Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: The Bats (Page 1 of 2)

Hecuba and the women of Troy confront Helen in Euripides' The Trojan Women at the Flea Theater, September 2016,

Review | Euripides’ The Trojan Women | Adapted by Ellen McLaughlin | Directed by Anne Cecelia Haney | Flea Theater

“Another war has ended.  When will the next begin?”  Poseidon    

The Trojan Women is a daring and astonishing a play — it sails against the waves of the expected on  all counts.

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Adam Rapp's Wolf In The River at The Flea Theater. Kate Thulin, Jack Ellis and Michael Swift ... and audience looking on. Photo Hunter-Canning

Review | Wolf In The River | Written and Directed by Adam Rapp | Featuring the Bats | Flea Theater

… why we go to the theater …

This is great theater.  It’s hard to separate the play itself from the creative staging and perfect acting but it all adds up to as stunning a theatrical experience as anyone ever needs to have.

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Colin Waitt as Jesus and the cast. Photo Jonathan Hollingsworth

Review | The Mysteries, 52 Episodes From the Bible Written by 48 Playwrights | World Premier | Conceived and Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar | Dramaturg Jill Rafson | Featuring The Bats | Flea Theater

The Mysteries is one whopper of a project!

It’s an epic telling of the Old and New Testaments, referring to Medieval and later “mystery plays” of the life of Christ, 52 episodes more or less in sequence divided into three parts:  The Fall, The Sacrifice, The Kingdom.  Written by 48 playwrights, it’s performed by 54 actors who act, sing and

Sarah Keyes of the Angel Chorus. Photo Hunter Canning

Sarah Keyes of the Angel Chorus. Photo Hunter Canning

dance 78 parts or so in 5 ½ hours, all taking place on the relatively small performance space of the Flea, with the audience in touching distance of the actors, and not only that, it includes dinner! .

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L-R John Paul Harkins, Whitney Conkling and Matthew Cox.  Photo Hunter Canning

Review | Sarah Flood In Salem Mass by Adriano Shaplin | Directed by Rebecca Wright | Featuring The Bats | Flea Theatre

Costumed actors take your tickets, will for a modest amount pour you a glass of wine, and engage in gorgeous and intriguing dance-like interactions in front of a stunning backdrop of silky delicately-toned hangings.   It makes you sure you’re in for great theater.  Once Sarah Flood in Salem Mass starts, though, the fun dissipates.   With its reference to the Salem Witch Trials, the play takes on the trappings of seriousness but flings itself into making a jumble of the actual events and persons;  that could be OK, except that it offers no thoughts or ideas in return for its use of this tragic historical episode and the multitudes who suffered hideously because of it.

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Watch  out for that that telescope! ...  Allison Buck as Amanda, Seth Moore as Worthy. Photo Aaron Zebrock

Review | Restoration Comedy by Amy Freed | Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar | Featuring The Bats | Flea Theater

Winter doldrums? … Let Restoration Comedy completely restore you!

Magic unfolds in the relatively small performing space of the Flea Theater flanked by a few rows of audience seats.  That central space comes alive with color, wit, music, dance, energy.  In fact the energy spills from the stage throughout the theater — at the entrance actors costumed in the flounce and style of the 17th Century greet you with drinks and mill everywhere to talk with you, get to know you in the way of director Iskandar’s immersive theater — seen last season in the Flea’s masterful production of These Seven Sicknesses

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Review | Job by Thomas Bradshaw | Directed by Benjamin H. Kamine | Featuring The Bats | Flea Theater

… why do the righteous playgoers suffer? …

The story of Job reinterpreted by a contemporary playwright:  what an intriguing idea.  Exotic times and places — here the ancient Near East — are appealing.  And a play that takes you to supernatural venues, like Heaven, as this play does, and to actually “see” God, at home, so to speak, always have an extra magnetism. 

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Satomi Blair as Jocasta, photo Laura June Kirsch, courtesy Flea Theater

Review | These Seven Sicknesses by Sean Graney | Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar | Flea Theater | Featuring The Bats

 

Allison Buck as Tekmessa and Grant Harrison as Ajax, photo Laura June Kirsch, courtesy Flea Theater

Allison Buck as Tekmessa and Grant Harrison as Ajax, photo Laura June Kirsch, courtesy Flea Theater

If you’re lucky enough to see These Seven Sicknesses, you’re in for a rich adventure.  It’s like setting sail.  First of all, you’ll walk in to a party — there’s a buzz, the actors, in costume, are there to talk with you, offering to bring you water or wine.  This is transformative, opening you to whatever’s going to happen soon on the stage, that is, the wood floor between the facing banks of the audience.   

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Future Anxiety | Raul Sigmund Julia as Malcolm sets down his heavy bucket for a moment as Holly Chou as Comrade Li profers a creation. Photo: Richarde Termine

Review | Future Anxiety by Laurel Haines | Directed by Jim Simpson | Flea Theater

                … normalcy meets end of world …

Future Anxiety is a vast, crisp ensemble play that brings you to the future by following through on everything that’s undermining our earth as we know and love it.  “Vast” even though it all takes place in The Flea’s rather small Off-Off-Broadway theater but when this talented group gets through with it — it seems positively epic! 

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Review | American Sexy by Trista Baldwin | Directed by Mia Walker | New Play Series – Downstairs at the Flea

     … cat’s cradle …

The broad narrow playing space downstairs at the Flea has been painted the
reddish sandy color that says Southwest and there’s a weathered sandstone rock. In this evocative Western scene, a college age foursome traveling together enjoy – not much though, as it turns out – an interlude at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Review | Looking at Christmas by Steven Banks | Directed by Jim Simpson | Flea Theater | World Premiere

The Flea’s Romantic Holiday Comedy
Looking at Christmas Comes to TV
December 21 – 25 on Thirteen WNET

Thirteen WNET will air The Flea Theater’s acclaimed 2010 production of Looking at Christmas by Steven Banks (head writer of SpongeBob SquarePants) beginning December 21. Filmed live at The Flea last year, this romantic comedy set in front of New York’s famed holiday window displays is directed by Jim Simpson and features The Bats, The Flea’s resident company of actors. Broadcasts on Thirteen WNET are slated for Dec. 21 at 10pm; Dec. 23rd at 3am, and Dec. 25 at 11pm. Check your local listing for air dates in other markets.  Here’s the review.

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