Category Archives: Art

Antonio Sacre: The Storyteller “Stripped”

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Antonio-Sacre-The-Storyteller

Antonio Sacre is a man at a crossroads, scrying into the future, embracing a sign of life to come.

As I entered the VS Theatre on the first Sunday evening for the preview of Sacre’s latest enterprise for the Solo Collective, The Storyteller (“What were you thinking letting me see this unfinished!”, I somewhat scolded him after the show.) I immediately got a gut feeling that this would be a mashup, a little bit of everything soup, a hodgepodge of ideas.   

Then I thought, “What was it that he had to say?  How much more new material could one contrive and expound upon in the ongoing past and present Sacre saga?”  So many questions in that vein, loomed in my mind.  This was going to very well be a defining moment.  I was right.

Bearing witness to the litany of his public stories thus far, I, like so many other regular fans and followers have come to know Sacre most intimately.  His multi-cultural Cuban/Irish heritage and growing up “split-down-the-middle”; his doctor father, his Bostonian mother, his competitive brothers, heart breaks, divorces and make-ups, including his own; his adoring Spanish grandmother, crazy “Mick” uncles and cousins, his bilingual capabilities, books, plays and now tours around the country telling children’s stories (including for LAUSD), becoming a father himself, and all the metaphors, mythologies and allegories built into and around the insanity that is his personal and professional life.  What a whopper! – pickles included.

For starters, like anyone who’s lived an unsettling life, especially that of a theatrical performer and writer, there’s always another drama to unfold.  This time around however, Sacre takes a different direction and a lot more risk in the material and the presentation than ever before.  It’s his exclusive, growing up, right of passage story told in “real-time” without apology.  And it is bold!

He’s quite funny actually.  Exposing the murky comedic shades of elusive industry success, he compares the evolution of his work and career path to stripping, something he claims to be quite an authority on via his college days, to the devolutionary art & hustle, balls to the walls performances of highly skilled bump-and-grinders. Song One: stepping out into the lights, you begin to create relationships. Song Two: showing more than just skin…hooking you into the drama.  Song Three: hitting the pole hard for the climax.  THIS is your moment! The big wigs are in the room scouting you for the new TV pilot.  And if you’re lucky, you’ll move on – BIG – and make it all the way, glittered and perfumed, to the private Champagne Room for the ultimate lap dance.  It is exciting, utterly divergent material for a man used to exposing merely charming, romantic vulnerability.

Weeks later, I got the opportunity for a second round with the updated show and although Antonio has altered a few of the lines, removed text, re-aligned some of the subject matter and pulled it all to center he has by no means wrapped himself in a safety blanket of watered down material.  He has remained as dedicated to dancing at the raw precipice as his first preview night.

According to Sacre, his life is rather boring and that his singular privilege allotted to him by the audience, is that he gets to write stories and tell them and make a living at it.  But by no means is he special or great or best in any way.  Even his own father jokingly and regularly tells him that he is, “Only the 10th best storyteller in the family.”  In the most honest of ways, it is laughable because there is a huge truth to the statement.  But, as one artist witnessing another, I’d have to say, it’s time to remove the “only” in any description of him.

In The Storyteller, Sacre is directly questioning himself and his future.  Closer than ever to crossing over into the largest of limelights, will it be possible to realize fame, stardom, influence and wealth with the power players of entertainment instead of performing on a small stage, in a black box theatre, for mostly friends he’s had to repeatedly tempt to participate, like one of his strippers, in his work? Will he be doing only this after tonight, after that and after that and after, after, after, AMEN?  Or is this, the amazing and wondrous ability to engage people with his chronicles and fables and getting paid for it, “the next best thing.”  It’s a touch point that uncomfortably, depressingly hits home with everyone at some point.  As for his own life…that is…”to be continued.”

The Storyteller officially closed this past Sunday evening. However, two more extended performances have been added in November.  You are highly encouraged to hear this personal work. Check with the Solo Collective website for more information or follow Antonio Sacre on Twitter for updates: @antoniosacre

THE STORYTELLER by Antonio Sacre

“The Storyteller”
written and performed by Antonio Sacre
directed by Paul Stein

VS. Theatre
5453 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
United States

For twenty years, on three continents, in ten countries, in 45 states, and for over two million people, Antonio Sacre has told stories. He has published four books, six plays, and four audio recordings, many of which are award winners and critically lauded by magazines, newspapers, and other media worldwide.

Embrace #ThisIsNotALetter An Exhibition by Alex Kelleher

2d6520c5-3b05-4d26-a5c9-905029196385

 

Inspired by the quote “This is not a letter, but my arms around you for a brief moment,” from a letter by author Katherine Mansfield, Alex Kelleher’s first New York exhibition, embrace #ThisIsNotALetter connects technology to art through the artist’s sculptures, paintings, photography, and mixed media works.

On view October 7-12, 2014, at S Artspace Gallery at 345 Broome Street, New York, NY, a Public Reception will be held Thursday, October 9, 6-8pm.

 

Having spent his life as an internet entrepreneur, Kelleher explains, “My art has always been an escape mechanism, from my career of building internet businesses. Getting away from a computer screen and into the studio represents space to create something of tangible presence. It feels far away from the bits and bytes of internet data, all of which are delivering virtual experiences that we stare at and interact with through bland panes of glass. We send an email instead of making a call, we instant message instead of reaching out physically.” This growing disconnect, where social media is often a solitary experience, is the background to much of Kelleher’s work.

Serving almost as a counterpoint to the concurrent inaugural edition of Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco, embrace #ThisIsNotALetter is meant to provoke thought and reflection about how the internet—while making connections easier—hasn’t necessarily improved them or made them more real. Real human connections are expressed in physical touch—the ultimate and globally natural expression of connection being the embrace.

Kelleher was originally motivated to create art when, as a child, he saw a poster for a cancer-care charity, of a cancer nurse hugging another person—a patient, a relative? That moment of connection, of true human empathy, has stayed with him to this day, inspiring this exhibition. This also underscores the artist’s reasoning as to why proceeds from the embrace#ThisIsNotALetter will go to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (the #1 favorite charity of Gia On The Move!) —which has pushed the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962—supporting The Gold Gala for St Jude specifically.

Alex-Kelleher

Raised in Africa and Europe, Alex Kelleher (www.alexkelleher.com) graduated Oxford University in Experimental Psychology in 1995—a time when the commercial internet was experiencing its first boom. Alex started his first web company, design agency Vivid Edge, that year—and since then has combined art and science wherever possible in his startups.  Earlier this year he sold his fourth startup (Cognitive Match) to a NY-based company, having moved to New York City almost four years ago.

Kelleher’s art spans sculpture—his true passion for many years now—photography and wall art, tending not to use much color, as he feels that keeping the work black and white allows the viewer to interpret it more directly. The continuity that a limited color palette generates also allows the disparate pieces to live together as a body of work.

So Far So Good: LA Street Artist Allison “Hueman” Torneros at the Joseph Gross Gallery NYC

So Far So Good
A Group Exhibition Featuring Hueman, Erik Jones and Alex Yanes
Exhibition Dates: October 9-November 1, 2014
Opening Reception: October 9th | 6-9 PM

 

Joseph Gross Gallery is pleased to present So Far, So Good, a group mixed media show with work by Hueman, Erik Jones and Alex Yanes. The exhibition marks the first major New York City show for the three artists, each of whom are experiencing a break-out year in 2014.  So Far, So Good will present these rising art stars, each at a tipping point in their respective careers, and draws comparisons between each artist’s distinctive and unconventional style.

Joseph Gross Gallery will host an opening reception on October 9th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM in Chelsea at 548 W 28th Street, 2nd Floor.

Widely known in the LA street art scene and increasingly recognizable from her collaborations with brands like North Face and Nike, Hueman will show 10 new works on canvas and wood panel painted in her signature bold and fluorescent color palette. Semi-autobiographical, each piece represents a period of time in the artist’s life, with vibrant depictions combined in a visual stream of consciousness that breaches the boundary between abstract and figurative art. Expressive and emotive without conforming to any kind of literal narrative, the paintings evoke the exuberance of an artist who has found her individual path by navigating the imperfect state of “being human.”

erik-Jones-art-racerErik Jones will show 10 new works on paper adhered to wood panel. The artist, who works in watercolor, colored pencil, water-soluble wax pastel and oil with gel based paints, demonstrates his training as an illustrator and experience in fashion photography with clean, precise lines and the strong sense of narrative that runs throughout his work, while also experimenting with more gestural and sporadic brushstrokes. The work celebrates beauty and visual pleasure combined with a predisposition for good design and methodical attention to detail.

Lastly, Alex Yanes will present 19 new works across a variety of mediums and materials that include an installation of individual small paintings depicting the artist’s signature cartoonish characters, an enormous 12 ft. totem pole constructed from oil drums, and new ‘functional’ artworks that play muAlex Yanessic recycled from a refurbished 1960’s audio cabinet fitted with state of the art components. The Miami based artist pays homage to his hometown, drawing inspiration from the bright colors and Art Deco designs that surrounds him daily, while also referencing the melting-pot culture of the city and its diverse array of characters. Yanes’s pieces are also notable for their masterful craftsmanship, which the artist learned from his father. The work incorporates a playful sense of energy and optimism that can be positively contagious to new viewers and has the potential to attract even more followers in the future.

About the Artists
Alex Yanes is a Miami, FL based artist. He received his BFA from International Fine Arts College in 2000, and has exhibited in international exhibitions in London and Berlin, and nationally in Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Chicago. His work has been commissioned by The Quinn Hotel in New York and the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami.

Allison “Hueman” Torneros is a Los Angeles based artist. She received her BFA from University of California Los Angeles in 2008. She has exhibited nationally and internationally both gallery shows and public murals in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Geneva. Her work is also featured in brand collaborations including with Converse, North Face and Nike’s Kobe Prelude Experience exhibition at the Staples Center, Los Angeles.

Erik Jones is a Brooklyn based artist. He received his BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2007. His fine art and illustration work has been exhibited nationally and in numerous art fairs, including, Art Basel, Miami; artMRKT, San Francisco; and Scope Art, New York.

About Joseph Gross Gallery
Joseph Gross Gallery represents a stable of contemporary artists who exemplify the gallery’s commitment to pioneering genres and mediums. Located in the Chelsea art district of New York City, the gallery is the second New York space founded by Joseph Gross, a dealer working in both primary and secondary markets since 2005 who also founded ArtNowSF in San Francisco in 2005 and ArtNowNY in Chelsea in 2012. Joseph Gross is known for curating exhibitions that challenge convention and bring the most cutting edge images and ideas by today’s most exciting contemporary artists to the fore.

Location and Contact
548 W 28th Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
(p) 646.535.6528 | (e) info@josephgrossgallery.com

Deaf West Theatre’s “Spring Awakening” DTLA at Inner City Arts

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Spring-Awakening_1-CORRECTED

Just when I thought it would be easy to discount yet another rendition of Spring Awakening on the Los Angeles theatre scene (we’ve witnessed more than a few in the last several seasons), Deaf West Theatre pulled out all the stops and delivered hands-down one of the most exciting, pop/rock musical productions to date.  The kicker — it’s all in sign language!

Spot on casting that was age appropriate with choreography that this former dance/movement professional could finally sink her teeth into, and emerging talent beyond imagination, these kids skipped all of the teen angst and went straight for the love.

Spring Awakening Twitter Hashtag

I was curious, however, about the reason for this play’s never-ending popularity.  So I turned to one of my colleagues sitting beside me during this performance and asked, “What do you think keeps this story going? What keeps it from getting old, keeps it fresh?  I mean, it’s been around a long time.  The issues are not new in any way.  They’re not taboo. Most of them are in the open. And it’s probably a given that generationally teenagers in every age are always going to be different from their parents…want different things than their parents…maybe.”

“Rebellion” was the answer I got.  Rebelling against the status quo.  “Yes, definitely” I thought.  But from my point of view, there was so much more.  It went much deeper than that.

We live in a time where “teen rebellion” almost seems too superficial a label to describe kids today, what they are dealing with, and more to the point how they are handling their environments, the issues from body consciousness, to sexual identities, to bullying, their own spirited emotions, dreams, fantasies and realities – everything really.  And certainly the story itself, although taking place in a century before ours handles the repetitive issue of adolescent sexual awakening.  It’s a topic, we can count on to stay at the forefront of tween to college aged conversations until the end of time as long as teenagers exist. But oddly enough this Spring Awakening, based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 expressionist play,  concurrently places us in a distant time frame yet appears so modern, so real, so “right now” that mere rebelliousness feels like an old-fashioned ideal.

An exquisite, flawless, cutting-edge ballad of youth for all time.

In truth, all I could see from these kids was pure, unadulterated, naive, passion.  And that is the fully tapped first cause in this production of Spring Awakening that takes the story, the music, the ideas, and all the characters to such a heightened place, there is no coming down from the nirvana.  It is the reason that although the script has a particular set of circumstances that it deals with, it is totally new and appealing to youth who are hormonally exploding and emotionally looking for definition, and wholeheartedly believable and empathetic to seasoned, experienced elders of any crowd packed into the same house, for the same performance. It’s THAT good!

Spring-Awakening_6

Technically, it is utterly mastered and directionally perfected musical theatre. Timing & delivery, sight & sound, choreography, costumes, set design, singing, signing, and acting, is innovative. There is not a single, solitary moment that is out-of-place.  The cast is gorgeous in every way inside and out.  Really, these kids are special. As an ensemble they are unstoppable.

An immersive production simultaneously performed in American Sign Language and spoken English one of the key components which evokes astounding electricity, is that the deaf performers had to very uncommonly pace their signing with the music’s tempo. The entire cast was urged by Director Michael Arden to really stretch. Nine non-hearing actors sign and fifteen hearing actors who had to learn American Sign Language, sing and sign the roles of their deaf counterparts, also acting as inner selves, mirroring their respective character’s stage play resulting in a perfect storm of exposition.

This is the play you absolutely cannot miss!  An exquisite, flawless, cutting-edge ballad of youth for all time.

Def West Theatre Spring Awakening

Presented by Deaf West Theatre in association with The Forest of Arden 

Produced by: David J. Kurs, Christopher Sepulveda and Ann E. Wareham

WORTH THE TICKET!

WORTH THE TICKET!

Now Thru Nov 9, 2014

Recommended for mature audiences only: strong language, nudity and adult themes

Rosenthal Theater
Inner-City Arts
720 Kohler Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021HOW:
(818) 762-2998 or www.deafwest.org

Visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/deafwesttheatre
Follow them on Twitter: @DeafAwakening
 
TICKETS:
General admission: $34
Students with valid ID: $30
 
Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 25*; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov 6
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 12 (preview), 19, 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 7
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25; Nov 1, 8
Sundays at 3 p.m: Sept. 28; Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov 2, 9

*ASL Nights on Thursday, Sept. 18.and Thursday, Sept. 25: arrive at 7:30 pm for a 15-minute ASL workshop that teaches signs used in the play.

Starring Joey Antonio, Miles Barbee, J.D. Barton, Jimmy Bellinger, Katie Boeck, Joshua Castille, Julian Comeau, Daniel Durant, Treshelle Edmond, Max Fishman, Sandra Mae Frank, Kathryn Gallagher,Gabrielle Garza, Sean Grandillo, Karla Gutierrez, Joseph Haro, Amelia Hensley, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Marmion, Austin McKenzie, Lauren Patten, Natacha Roi, Rustin Cole Sailors, Daniel David Stewart, Ali Stroker, Alexandra Winter

Music by Duncan Sheik
Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Directed by Michael Arden
Musical Direction by Jared Stein
Choreography by Spencer Liff
Set Design by Christopher Scott Murillo
 
Deaf West Theatre, in association with The Forest of Arden, reinvents the multiple Tony Award-winning musical about lost innocence and the struggles of youth with an immersive production performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English. Based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 expressionist play of the same name and featuring an electrifying rock/pop score, Spring Awakening follows the lives of a group of adolescents as they navigate their entry into sexual awareness. Featuring a cast of 25 deaf, hard of hearing and hearing actors and musicians.
 .
 

Carpe Noctis: Get Ready Los Angeles for the Late Night Fantasy Event of the Season

The lineup remains a mystery until you set foot in the doors.  We’ve been told it’s a wild experience like nothing you’ve ever encountered.

#carpenoctis

CN_Poster

Carpe Noctis is a Late Night Theatre Festival running from 10PM – 3AM nightly, taking place the first four weekends of October at The Hollywood Theatre Complex on Santa Monica & Wilcox.  The Complex is comprised of seven venues, all of which will have shows going on every thirty minutes.

www.CarpeNoctis.com

Cinderella1

Some of the shows you can expect to see include Live Kung Fu, Suicidal Mimes, Knife Throwing, Rated R Children’s Theatre, Vintage Burlesque, Capoeira, Breakdance Combat, a stellar Striptease Showdown and many more surprises behind every door. (Click on the regular photos for some secrets links to past events.)

10598639_728165893923892_170212624_n

Carpe Noctis runs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from October 2nd through October 26th. The doors open at 10 p.m. and close at 3 a.m.

  • Festival passes include up to 4 nights of live entertainment.
  • $5 valet parking per night.
  • Each weekend pass gives you access to hundreds of shows.

SOLD OUT!!!! (AS OF 10.1.14)  SINGLE SHOWS HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED.

ADULTS ONLY

Sound good?

CN-projector

Hollywood Party at the Hudson Mainstage in Los Angeles, CA

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

HoPa_108-copy

.

It was a vigorous performance. But timing is everything and timing is exactly what they didn’t have.

Aspiring actors and long time friends, Alberto Samaniego & Rodrigo Altamirano are invited (so they think) to a spectacular Hollywood party for the premiere of American pioneer (mostly silent) film actor, director, producer, Fred Niblo’s latest movie. At the party, Alberto and Rodrigo discover that two guests are there to murder a VIP Hollywood celebrity. While trying to unmask the culprits, they have to deal with lights, cameras, press, maddening movie stars, jewel thieves, cross dressers and a snooping butler.

The opening of Hollywood Party was an exciting prospect.  Hollywood’s most fabulous murder mystery set in the 1920s, parodying legendary film superstars like, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, John Gilbert and Enid Bennett, was utterly, visually divine.  From the mirrored stools, to the leather cushions, beaded pillows, jet oversized chess pieces and other Deco remnants perfectly placed around the room, the set dressing, quite marvelously accoutred the evening to come which commenced rather calmly but eventually picked up some speed. The costuming by Octavio Carlin, multiple award-winning fashion designer to the stars, was delicious.

I can only guess that farce is not the strongest attribute of the cast as an ensemble. Right from the beginning, the lines often awkwardly halted, paused and dragged and actors seemed to have trouble keeping the split second pace, needed to make this comedy work, while keeping in heavy character.

The shining exception throughout, however, was Calli Ryals, a well rehearsed sketch comedy actress, who notably arrived as several distinctly different personalities, like a firecracker and with all of the chutzpah, and more, necessary for each diva in-house. Danny Menendez also pops in at the tail end as a very recognizable W.C. Fields.

It’s more likely, however, the production suffered from less energetic and solid direction, required for this type of burlesque as well as some of the key actors not quite understanding how to deliver it.  I kept longing for the likes of Nathan Lane or Philip Bosco to arrive with the sort of nuance, savvy and superior vaudevillian “muck up” that could actually take this show to an over-the-top zaniness.  The story, well-written as it is, almost gets lost in the middle but for Rodrigo, played by actor Kelly Brighton, who crisply sums up the play-by-play and keeps the audience up to speed.

On the glittering upside, cast members thoroughly and very successful do immerse themselves into the various characters and do camp it up quite well throwing down many highly entertaining moments. If they can marry some better pacing with all of the schtick in the coming performances, it’ll largely be a hit.  A fabulous time, however, can be had with this show.  Still giving it a thumbs up to the all around dedication by the cast and risk taken to produce this timing-difficult piece.

hollywoodpartyHOLLYWOOD PARTY

Written and Directed by Octavio Carlin
Starring Kelly Brighton, Nino Alicea, Thomas Christensen, Max Hambleton, Christina Lemon, Calli Ryals, Les Williams

Now Playing Thru October 19

.

Fridays at 8 p.m: September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17
Saturdays at 8 p.m: September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18
Sundays at 3 p.m: September 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19

Hudson Mainstage Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90038

TICKETS
www.plays411.com/hollywoodparty
(323) 960-4418

General Admission: $30
Students and Seniors with ID: $20

Rubicon Theatre Company Opens It’s 17th Season with Music by Beethoven, Bach, Elton John and Jerry Lee Lewis — It’s a Comedy!

For their 17th Season Opening
The Rubicon Theatre Company
Presents
 
2-pianos-2-hands

 

Winner of the coveted Dora Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Tony), this musical comedy has debuted on five continents and in more than 200 cities! Two actors, two pianos and many, many characters grace the stage as fifteen years of piano playing unfolds in all its awful and hilarious glory—crazy instructors, obsessed parents, torturous recitals, and other high points of musical training. From classical to pop to jazz, this funny play provides the chance for two performers to give their “all” in a virtuoso performance. Along the journey, the actors/pianists portray a remarkable range of characters and display piano wizardry featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Elton John and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.

Low-Priced Previews: Wednesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, October 17 at 8:00 p.m. ($38)

Saturday, October 18 – Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tickets

Opens: Saturday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. Pre-show arrivals begin at 6:30 p.m. ($95)

Wednesdays at 2 p.m. ($52) and 7 p.m. ($62) (Talkbacks following Wednesday evening shows – preview excepted)
Thursdays at 8 p.m. ($62)
Fridays at 8 p.m. ($52)
Saturdays at 2 p.m. ($62) and 8 p.m. ($62)
Sundays at 2 p.m. ($62) 
 
The Rubicon Theatre Company is located in Ventura’s (California)
Downtown Cultural District
 1006 E. Main St. Ventura, CA 93001
 
Ticket Range: $38 – $62
Previews: $38
Discounts Available for Groups of 12+
Box Office (for single or group tickets): 805.667.2900
 
For tickets, call 805.667.2900 or go to rubicontheatre.org.