johnleiser

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

We Declare You A Terrorist @ The Public

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm

When tickets are $10, You can take a chance on new material and be part of the selection process to see what gets to off Broadway and beyond. The SPF festival is exciting for that and you get to see some new talent in a professional setting. This play was the third in my series and my least favorite so far. Tim J. Lord took the siege of a Moscow theater by Chechnyan terrorists and wove a double story, this might be the theme of this years festival, of the women in the theater speaking to her captive,The Writer of the show, and his interrogation when he tries to go to Chechnya four years later as her becomes obsessed with the plight of the Chechnyans. There are no winners here, just the pain of two sides locked in mortal combat. It is very relevant to many places in our world now and for that it has a lot of power, but the material falls short of it’s goal despite strong performances from the cast. This play needs some work and it will be a stunner !

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Summer @ The New Museun

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Emery Douglas, David Goldblatt, and Dorothy Iannone make a big summer show at The New Museum. The opening party is my way (isn’t that a song?) to get a take on material that I don’t know. And it’s fun to go to parties at The New Museum.
Emery Douglas is the main draw; he was a big time force in the Black Panthers in the 60’s. There are a lot of posters and maybe it’s nostalgic at some level. I see it as a white guy from that time and really was only marginally aware that it was going on; what with being a hippie and listening to all the music and the summer of love and all. There is a connection to the posters for the music and festivals of that era that took some of the sting out of the work. It’s interesting to think that this was the same time and yet a different world for me.
Which brings in David Goldblatt, an artist from South Africa who was taking photos of the daily existence of locals living with apartheid. The sharp contrast of the oppression with these everyday scenarios makes a chilling statement of how poorly these people were treated. And their Black Panther cousins in America finding their way into the main steam ; to have opportunities and educations and live the American dream.
Dorothy Iannone is relevant to the show with her finding a sexual freedom to be considered with “the guys”. As the time line of her relationships becomes the art instillation, it seemed to me to be a thread of the show; To find a way in the world that is dignified and allows one follow a dream and be treated fairly in that search

The NY Philharmonic @Central Park

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm

OK so you can’t hear the music and everyone is talking; so why are there 150,000 people at this concert? Oh and the fireworks! Whew We love NY for all this craziness. The concert was reviewed in the Times; how did he hear it? So was supposed to rain for the Friday concert and it really did, just as the concert ended; no fireworks, ahhh, and the mass exodus. How do we stay civil so close to each other? Some fat idiot tried to jump the stone wall out of the park and nearly crushed Gina and I. I wish the stupid patrol was there to issue a ticket. Maybe I should have asked how he was , but NO! Short people should not be allowed to have umbrellas, while I’m on a rant. They were all at eye level and I was moved to profanity, a short move , I know. But I would go back again to night if there was a show.

The Chimes@SPF/The Public Theater

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm

This new play by Kevin Christopher Snipes is the opener at the SPF festival this year : http://www.spfnyc.com . And it’s a winner! Follow the link to find out these are $10 tickets because it’s the best deal in town. Back to The Chimes. A fortieth year reunion in 1980 brings the surviving two private school pals together with all the damage and the ghosts of what happened as Barrington Boys all those years ago and how they never came to terms with their lives. The audience sees the “boys” act out their little Shakespeare spouting bratty gang thing. As Nick and Birdie drink their way into being honest about what happened; the boys tell the story in alternating scenes. The headmaster, a closet Nazi, won’t let the Jewish professor direct Marcus as Shylock in “Merchant Of Venice ” do the speech that makes Shylock human and Marcus plots to put it in anyway and is caught and both he and Nick are expelled for “inappropriate” behavior in Nick’s room. Marcus tries to get into the room and falls and is crippled and kills himself . Vivien and Birdie go off to war and Vivien is killed. Birdie manages to find Nick, who is not in any records at the school and has left no trail, address or phone number. And they find out the truth about each other, and themselves. The Chimes needs some work and polish to bring it to off broadway, but it should be easily done. This a gem that I hope makes it.

Waiting For Godot @ Studio 54

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Taking medicine generally is not a pleasant thing to do; but seeing this “important” Becket play some how is fun. Not much makes sense without giant synapse jumps that make you think you know what the play is “about”; NOT. and the four players; Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman,and John Glover, are so accomplished that the nonsense seems to be conversation. There certainly is a disconnect that we all feel , that is we are the only one that doesn’t understand what is going on and M. Godot feeds that. The accomplishment of this play is that we accept the craziness as theater and I really like that. There is dramatic tension and humor, it is a comedy?, though out. I’m not sure we all laughed at the right things, but again the insecurity of not being on the inside is nervous humor. We all stood for an ovation, is that just to see what is going on or did we really like it? The lady in front of me sat behind a giant person and had to shift through the whole first act, was that part of the play? Luckily he left and she could see the second acr normally?