Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://www.culturecatch.com/node/feed en Song of the Week: “Liebesrausch" http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3837 <span>Song of the Week: “Liebesrausch&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>March 22, 2019 - 08:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><iframe allow="autoplay" frameborder="no" height="300" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/589163949%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-Uxs63&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>This funky synth-fectious dance rock tune has a way cool retro minimalistic edge to it. Think Kraftwork's "<a href="https://youtu.be/eSBybJGZoCU" target="_blank">Pocket Calculator</a>," or The Normal's "<a href="https://youtu.be/S5QErPDNcj4" target="_blank">Warm Leatherette</a>" with a dollop of Peaches' "<a href="https://youtu.be/EpDmklLFXVc" target="_blank">Fuck The Pain Away</a>" dirty beats for cheekiness. NYC's <a href="http://whatwouldtildaswintondo.com/" target="_blank">What Would Tilda Swinton Do</a>, a self-proclaimed "lazy punk" band, claims this is their first foray into the world of disco and four-on-the-floor beats. It's also their first official release in German. Austrian-Canadian lead singer and creative director Suzie Léger said the track was "an eruption of shock, rage, despair, confusion, sadness, and pride immediately after the break-up... you're lying on the floor, crying your heart out with a bottle of wine next to you." Regardless, as the track builds to a frenzy one can't help but tear off one's clothes and gyrate with reckless abandon, hence the song's apropos title "Liebesrausch" which translates from German into English as "Love Rush." Epic band name, too.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3837&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="xevnAp4VNOFl4Mb2rvXhruLyQVH4wRhS7crQAsA6Ilo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 3837 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3837#comments Magical Realism http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3836 <span>Magical Realism</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>March 20, 2019 - 12:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/miranda_from_stormville_credit_rachelle_white.jpg?itok=fWaVesnH" title="miranda_from_stormville_credit_rachelle_white.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Rachelle White</figcaption></figure><p><i>Miranda from Stormville</i></p> <p>Written by Adam Bertocci</p> <p>Directed by Jennifer Sandella</p> <p>Presented by Random Access Theatre at IRT Theater, NYC</p> <p>March 14-March 24, 2019</p> <p>New Jersey has certainly been compared to worse things than a magical island. In <i>Miranda from Stormville</i>, Adam Bertocci's new reimagining of William Shakespeare's <i>The Tempest</i>, a small town in the Garden State takes the place of the isle of Sycorax, and the ship carrying Prospero's enemies back from a wedding in Tunis becomes a car bearing two friends from Indiana back from a wedding in equally-exotic-to-them Manhattan.<i> </i>After a mishap involving said car on a stormy August day, Will Ferdinand (Gabe Templin)—whose name combines that of the Italian prince and romantic lead in <i>The Tempest</i> and, presumably, of Shakespeare himself, with the additional, thematically appropriate meanings for "will" as the mental faculty involved with taking action and, from Shakespeare’s own time, as sexual desire -- and Steve Trinker (James A. Pierce III) -- named for the Bard's comic and comically drunk Stephano and Trinculo -- end up stranded in the titular Stormville, and more particularly in the basement of Pops Milano (Richard Wayne) and his daughter, Miranda (Mackenzie Menter). Pops, whom Miranda describes as in the midst of mental and physical decline, employs Ariel (Anna Cain) as a sort of home health aide and, less frequently, Calvin (Brendan Cataldo) as a mechanic. The arrival of Will and Steve will precipitate decisions with the potential to forever change Miranda’s heretofore circumscribed life, in a compassionate, funny, and invigorating production that will appeal as much to die-hard fans of the upstart crow as to those who vaguely recall reading him in high school.</p> <p>When we first meet 19-year-old Miranda, she is doing her father's laundry in the jumbled basement, cluttered with books, furniture, hanging plants, and other detritus, that serves as the show's primary set. She is a self-described "weird girl" who deals with the isolation of taking care of her father in a small town that she has never left partly by reading, especially fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and, more recently, she tells us, magical realism such as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. Magical realism would aptly describe <i>Miranda from Stormville</i> itself, a play which is mostly but ambiguously realistic. Stormville, for example, may or may not exist (or both simultaneously) in its nominal location off exit 96 of the Garden State Parkway; and Ariel has some grounded moments of humanity but can also be self-consciously performative, and her doubling the parts of various townspeople of Stormville can be seen as theatrical and/or magical, to say nothing of Pops' role in all of this.</p> <p><i>The Tempest</i> itself is on the whole more interested in meta-theater than in nuancing the love-at-first-sight between the virtuous Miranda and at most slightly less virtuous Ferdinand, such that Prospero introduces artificial (and, given that he acts the tyrannical father, theatrical) obstacles to ensure that their union doesn’t seem too lightly achieved. <i>Miranda from Stormville</i> shifts the focus from the father to the daughter, and Will, Miranda, and the evolution of their relationship gain psychological and emotional depth. Miranda, while a distinct individual, can also stand in for any small-town teen dreaming of other places and other people, or any young adult on the uneasy cusp of independence. The slightly older Will argues that the “real worlds” about which parents always warn their children don't actually exist, that the reality is much messier; as he and Miranda first bond over the difficulties of having fathers with public lives and always having felt different than their peers and later quarrel over what comes next, the play addresses themes of honesty, sense of place, and need for and responsibilities towards others, as well as, in one memorable sequence, the colonial and literary heritage of the United States and the question of whether there is or might be an American Shakespeare (Ariel, at least, has a nominee). Ariel also raises the question of whether anyone needs "fixing" -- Calvin, for one, terms himself "broken" -- or merely "love," a question complicated perhaps by the inclusion of the willow song sung by both Desdemona and Emilia in<i> Othello</i>.</p> <p>In <i>Miranda from Stormville</i>, references to Andrew Marvell and T.S. Eliot sit comfortably alongside references to <i>Get Out</i> and <i>Ghostbusters</i>, and the short scenes and excellent use of space make for a lively pace. The cast delivers fantastic performances, from Pierce's eager-to-leave Steve and Cataldo's quietly intense Calvin to Wayne's pleasingly hard-to-pin-down Pops. Templin does excellent work with the move into ever deeper waters from Will's initial hesitance with Miranda; Menter artfully embodies the complex tensions between Miranda's strength and trauma, her longing for and fear of the wider world and of allowing herself to trust and be vulnerable to others; and Cain is a stand-out, bringing layers as well as laughs to Ariel and her various guises. Random Access Theatre describes its mission as reclaiming and reimagining "works of the past as a way to engage in modern issues." The best adaptations mold their inspiration into something truly new, opening its own avenues of interpretation, and Bertocci's play certainly falls into that category. Will's admonition to that you have to actively go out and find the world highlights the multiple senses inherent in Ariel’s repeated reminder that there's "magic in this universe." Will also wonders if storms shouldn't be seen as opportunities for revelation, connection, and new beginnings. The only way to know for yourself is to go forth into the world and let this tempest wash over you.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3836&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="jVrNN9DE8q3HS9H1DZ4wOsuM57Cban1zBOmrabJ122Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 20 Mar 2019 16:02:51 +0000 Webmaster 3836 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3836#comments Quote of the Week: Dick Dale http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3835 <span>Quote of the Week: Dick Dale</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/david-ashdown" lang="" about="/users/david-ashdown" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Ashdown</a></span> <span>March 18, 2019 - 10:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/731" hreflang="en">surf guitar</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZIU0RMV_II8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"I'm not some great guitarist like the Satrianis and the Van Halens. I never went to school and learned music theory. When I play, I go, 'This sounds like a tiger; this sounds like a volcano; this sounds like the lip of the water coming over my head when I'm surfing.' I take people for a ride on a non-chemical wave of sound."</p> <p>Dick Dale (4 May 1937 – 16 March 2019), American rock musician known as "King of the Surf Guitar," he was a pioneer of surf music, drawing on Middle-Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3835&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="ZAHwfhS3Es4Mo7zz-HWorUAn4HT5dPynL6Pm9JNj0PY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 18 Mar 2019 14:17:27 +0000 Dave Ashdown 3835 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3835#comments Face of the Brave http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3834 <span>Face of the Brave</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/mark-weston" lang="" about="/users/mark-weston" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark Weston</a></span> <span>March 17, 2019 - 17:45</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/729" hreflang="en">Maddie Corman</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/maddie-corman-photo.png?itok=UKeef_9I" width="1200" height="675" alt="Thumbnail" title="maddie-corman-photo.png" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Nothing would make me happier than to give Maddie Corman's <i>Accidentally Brave </i>a rave review.  Corman -- who's career began as Eric Stoltz's bratty kid sister in John Hughes' Boomer favorite <em>Some Kind of Wonderful</em> --  is a smart, engaging, successful, incredibly likable, and attractive actress with a long list of film, TV, and Broadway credits.  In one way it is a treat to see her hold the stage alone in at the intimate DR2 Theatre in Union Square.  </p> <p>Maddie thought she was living the perfect life.  She had a beautiful home in Dobbs Ferry with a career, three kids and a happy marriage to Jace Alexander. You may have heard of Jace Alexander in the tabloids. He was the guy who made headlines a few years ago when he was arrested as a sex offender for downloading and distributing kiddy porn. Let that sink in a moment. Google him. Check out his mug shot. And now imagine that you are his wife -- sleeping next to him all those years or remembering the way he would bring hot cocoa to your kids and your kids' friends during pre-teen sleepovers. By the way? His mother is Jane Alexander, yes, that Jane Alexander -- 4 time Oscar nominee, two time Emmy Award winner, former Clinton cabinet official as Chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts. As our culture debates privilege and class, it's worth wondering whether Jace would have been able to plea-bargain to probation(!) had his mom not used her influence as a political powerhouse.</p> <p><i>Accidentally Brave </i>is Maddie's account of what happened. And as an exercise in artistic bravery it is nonpareil. Every night she tour-guides an audience through some of the most traumatic and horrific domestic events imaginable. Every night she must plunge into the cesspool and relive it. And Maddie is such an engaging host, so charming so <i>nice, </i>there are times when you can barely stop yourself from rushing the stage and saying <i>please, Maddie, don't put yourself through this again.</i></p> <p>But, as a dramatic work, or even as an artistic confessional work of self-growth, it is sadly lacking. Because, as evidenced by the play, Maddie Corman is still stuck in the middle of the mess 4 years later. It's not that she can't find a way out, she's still too traumatized to even look for one. She's stuck. As in <i>still-married-</i>t<i>o-her-husband </i>stuck. Let that sink in a moment. Stuck as in <i>stating unequivocally that he never touched his own kids or his neighbor's kids but only watched kids on his computer and shared it with others. </i>And maybe, for me, that is the most distressing part of both the play and Maddie's situation when she declares -- <i>He never touched any children -- he only looked, he never molested.</i> And you want to stand up and shout <i>HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT????  HOW CAN YOU BE SO ABSOLUTELY SURE???? HOW CAN YOU STAY MARRIED TO THIS CREEP????  </i></p> <p>Okay, the evening frustrates me a bit, I'll admit it. And it certainly provokes reaction.  But maybe Maddie should have waited until she had some perspective or maybe her director, who helped develop the piece, should have made her face some tougher questions, or explored if not a resolution, at least a catharsis. Because the play begins with bewilderment and still ends with it. Not really an ending at all, just feels like the lights fade to black in mid-sentence.<i> </i>And Maddie hasn't really moved at all, she still remains stuck.</p> <p>Performances of <i>Accidentally Brave</i> are currently scheduled through July 14 at the DR2 Theatre (103 E. 15th St.). <a data-cms-ai="0" href="http://www.accidentallybrave.com/" rel="external" target="_blank">For more information, click here</a>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3834&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="JSJhoJgVas2bruNp_svCxoCJE5dpFUEXrnEkcL9y8hc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 17 Mar 2019 21:45:31 +0000 Mark Weston 3834 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3834#comments Circumstances, Indeed http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3833 <span>Circumstances, Indeed</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>March 15, 2019 - 19:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">painters</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1586" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/sun-and-oak.png?itok=8moU1pNg" title="sun-and-oak.png" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Sun and Oak, 2019, oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches, all images courtesy of John Davis Gallery</figcaption></figure><p>Ron Milewicz: <em>Circumstances</em></p> <p>John Davis Gallery</p> <p>Hudson, NY</p> <p>The current offering at John Davis Gallery is the ideal combination of excellent art and a carefully prepared and perfectly installed exhibition. As a result, Ron Milewicz strikingly beautiful landscapes immediately capture and hold your attention as you enter the space. Opposite the entrance of the gallery hangs the most spiritual work in the show, <i>Sun and Oak</i> (2019). This modestly sized oil on panel will at first remind some of the visionary works of Charles Burchfield. The difference in Milewicz's art lies in the more earthly nature of his scenes, which are most often about the exceptionally quiet moments one can experience on this earth when communing quietly and alone with nature. In a way, both Burchfield and Milewicz have that innate ability to enlighten the viewer, only with Milewicz you have a more subtle transition that relies more on the viewer's past experiences than any otherworldly presumptions one might have. In that way, perhaps Milewicz's landscapes are closer to Peter Doig's paintings than Burchfield, sans the trippiness of Doig's intense palette.</p> <p>Take for instance <i>Three Trees</i> (2018), perhaps a nod the ages old subject <i>The Three Muses</i>, where we see a most subtle mastery of a moment when space and time meld harmoniously into veils of consciousness. Our attention is subtly held as we are methodically brought to the fore from the left -- then across  -- moving back through the quietly chilling space from the right as our eyes hop along a slowly fading arc. In paintings like <i>Tree Stand</i> (2017) you can really see the artist's mastery of his medium in the way he slowly, carefully and ever so lightly delivers his paints across the prepared textured surfaces of each panel. There is much movement here as well, as one of the far trees bows and bends to a sinuous path of light that plumes up and into the heavens.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="906" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/three-trees-2018.jpg?itok=dY3UWxp6" title="three-trees-2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Three Trees, 2018, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches</figcaption></figure><p><i>Fall</i> (2017-19), which has a double meaning with its late autumn colors and an obvious silhouette of a fallen tree, is one of the more complex works in the exhibition. Mostly invigorated by overlapping triangle shapes of the distant tree line, the alternating angles and uprightness of the white, black, brown and gray leafless trees dance across and divide the composition into stages while that one dead tree and its hump of a root system adds more than a bit of life/death cycle to one’s thoughts throughout. <i>Late Winter Pond</i> (2018) is the one work that has a bit more darkness to offer than <i>Fall</i>, as the oddly shaped pool of water is more like a heart shaped pit that blackens the earth while the soft moonlight disorients passers by wondering only where they might make an inconvenient misstep in this hauntingly serene setting.</p> <p>Hanging in the lower level of the gallery are Milewicz earlier works, which are steely cityscapes of New York City's more industrial aspects contrasted by formidable skylines and an occasional tree or grassy hillside. In these works, the overlap with Milewicz landscapes is in the striking way the artist handles and distills detail, form and color to drive all of his oddly romantic narratives without a single soul in sight.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1017" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/cephalopod_1.jpg?itok=2XShY8Oc" title="cephalopod_1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Cephalopod 1, 2010, oil on linen, 24 x 28 inches</figcaption></figure><p>The exhibition ends March 24<sup>th</sup>. If you are in Hudson, NY, be sure to see it.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3833&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="DYRAz-DS3eKdmVGczZYohgkML6HnsadXw8ZUGHiEVuA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 15 Mar 2019 23:27:04 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3833 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3833#comments The Angles of Life http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3832 <span>The Angles of Life</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>March 14, 2019 - 19:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/727" hreflang="en">Ran Xia</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="936" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/tallest_man_credit_ran_xia.jpg?itok=j4dOIqEh" title="tallest_man_credit_ran_xia.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Ran Xia</figcaption></figure><p><i>The Tallest Man in the World</i></p> <p>Written by Ailís Ní Ríain</p> <p>Directed by Ran Xia</p> <p>Presented at The Tank, NY</p> <p>March 6-17, 2019</p> <p><i>The Tallest Man in the World</i>, the new play by Irish writer and composer Ailís Ní Ríain, weaves a poetic and psychologically acute tale of love and loneliness. It central threads concern drink-addicted single parent Felim (Daniel Carlton), his daughter Erin (Beatriz Miranda), and the eponymous tallest man, Eamonn (Finn Kilgore), with the actors playing additional, minor characters as needed. What unites the three primary characters is a desperate longing for connection; to slightly oversimplify: Felim, long estranged from Erin, seeks companionship in alcohol and in female barflies; Erin has pursued a series of ill-advised sexual conquests culminating in an infraction that has landed her in psychiatric evaluation; and Eamonn, having become a closely guarded tourist attraction, pines in his cottage on the island of Culcheen for the return of a woman whom he met a single, memorable time. The events and decisions that have brought them to these points in their lives, as well as how their trajectories intersect, come into focus through a mixture of monologue and dialogue, the tragedy of which bears touches of the dream-like and even the mythic.</p> <p>These qualities are enhanced by Xia's decision to rarely have the actors deliver their lines to one another. They are often oriented along different axes, back-to-back, or separated by a significant distance throughout the theater, emphasizing the sense of disconnection and lending increased significance to the moments when the characters are speaking while looking one another in the eye (on a more practical level, this staging helps us to imaginatively match Eamonn's stature to his descriptions of it). The play's few props, sand poured from a bottle, a blue rose, a red umbrella, make simple, clean, bold impressions; and the production also succeeds in creating an underlying sense of claustrophobia appropriate thematically to Felim and Erin and both thematically and literally to Eamonn, such that when Eamonn describes smashing out a window like the overgrown Alice trapped in the White Rabbit's house or finally standing and walking fully straight and tall, the feeling of freedom is palpable. This impact is of course also down to Kilgore's excellent performance, and Carlton and Miranda do similarly commendable work. All three slip easily into distinct secondary characters, Kilgore imbues Eamonn with a kind of wounded nobility and innocence, Carlton brings Felim's inner turmoil to agonized life, and Miranda makes tangible the regret and need beneath Erin's assertions of control (though the play refuses too easy and straightforward an interpretation of this dynamic).</p> <p>For a play including rapes, suicides, gravely misdirected desire, and the anguish of the need to be loved, <i>The Tallest Man in the World </i>is funny as often as it is harsh or elegiac. This play is likely to stick with audiences like Eamonn's encounter with the one woman who ever made him feel blissfully small. Seeing <i>The Tallest Man in the World</i> should be high up on any theater fan's list. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3832&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="_3AC-Z2ovYbpj12e5e5fsUL99oxO9dJdH-NhWHT2y3Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 14 Mar 2019 23:05:34 +0000 Leah Richards 3832 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3832#comments Crackling With Electricity http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3831 <span>Crackling With Electricity </span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6569" lang="" about="/user/6569" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rick Briggs</a></span> <span>March 12, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/115" hreflang="en">gallery show</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1005" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/2018_high_desert_60_x_72_inches.png?itok=7HZ4LnSZ" title="2018_high_desert_60_x_72_inches.png" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>High Desert, 2018, Oil on linen, 60 x 72 inches. Photo: Judith Linhares and P•P•O•W, NYC.</figcaption></figure><p>Judith Linhares' exhibition,<em> Hearts on Fire</em>, at PPOW Gallery (February 14-March 16, 2019), features paintings of nude women coexisting in idyllic nature where they may encounter lions, and tigers, even trolls, but that's all perfectly fine because in these enchanted environs, a magic spell seems to have been cast over all involved.</p> <p>Linhares is an artist who grew up in the California art scene of the '60s and '70s, and in particular the San Francisco scene of David Park and Joan Brown, from whom she may have drawn inspiration in terms of direct, physical painting. She first established herself in New York when she was included in Marcia Tucker's seminal <em>Bad Painting</em> show at the New Museum in 1978. And while she has lived in NYC for the last 40 years, her work is still infused with Californian light and terrain. The first thing one notices upon entering PPOW is that her paintings have the effect of being lit from within -- the result of high-key, sometimes contrasting, colors placed side-by-side. As with the recent Harriet Korman exhibition at Thomas Erben Gallery, the cumulative effect of this is as if the air of the gallery is crackling with electricity.</p> <p>In "High Desert" (2018), a neon magenta nude reclines on a bright, multicolored afghan set on a rocky outcropping while a handsomely coiffed lion stands but a few feet away. Behind them, a sky majestically lit with soft yellows, salmon orange, and crimson -- each band of light a separate, long brushstroke of color. The woman, whose expression is one of rapture at the sight of the heavenly fireworks, seems blissfully unaware of the lion's presence. While there is palpable tension and mystery between the unsuspecting woman and the powerful lion, perhaps it doesn't matter. Because, as with Linhares' forebear in this case -- Henri Rousseau and "The Sleeping Gypsy" (1897), the lion seems not to harbor malicious intent, and together they express a unity with nature. This unity is made evident by formal considerations like the relationship between how the woman's long blond hair curls up at the end just like the lion's tail. Together, along with her curling toes, they form a neat compositional triangle. (It's important to note, however, one distinction with Rousseau is that while his woman is passively asleep, Linhares' protagonist is actively engaged viewing the sky.)</p> <p>While the gallery press release claims <em>Hearts on Fire</em> refers to a type of diamond, the show's title might just as easily (and perhaps more straightforwardly) be read as a comment on desire. The female protagonists in Linhares' paintings happily go about their lives pursuing sensual pleasure -- gazing at the sky, relaxing on the beach, warming their feet by the fire, drinking, and devouring drumsticks. Their pleasure might involve men, as in "Beach," but it isn't dependent on men.  These are women with appetites. Take, for example, the spread-legged female in "Revel." Here, we encounter a nude who is lost in the reverie of listening for chirping birds and wood sprites while consuming copious amounts of booze, ensconced in her own merry world.  While the figure's pose is not overtly sexual, there is the matter of the most lurid-looking tree hollow just to her right. Desire is also expressed explicitly in the exaggerated hanging tongues of the cartoony wolves in "Thirst," and "Rave," and perhaps more subtly in their phallic snouts.</p> <p>What separates Linhares from many other figurative painters working today is her commitment to finding the image through the process of painting, as opposed to having an image in mind in advance and simply executing it.  It is also in her uncompromising fealty to the formal elements of painting: drawing, color, and composition. There is a precision and clarity to her color choices and drawing that gives her work its strong, expressive power. "Tiger" is a great example of Linhares' masterful command.  Constructed stroke by broad stroke, the orange cat's black stripes seem to radiate outward to reflect the rocky terrain and blocky blue ground from which it emerges. Figure and ground are locked together forcing one's eye, as a viewer, to slow down and move carefully around the canvas, back and forth in space.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="929" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/2018_fever_23_x_30_inches.png?itok=cRze9ixS" title="2018_fever_23_x_30_inches.png" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Fever, 2018, oil on linen, 23 x 30 inches. Photo: Judith Linhares and P•P•O•W, NYC.</figcaption></figure><p>Linhares' tough-minded work carries forward the highest ideals of painting but does so in a felicitous, light-hearted spirit. She's willing to do the hard work that painting requires, to "carry the water," so to speak, as one of her characters literally does in "Saturday Morning" (2017). She has built a vocabulary of forms over the years, a way of treating the figure, of making a mark, a specific color palette, and a consistent subject matter -- in other words, a set of conditions that form her language and together with her accrued wisdom, give her freedom to roam. Linhares embraces traditional subject matter such as the floral still life and the nude because she knows she can transform them and make them her own. Just as the blissed-out figure in "High Desert" marvels at the multicolored sky, I marvel at the myriad grays that make up the rocky outcropping she's lying on. Purple grays, yellow grays, light blue grays -- colors so specific they deserve their own names, but what are those names? You can only experience them. And the experience is to luxuriate in the pleasure of Linhares' conjured scene. One of my favorite subjects in art is the depiction of the act of gazing. Think: a Matisse young woman staring into a goldfish bowl -- we experience both the beauty of the painting while simultaneously becoming self-consciously aware that what we are in the act of doing is the very subject of the painting: gazing beauty. Similarly in "High Desert," we gaze upon the beautiful scene (the painting itself) of another viewer (the nude) gazing at her own beautiful scene. And by the way, the composition of the painting is as solid as the granite the figure is lying on!</p> <p>These paintings take time but one never senses the effort. I once heard Alex Katz say that if someone spent 2 minutes in front of one of his paintings, he'd consider it a successful painting. By those standards, Judith Linhares' painting fantasia of a peaceable kingdom where woman and beast live in harmony "in the wild" is wildly successful.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3831&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="XT2dlN3FzYqqoYANZJPQWxGIDFBRjqH7BROCLwEbcrU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 12 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000 Rick Briggs 3831 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3831#comments FRIGID Festival 2019, Part 2 http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3829 <span>FRIGID Festival 2019, Part 2</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>March 5, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/368" hreflang="en">FRIGID festival</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/cc_you_in_hell_credit_arin_sang-urai.jpg?itok=S7NqjulF" title="cc_you_in_hell_credit_arin_sang-urai.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Arin Sang-Urai</figcaption></figure><p>Welcome to the second part of our coverage of the 13th annual FRIGID Festival, the only theater festival in New York City in which all of the proceeds go to the artists themselves. The 2019 FRIGID Festival runs from February 20th to March 10th at the Kraine and IATI Theaters and, as always, has 25 more shows on offer than the four that we discuss here and in our previous dispatch, so we encourage everyone to check out the full listing of productions on the FRIGID website, where you can also find the performance times and locations for all the shows. FRIGID faced the additional challenge this year of a last-minute relocation of a number of shows due to a burst pipe just before the festival opened, but, luckily for audiences, this formidable obstacle wasn't enough to stop these artists, and the show will, in fact, go on.</p> <p><i>CC: You in Hell!</i></p> <p>Written by Mark Levy</p> <p>Directed by Janet Bentley</p> <p>Presented by Hub Theatricals at the Kraine Theater, NYC</p> <p>February 20-March 10, 2019</p> <p>An early reference to the 1998 slasher film <i>Urban Legend</i> winkingly establishes the pop-cultural milieu that infuses Mark Levy's new play <i>CC: You in Hell!</i>, making its debt at the FRIGID Festival. Levy himself plays the professor who brings up <i>Urban Legend</i>, a man who teaches a class on 90s pop culture and its impact. He is also the one responsible for forwarding an email chain letter to a group of other characters. The problem with this is not so much that the chain email has basically been rendered extinct in today's internet ecosystem as it is that, when this email says that recipients must forward it to seven other people or else die, it makes good on that threat. This mechanic, reminiscent, of course, of <i>Ringu</i>, another 1998 film, and its haunted VHS tape, introduces us to the unfortunates who will have to make (or in some cases be affected by) the choice to press "forward" or "delete." There is Nicholas (John Racioppo), recent college grad and aspiring writer who works at Optimum (not the one you think) in telemarketing under a boss (James B. Kennedy) who is something of an armpit-stained <i>Glengarry Glen Ross</i> type (he has a line about how a knife is a tool and using it invariably changes things that is memorably creepy). Charlie (Sara Detrik) and Jordan (Caroline Burke), the former flannel-clad and unemployed and the latter a poised workaholic, are having some relationship issues, though not because of Charlie's admission that she has had Crispin Glover on her mind a lot lately. Stu (Sam Mercer) is seventeen and primarily interested in playing MMOs with his online friend Candee@$$69 (Stevie Roetzel in voiceover) under the concerned watch of his single mother, Claudia (Taylor Graves). Kara (Sara Detrik) is a vapid streamer promoting "KaraCon," an event dedicated to herself, and Irene (Taylor Graves), the professor's ex-wife, has very recently moved in with young, attractive, and sex-obsessed Hank (John Racioppo). Finally, after having been in a cult and missed 18 years of social and cultural change while in prison, Ryan (Mark Levy) is back home and living with his hilariously similarly-mannered father (James B. Kennedy). Besides the professor himself, the common thread uniting these characters is an apartment-warming party hosted by Jess (Kayla Mason) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn—but not all of the invitees will make it.</p> <p>One could perhaps interpret the deadly chain letter as a metaphor for the internet-enabled circulation of toxic negativity or, like some of the horror movies it implicitly or explicitly alludes to, as an expression of anxieties about technology; but <i>CC: You in Hell! </i>functions primarily as a comedic and affectionate spin on its points of reference, sprinkled with Blink-182 cues and including a fun little coda. That is not to say that there isn't some genuine pathos, particularly once the survivors converge at the party (complete with some very realistic door buzzer and shoe removal action) and their interpersonal relationships come more to the fore. Graves in particular invests her characters with authenticity; meanwhile, Kennedy is extremely funny in two very different roles, bordering on scene-stealing in tandem with Levy as the flat-affected father-son pair. Detrik too embodies two wildly different characters, and the silent Death (performer redacted) provides some good physical comedy. Whether your reaction to the idea of a killer chain email is, like ours, "Wow; I remember getting those and therefore feel old" or, like Stu's, "What's a chain email?," <i>CC: You in Hell!</i> is a great time. Now forward this review to seven people, or else.             </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="857" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/river_of_fire_credit_chantal_guevara.jpg.jpg?itok=0H-3TKyJ" title="river_of_fire_credit_chantal_guevara.jpg.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Chantal Guevara</figcaption></figure><p><i>River of Fire</i></p> <p>Written and performed by David Lee Morgan</p> <p>Presented at IATI Theater, NYC</p> <p>February 23-March 9, 2019</p> <p>David Lee Morgan's <i>River of Fire</i> was written for four performers playing seven characters but is being presented at FRIGID entirely by Morgan himself, an American expat and U.K. and BBC Slam Poetry Champion. The third of a trilogy published as <i>The River Was a God</i>, <i>River of Fire </i>imagines a war-torn near future in which a human consciousness can be uploaded onto the World Wide Web, effectively allowing the purchase of immortality (of a sort, anyway), while a roiling globe rockets towards a socialist revolution. Despite the cast of one, Morgan makes the narrative easy to follow, both with his performance and by cannily dividing the stage into three areas, one to signify Bangladesh, home to South Asian Socialist Alliance leader Hamida and her daughter Sulthana; one to signify the Los Angeles Commune, home to orphan and war veteran Jesse; and the third to signify the "beehive brain" of the globally networked computer. We may not always know precisely who the different characters in the digital realm are, but such identification is not essential for absorbing the plot and themes, and it arguably helps to represent the disorienting plenitude of voices that Jesse experiences after he volunteers to upload his own consciousness into the network in service of the Socialist Alliance cause. Jesse, who had enlisted in the military at 16, wishes now to take his chance to fight for the right side, and the story of his sacrifice unfolds alongside one of cross-cultural romance, the U.S. government attacking its own citizens, and the push towards far-reaching rebellion.</p> <p><i>River of Fire </i>bills itself as a spoken word musical, and it boasts an enjoyable formal hybridity, including traditional singing, spoken dialogue, and sections delivered in a more typical poetry slam cadence, these last most commonly associated with the computer setting and some of the most energizing. The score makes effective use of sampling and recurring motifs (and, appropriately, employs lots of synth). Stand-out songs include one that reiterates the maxim "Gotta be normal" in discussing flooding surveillance with useless information and is paired with a very physical performance, and a later example within the computer that schizophrenically incorporates snatches of other bits of other songs. The show puts forward some interesting concepts, such as its juxtaposition of the inability to engage in physical intimacy as a digitized consciousness with the fact that these consciousnesses feel like they can feel, the proposition that a person basically comprises a web of connected stories, and the observation that people swear "never again" after every war. While the Alliance wonders why anyone should starve in twenty-first century, much less millions, some in the digital realm see humankind as an enemy, a danger to be eliminated rather than, as others see it, a part of the environment, to be preserved and protected. <i>River of Fire </i>itself comes down on the side of the Alliance and its philosophy of care for others -- the show's thesis statement, found in the climactic number: "Love is a fighting word," which is certainly an ideology that we could use more of these days. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3829&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="6STxe6790CZYCleNzNVOwi-0RmgmfQm9AyGQZBaemfc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 15:00:00 +0000 Leah Richards 3829 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3829#comments FRIGID Festival 2019 http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3828 <span>FRIGID Festival 2019</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>March 3, 2019 - 11:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/368" hreflang="en">FRIGID festival</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/the_gay_card_photo_credit_logan_martin-arcand.jpg?itok=QuSaNe8N" title="the_gay_card_photo_credit_logan_martin-arcand.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Logan Martin Arcand</figcaption></figure><p>It's time again for the annual FRIGID Festival, in its 13th year and the only theater festival in New York City in which all of the proceeds go to the artists themselves. The 2019 FRIGID Festival runs from February 20th to March 10th at the Kraine and IATI Theaters and, as always, has many more shows on offer than the small sampling that we will discuss here, so we encourage everyone to check out the full listing of productions on the FRIGID website, where you can also find the performance times and locations for all the shows. FRIGID faced the additional challenge this year of a last-minute relocation of a number of shows due to a burst pipe just before the festival opened, but, luckily for audiences, this formidable obstacle wasn't enough to stop these artists and the show will, in fact, go on.</p> <p><i>The Gay Card</i></p> <p>Written by Logan Martin-Arcand</p> <p>Directed by Ed Mendez</p> <p>Presented by SexualSpaceWalk Theatre at IATI Theater, NYC</p> <p>February 20-March 5, 2019</p> <p>The twentysomething whom we will know only by his screen name ColdPizzaSlice (Mitchell Kent Larsen) begins <i>The Gay Card</i>, written by Indigenous theater artist Logan Martin-Arcand,<i> </i>in a state of exposure, most of his clothing lying haphazardly on the stage. In a play that explores how its characters present themselves to others, especially online, why they put on particular personas, and how they more easily reveal flesh than feelings, his opening undress carries symbolic weight. ColdPizzaSlice, or CPS for short, as he himself suggests, describes himself as a longstanding hopeless romantic. CPS is finding it hard to date as a gay man and even harder to find love. Unexpected text messages from sometimes-date Fuck Boy (Torien Cafferata) after months of silence precipitate a "tipping point" for CPS, and he decides to download Grindr, which leads him to a date with Evan (Cafferata, doubling characters in another symbolically significant choice). Evan is younger and less experienced, and describes himself as "aggressively average"; he also explains that he is not on Grindr because he is a fan of the hook-up scene but because it is the only place that he feels he can be gay in his conservative small-town area, particularly since he doesn't enjoy bar culture. (Later, he and CPS discuss how many men only seem to be able to take pride in being gay in online contexts.) Unfortunately, while it seems like Evan and CPS should each be what the other is looking for, their date emphatically lacks a fairy-tale ending.</p> <p>SexualSpaceWalk Theatre, a company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was founded in 2016 with "an emphasis on sharing the stories of marginalized people," and with <i>The Gay Card</i>, it does so not only entertainingly but also empathetically. The play expertly conjures the repetitive wasteland of blind dates and familiar faces on dating apps, but it also wisely spends time with each character's perspective, and lending each one depth in this way simultaneously functions as a larger commentary on the dating and sexual culture with which they struggle. Fuck Boy possesses much more complexity than his moniker would suggest, and both he and CPS must deal with some honest self-realizations as the play unfolds. As a result of the shifts in perspective, we see an enlightening repeat of the same text conversation with a very different tone on both sides, and we can and should also re-interpret another earlier, in-person exchange. Throughout all of this, Larsen and Cafferata are charming and believable, equally at home with the light humor of text-speak or filling out a dating profile and the deeply-felt intensity of romantic frustrations and emotional pain. The play depicts cycles of narcissism and what boils down to abusive behavior, but it balances these with self-examination and the possibility of fresh starts. Funny, perceptive, sad, hopeful, and sweet, <i>The Gay Card </i>should be on any festival-goer's agenda.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-03/sally-hank-and-their-son.png?itok=mQkxGlvO" width="1200" height="730" alt="Thumbnail" title="sally-hank-and-their-son.png" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><i>Sally, Hank, and Their Son Harry</i></p> <p>Written by Manning Jordan</p> <p>Directed by Daniella Caggiano</p> <p>Presented at The Kraine Theater, NYC</p> <p>February 20-March 10, 2019</p> <p>During the first part of Manning Jordan's new play <i>Sally, Hank, and Their Son Harry</i>, the back wall of the stage is dominated by a poster for the 1968 comedy film <i>Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows</i>, the central conflict of which is between an older, more traditional Mother Superior and a young, modern nun during a cross-country road trip with a bus full of Catholic schoolgirls. Although the play divides itself between 1968 and 2017, its examination of love and sex primarily undercuts simple binaries in which more modern automatically means more permissive. Such complexity is suggested almost from the beginning, when the titular Hank (Sam Lanier) and Sally (Manning Jordan) talk with their married friends Gwen (Iliana Paris) and Jackson (Cesar Muñoz) about how involved they are in the church and how they have invited a priest to dinner in the lead-up to the two couples (ironically?) getting to know each other more Biblically. This encounter hits some snags, including Hank's focus on Jackson and the unexpected and unexplained disappearance of Harry's wet nurse Isadora (brought to memorably odd life by Simone Leitner); and the play jumps forward several decades to a "Sex Summit" at the 92nd Street Y on September 27, 2017 -- the day of Hugh Hefner's death, as stagehand for the event Grape (Jordan) helpfully notes. The adult Harry (Lanier), now a professor of human sexuality, married and with children, shares the panel with widely-published Francesca Sponamenti (Paris), who has a show on Netflix and is assertively, almost overbearingly open and frank about sexuality; similarly self-promoting podcaster Dr. Patricia Gorn (Leitner); and host Michael Tyler (Muñoz), whose skills as a moderator are certainly tested. (Pro tip: make sure to read the program inserts!)</p> <p>The panel's Q&amp;A allows it, and thus the play, to address infidelity, monogamy, what makes a good date or a good marriage or a good erotic movie, whether porn is a positive, and much more. Throughout the play, the action freezes periodically for extended asides that give the audience glimpses of the characters' backstories and inner monologues. Grape's story of meeting a romantic interest during her internship at the airport is particularly funny in both its writing and delivery, and Michael's creates a similarly funny contrast with his even-keeled demeanor as host. As the only cast member to play related characters, Lanier creates continuities between Hank, with his sometimes forced laughter and his orgy-specific NDAs, and the awkwardly earnest Harry, who comes at his human sexuality from an extremely academic angle, while keeping each a distinct character. The rest of the cast deliver strong performances as well, and while the play is foremost a fun, entertaining comedy with a light touch, Manning (both as a writer and performer) concludes on a very genuine note. <i>Sally, Hank, and Their Son Harry</i> posits that sexuaity is impacted by many factors, including but far from limited to history and family, to which end, perhaps, and to its credit, it doesn't spell out lines of cause and effect between its two segments. Of course, putting that trust in the audience would mean less if <i>Sally, Hank, and Their Son Harry </i>weren't also a swinging good time. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3828&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="yKV2W-Mq8tqC_WR9ME1q8b32mCrHzHaHjUT0RHPxK7s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 03 Mar 2019 16:55:41 +0000 Leah Richards 3828 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3828#comments Quote of the Week: Don Cheadle http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3830 <span>Quote of the Week: Don Cheadle</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/david-ashdown" lang="" about="/users/david-ashdown" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Ashdown</a></span> <span>March 3, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/460" hreflang="en">celebrity quote</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/G2u4nCtyBCo?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"I think we should all be more concerned about the environment and the effects of global warming. It will be pointless to talk about all the issues that divide us when it's 300 degrees outside."</p> <p> <a href="/podcast/ruben_santiago_hudson1" target="_blank">Don Cheadle</a> (29 Nov. 1964), award-winning American actor, star of the new Showtime series <em>Black Monday</em>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3830&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="8B8YwnsRpEroQWe2uI4tmcPJ6Z-1B-bl4xpB6qFY3Ik"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 03 Mar 2019 15:00:00 +0000 Dave Ashdown 3830 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3830#comments