Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October is Here

So updating the blog was definitely not on the menu for tonight, but I'm excited to announce a few things.

1. I will be joining the Vampire Cowboys in presenting their First Bite workshop of Alice in Slasherland at the end of October at the infamous Battle Ranch in Bushwick. Wow, that's a lot of branding. Expect more of what you love from this amazing company in full effect in three weeks. Details here!

2. I will be joining Dan Rothenberg and The Play Company in work-shopping Aya Ogawa's translation of Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada's Enjoy, also in October. I've always wanted to work with them and especially after their masterful co-production of Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap this year. Man, oh man. The Enjoy workshop will be in-house, so not open to the public, but I'm still really excited. I think some people I really admire are in it too, and just to be in the room with them is going to be a total trip.

3. The VC Saloon series is back and the great Dustin Chinn's Let's Ninja Science Ranger Team Get! will have yours truly as the Blue Ranger in a time-traveling, irreverent, Voltron-esque comedy. Can't wait. Details.

4. There's more brewing but I'll wait on that. Saw a bootleg version of Ong Bak 2 my sister let me borrow? Pretty amazing stuff. More later!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Support Systems

If you can, you guys should come see Temar Underwood's The Brokenhearteds. I don't mean on closing Sunday, I mean tomorrow. Or next Thursday. We've got one weekend left in the run and we're counting on the men and women of the theatre to show some love and support to an ambitious new black playwright. Not because of that in itself but because everyone got their start somewhere and this is a hell of a start for Temar.

Everyone should see it because it's about us, man. It's about our generation and the things we do for love and art and I guarantee there is something in it for you somewhere because he writes about what we are living. There was an article in the Times this very week about political maneuvering straight out of our show. The characters are artists or dreamers of one kind or another. The people we know and aspire to be. It's like looking in the mirror every night.

Martin Denton, first man and champion of the indie theatre had this to say:

Boisvert keeps it moving briskly, and manages the complicated final sequence—featuring three scenarios playing out simultaneously on stage—deftly. Underwood himself plays Ezra Wesley with real gravitas (he also has a terrific cameo as Peter's boss at the newspaper). Mike Mihm feels precisely right as Peter, the vaguely existential, sexy anti-hero whom we can't help but root for. Andrea Marie Smith is appealing as Halle, and Jon Hoche is chilling in a number of different roles, including the Pakistani Fareed and, perhaps more so, an American CIA operative. Paco Tolson gives another of his trademark excellent performances as Milan and a few other characters (he has a wonderful comic turn as James Blitz, a highly-strung TV news show host).

All in all, The Brokenhearteds makes for entertaining and insightful viewing, and welcomes a talented new playwright to the New York theatre scene.

If you're Equity, use your card. If you're a savvy Facebooker, use the discount codes. If you're a friend, don't wait until the last show.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Dramatists

Last night I had the honor of being a part of the New Dramatists new members welcome event that featured readings from each of the six new playwrights. My friend Qui Nguyen just got in and it was a great time. Saw a lot of old friends and colleagues and did a lot of catching up all around.

The excerpts I heard that night were mesmerizing and surprising in their own ways, mostly due to their brazen theatricality. The new frontier of theatre seems to be headed back into a physical, ritualistic use of the actor as an instrument of transportation. Each of the readings used the actors as true storytellers and used the full complement of the actor's skills to maximize expression, including dance and song. Even the minimalism of Richard Maxwell's actors served as an electrifying conduit to something profound and beautiful deep in the language (precisely because of it, I thought).

It was quite a night.