Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Preview: NEW YORK NEO-FUTURISTS (& YOU) CREATE "THE HUMAN SYMPHONY"
The New York Neo-Futurists create
THE HUMAN SYMPHONY
at the New Ohio
January 22 - February 14 2015
One of my favorite groups, the performance collective, the New York Neo-Futurists (Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind - TMLMTBGB) have announced their next mainstage production, THE HUMAN SYMPHONY, created and directed by Dylan Marron.
When New York Neo-Futurist Dylan Marron took to the interwebs to find people willing to share their experiences with online dating, he received a treasure trove of funny, depressing, heartwarming, uplifting, and just plain terrifying stories. He crafted these first person accounts into a unique theatrical mosaic, offering an unflinchingly honest look at experiences (and experiments) in matters of the heart.
Performed in four "movements" by a cast of randomly selected audience members at each show, who are directed solely through instructional mp3 tracks, THE HUMAN SYMPHONY “performers” are guided through a theatrical Rube Goldberg experience. The remaining audience witnesses the action unfold as they listen to these first hand accounts of internet dating in NYC.
The cast features...you (or the person next to you, behind you, or across from you).
The design team includes Ben Ahles (Set Designer), Sarah Livant (Lighting Designer), Nicole Hill and Daniel Mirsky (Projection Designers), and Kyra Sims (Music Designer). The dramaturg is Meg Bashwiner. The Stage Manager is Sophie Kurtze.
Dylan Marron (Creator & Director) has been an ensemble member with the New York Neo Futurists since 2012 where he has created his own original work as well as performing in the work of others. In 2013 he wrote and directed Online Dating, the predecessor of The Human Symphony where four randomly selected audience members performed three true stories of sexual encounters through the internet. He was an ensemble player in The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O’Neill Vol. 2 (Drama Desk nom., N.Y.I.T. nom., New York Times Critic’s Pick) in May 2014. His original play Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite (Capital Fringe Director’s Award winner, Washington Post Critic’s Pick) was featured at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Other stage credits: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Arena Stage). Film/TV/Radio: Whatever this is. (Best Actor, Drama – Boston Globe) and Welcome to Night Vale.
- THE HUMAN SYMPHONY begins performances on Thursday, January 22 for a limited engagement through Saturday, February 14.
- Opening Night is Wednesday, January 28 at 8 PM.
- The performance schedule is Monday, Wednesday - Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 3 PM.
- Performances are at The New Ohio (the Archive Building at 154 Christopher Street, between Greenwich Street and Washington Street in the West Village).
- Tickets are $18 online, $20 at the door.
For tickets & more information, visit
For more about the NY Neo-Futurists, see our story
Saturday, December 13, 2014
ANOTHER "SPECIAL" DATE
Yes, it's a "special" date again:
Thursday, December 11, 2014
GOLDEN GLOBES 2015
(PRODUCTIONS DEBUTING IN 2014)
The Golden Globe Nominations include mostly famous names in big projects.
Of my own favorites that I'd like to have seen recognized (but were not), I was particularly disappointed in the absence of THE AMERICANS, especially Keri Russell, Emmy Rossum in SHAMELESS, Chris Gorham - the blind agent in COVERT AFFAIRS, and the great (though little seen) performance of Scott Haze in CHILD OF GOD.
Here are the nominees:
FILM & TV
Best Motion Picture, Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Into The Woods
=>The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Animated Feature Film
The Lego Movie
=>How To Train Your Dragon 2
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
Best Foreign Language Film
Force Majeure Turist (Sweden)
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett (Israel)
Tangerines Mandariinid (Estonia)
Best TV Series, Drama
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Game Of Thrones
House of Cards
Good Wife, The
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Orange is the New Black
Jane The Virgin
Best TV Movie or Mini-Series
The Normal Heart
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
=>Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Jennifer Aniston (Cake)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
=>Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
David Oyelowo (Selma)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Julianne Moore (Maps To The Stars)
=>Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
Emily Blunt (Into The Woods)
Helen Mirren (The Hundred Foot Journey)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
=>Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Bill Murray (St. Vincent)
Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice)
Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
=>Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
=>J. K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Robin Wright (House of Cards)
=>Ruth Wilson (The Affair)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
=>Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Clive Owen (The Knick)
James Spader (The Blacklist)
Dominic West (The Affair)
Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)
Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
=>Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Ricky Gervais (Derek)
=>Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Freak Show)
=>Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honorable Woman)
Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge)
Allison Tolman (Fargo)
Frances O'Connor (The Missing)
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Martin Freeman (Fargo)
Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Woody Harrelson (True Detective)
=>Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)
Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart)
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Freak Show)
Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black)
=>Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
Michelle Monaghan (True Detective)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge)
Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)
=>Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart)
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
Colin Hanks (Fargo)
WRITING & DIRECTING
Best Director - Motion Picture
Ava DuVernay (Selma)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
David Fincher (Gone Girl)
=>Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
=>Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone,
Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
=>Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory Of Everything)
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (Gone Girl)
Antonio Sanchez (Birdman)
Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
“Big Eyes” (Big Eyes)
“Mercy Is” (Noah)
“Yellow Flicker Beat” (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1)
Thursday, December 04, 2014
THE ILLUSIONISTS - WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE
WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE
MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL THEATER
THRU JAN 4, 2015
THE ILLUSIONISTS is an energetic, exciting modern take on an age-old Magic Variety Show. Featuring a mix of comedy and magic ("If you don't laugh, then it's the magic..."), audience participation (almost voluntary), high voltage (but medium decibel) music, and some costumed dancers, the show is old-fashioned and fun.
The quality of the magic varies from lame to impressive, the comedy from lame to funny. But, overall, the show is magic-ally interesting, and entertainingly funny. Some of the banter is mildly adult, and some bits are a bit scary, but older children, especially those interested in magic, would find it a great show, I think.
It's not really designed for a magically sophisticated audience, but with seven fine magicians, it does provide a tasty sampler of magical styles from card tricks to escapes to weaponry to terrorizing an audience member.
Indeed, two children taken from the audience were treated well (though encouraged to lie: "How old are you?" "Eight. "Oooh! You have to be nine to come on stage ...How old are you?" "Eight" "You have to be nine to come on stage, how old are you?" "Eight." "How old are you?" "Nine!" "Great! Come up with me on stage..."). Adults... well, were not treated so gently: A trick with a wicked looking bow and arrow, an apple, and a audience member; and another with a variant of Russian Roulette (RR) and a very uncomfortable looking audience member, both looked like they could be dangerous if they went awry. (Indeed they showed "YouTube" video clips of how the RR trick could go wrong!) But in the end no humans were injured making the show.
(Just a thought... Do real audience members who participate in actually hazardous stunts ever have to sign a release?)
The show is in the middle of a tour of the world and has received some good reviews in far away places in some earlier stops.
The magicians featured are:
• The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin - Impressive card manipulations!
• The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry
• The Trickster, Jeff Hobson - A low-rent Liberace wannabe (?)
• The Escapologist, Andrew Basso - Interesting to see -- live -- the escape from a case of water! Took 3+ minutes holding his breath!
• The Inventor, Kevin James - He was good with a child!
• The Warrior, Aaron Crow
• The Futurist, Adam Trent - I especially liked his interaction with a video screen!
The entire show is videotaped live and simulcast on a large, but not very high resolution, screen. It only kind of worked. Probably good for people in the very back or upstairs, but it was somewhat distracting and, except for a very fine piece with the Futurist, the screen did not really enhance any tricks. I kept looking to see if it gave a sharp perspective on the magic, but it rarely provided any insight that enriched a trick.
THE ILLUSIONISTS is a fun, undemanding, entertaining, sometimes exciting, often funny, and mostly "magical" Holiday entertainment.
THE ILLUSIONISTS - OFFICIAL SITE
THE ILLUSIONISTS TICKETS - ON TICKETMASTER
THE MARRIOTT MARQUIS - OFFICIAL SITE
(Some notes about the hotel and its elevators. I got lost more than once -- and the staff was not helpful. The theater is on the third floor, most easily reached from street level by an escalator. There is no second floor. The hotel lobby is on the eighth floor. Most floors can be reached by dialing the number on a keypad and then going to the elevator they send you to. The View, an after-show restaurant on the 48th floor, is only accessible from two special (marked) elevators, that depart only from the 3rd floor.
The theater itself, by the way, is modern and comfortable, but has one of those designs that have no center aisle, so if you have a center seat, be prepared to cross a lot of knees.
Also, if you park at the hotel, when you are ready for your car, you can call them and they will tell you how long it will take to get your car, and will page you when its down. It's convenient to park in the hotel, but it is expensive.)
Weekly Playing Schedule for the Broadway Engagement:
Monday, December 1 – Sunday, December 7 (week of opening):
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7PM, Thursday at 6:30PM (opening night), Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 3PM and 8PM, Sunday at 3PM and 7:30PM
Monday, December 8 – Sunday, December 14:
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 3PM and 8PM, Sunday at 3PM and 7:30PM
Monday, December 15 – Sunday, December 21:
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 3PM and 8PM, Sunday at 11AM, 3PM, and 7:30PM
Monday, December 22 – Sunday, December 28:
Monday and Tuesday at 7PM, Friday at 2PM and 8PM, Saturday at 11AM, 3PM, and 8PM, Sunday at 11AM, 3PM, and 7:30PM
Monday, December 29 – Sunday, January 4:
Monday and Tuesday at 7PM, Wednesday at 2PM