weekend tix (opening night exlcuded) using the code LARCENY1? Click here for tix! Read the full story

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Poetic Larceny Artists Reveal #10 --Nick Monroy


What is Poetic Larceny?

And how can I learn more about Flux's upcoming production of Pretty Theft?

NICK MONROY

Actor, May 4th

Previous Flux stuff: Snout aka The Wall in A Midsummer Night's Dream, saved our asses by stepping into the role of Herbet mid-run for Angel Eaters, begged many times to come to Flux Sunday, he has yet to be persuaded...

We asked the amazing artists of our upcoming staged reading series Poetic Larceny to answer some questions about stealing, beauty, and consequences. Read on for their answers!

Question #1: What is the worst thing you've ever stolen?

Heather Cohn's skateboard. (Although I'm pretty sure she gave it to me...but I probably should have stolen Gus's Shakespeare board game)

Question #2: What is the worst thing that's been stolen from you?
My heart. I never got it back. :(

Question #3: What do you find pretty?
I suppose I could say a beach in the Caribbean, or the Andes Mountains, or even the Manhattan Skyline at night, but I have to keep it real and say that I really enjoying seeing a nice round butt.

Question #4: What do you find beautiful?
An evening with friends

Question #5: If you could steal something beautiful without consequences, what would it be?
A burrito Read the full story

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A Shout Out For Hopeville

Chris Critelli and Cast (© Jacquelyn Terhar)
This post is long overdue. But when players in the Indie Theater community paint with bold colors, it deserves a shout out, late or not.
Last weekend marked the closing of The New Hopeville Comics, a new rock opera written by Nate Weida and Sarah Donnell (produced in association with Flux Friend, Michael Roderick). When Hopeville's own superhero Perfect Man sinks into despair over breaking up with his girlfriend Molly, villains Sex, Drugs and Rockenroll seize their opportunity to kill him off and take over the town. It's up to Molly and her friends April and Felix to save the day and bring hope back to Hopeville.
While the plot definitely had the comic book feel you might expect from such a title, its execution was nothing short of marvelous. With a 20 person cast and a 5 piece band, the first thing you quickly realize is how exciting it can be to hear that amount of sound and see that many bodies in a space as intimate as the Chernuchin Theatre. Choreographer, Ashley Adamek makes great use of the ensemble in the opening number, incorporating them as stars, clouds and moving men that create Perfect Man's flight through the night sky, letting us know in, no uncertain terms that this is a comedy and schtick will be abundant. Director, Jim Wren, commits with whole-hearted abandon to every moment of zaniness and this cast fills it with all their might.
Particularly enjoyable performances included Chris Critelli, as Perfect Man, who's charmingly cheesy superhero comes complete with a brilliantly rigged baby rescue. Sarah Donnell navigates the role of Molly through her journey of self discovery with truth and simplicity. John Bennett's villainous Rockenroll is remarkably charming. As vampy, vapid Delois, Carolyn Cole's deadpan is spot on and a delight from start to finish. Christine Dwyer as April is completely believable with an especially beautiful performance of the song "Wanting Molly".
Bravo. And, in the words of Hopeville, Rain On.
Read the full story