Category Archives: Reviews

Arctic Zero Choices for Staying Fit and Diet Friendly

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The MoveARCT_Orange-Dream_003_OP

I gave this product the ultimate taste test – my dad – a milk, cheese and ice cream loving,  late Silent Generation (1925-1946) guy with a serious sweet tooth, who knows barely anything about gluten-free and doesn’t actually care.

He was into it.  Here’s how the dialog went from opening the Strawberry container purchased at my local West Hollywood, CA Whole Foods to finishing the sample:

“Dad would you try this with me?

“What is it?”

It’s kind of like ice cream but not really.  It’s a gluten-free dessert, like, for someone who can’t have milk. So it’s gonna taste a little different.”

“Ok yeah, I’ll try it.  You got a spoon?”

“What do you think?”

“It’s not bad.  It’s not sweet.  It doesn’t taste like ice cream and not really yogurt.  And it tastes a little powdery.  You know, I think it would be better with blueberries or strawberries.  I like it but it’s not something I would go out and buy.”

“Well, what if you couldn’t eat the other stuff, would you  be ok with it?”

“Yeah.  I’d eat it. It wasn’t bad.  It was satisfying.”

I’d have to agree on every point but one.  I myself would go out and buy it, especially if I was lactose or gluten intolerant and was looking for something fat-free and diet friendly.  The subtle flavors lean toward what an Asian palette might enjoy rather than overbearing sugary American tastes.  The light sweetness for me is a big invitation to do what my dad was hoping for – adding extra variety and nutrition with a berry or other favorite fruit.  Based on that alone I’m giving this product a thumbs up.  Arctic Zero is definitely and option for maintaining any dieting goals, clocking in at only 150 calories for an entire pint (35 calories/serving).

What we also like at Gia On The Move is the claim:

ARCTIC ZERO is made with premium, GMO-free ingredients, including the finest quality whey protein and antioxidant-rich monk fruit. Every pint is fat free, offers 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, and includes no artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors.  We are also very very cool with the fact that it is a low glycemic food! So it’s going to fit into a lot of people’s different dietary needs.

One caveat:  ARCTIC ZERO IS NOT A VEGAN FOOD.  It does contain whey.

ARCTIC ZERO’s Creamy Pints are available in ten great-tasting flavors—Vanilla Maple, Purely Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cappuccino, Cookie Shake, Hint of Mint and Simply Strawberry, as well as three new additions, Orange Dream, Salted Caramel and Toasted Coconut.

ARCTIC ZERO is available for a suggested price of $4 to $5 at natural and traditional grocers nationwide, including Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Walmart and Whole Foods Market, as well as online at www.arcticzero.com

BONUS!!!  The folks over at ARCTIC ZERO also forwarded an awesome cocktail recipe:

Creamy 007 Orange float

This for-adults-only float is sweet and frosty – just the right creamy cocktail to enjoy during the warm weather. The citrus flavors are a vibrant addition to this float made with Orange Dream ARCTIC ZERO.

Serving Size

Makes one float (12-ounces)

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • 2 ounces vodka (use orange-flavored vodka for added flavor)
  • 2 scoops Orange Dream ARCTIC ZERO
  • Orange slices as garnish

Directions

  1. Add the orange juice, lemon-lime soda and vodka to a 12-ounce glass and stir.
  2. Float 2 scoops of Orange Dream ARCTIC ZERO over the other ingredients.
  3. Serve with an orange slice, straw and spoon.

Arctic Zero

Serrano The Musical at the Matrix Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Suzanne Petrela and Tim Martin Gleason of the World Premiere of "SERRANO THE MUSICAL," choreography by Peggy Hickey, directed by Joel Zwick and now playing at the Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood.

Suzanne Petrela and Tim Martin Gleason of the World Premiere of “SERRANO THE MUSICAL,” choreography by Peggy Hickey, directed by Joel Zwick and now playing at the Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood.

Cyrano de Bergerac meets the Sopranos.  “Who woulda thunk?”

Serrano The Musical made a spectacular world premiere at the Matrix Theatre last Friday evening presenting the heart of New York City’s Little Italy, complete with poetry, nymphomania, gangster rivalry, fabulous drag shows and a very quirky love affair.   Suffice it to say, this show is “colorful” in all of its poetic, musical, mobster mayhem.

This time around, Cyrano has been transformed into Serrano D’Angelo, a highly cultured, lover of the arts, enforcer for the Reyo crime family, in love with a judge’s daughter.  When Don Reyo is facing jail time, Serrano is ordered to take Reyo’s crude, light-headed but incredibly handsome, New Jersey nephew, Vinnie, under his wing and do more than smooth out Vinnie’s rough edges, in order to influence the judge by seducing Rosanna.

It’s an unusually epic story that could have gotten to the point just a little sooner.  As a three hour musical, that could have skipped a few drawn out and extra moments, Serrano just about tests the patience of short attention span theatre goers.

But … Peggy Hickey’s choreography is “built to last” and packs a punch as soon as actor Chad Borden (Nickie Reyo)  outrageously delivers a hilarious and sexy glitter and be gay drag extravaganza as well as when actress Valerie Perry does her Spumonte version of Mama Rose in the second act.

Serrano is loaded with vocal talent to spare.  Tim Martin Gleason (Serrano) sings and serenades heady operatic amore to a lovely Suzanne Petrela (Rosanna) who sings her tender crushes in unbelievable infatuation – to Vinnie.  And the entire cast really steps up the delivery of Robert Teppers music for a riotous affair.

The slapstick goes somewhat round in circles and there are plenty of “inside” gag references, but overall, Serrano is a zany audience pleasing show.

SERRANO THE MUSICAL

Book and Lyrics by Madeline Sunshine

Music by Robert Tepper

Musical Direction/Arrangements by Jeff Rizzo

Choreography by Peggy Hickey

Directed by Joel Zwick

Now playing through Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thursdays Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm;

Sundays at 3pm

TICKETS:  $34.99

For Tickets visit: http://www.serranothemusical.com

or call 323-960-7774

Starring: TIM MARTIN GLEASON (Serrano) 

Featuring:  Suzanne Petrela (Pasadena Playhouse Mask, Life Could Be A Dream) as Rosanna, Chad Doreck (Off-Broadway – Altar Boyz) as Vinnie and Barry Pearl, Chad Borden, Tom G. McMahon, Craig McEldowney, Valerie Perri, Peter Van Norden, Matthew Henerson, James Tabeek and Kristina Miller.

Hellcab at the Elephant Stages

By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Dominic Rains and Danny Parker photo credit: James Pippi

Dominic Rains and Danny Parker photo credit: James Pippi

Hell in a Cab is definitely not Genii in a Bottle.  The freaks don’t just come out at night and nothing is off limits from religion, to racism, to sex, violence or kindness.  It’s Christmas Eve in the windy city but still an average day for an average city cab driver.

Currently extended at the Elephant Theatre is Hellcab by Will Kern.  This “one hell of a holiday ride” directed by Elephant’s artistic director, David Fofi was originally produced in 1992 by Famous Door Theatre and is one of the longest-running shows in Chicago theatre history.  The plays are taken straight from real life – 85% of them are true and they happened to the author.  How’s that for “authenticity”?!

Lead actor Danny Parker-Lopes, remarks in the program “Generations to come will have no idea what a Taxi is. They won’t know what it’s like to get in a smelly disgusting Cab and not worry about the repercussions of acting like a jack ass or making a mess or throwing up.”

But we actually get a pretty good idea of the driver’s side point of view from Lopes, who uncannily captures a vulnerable, tense, not always so bright but mostly good-hearted, ordinary guy, trying to make a living.  Driving a cab is not always pretty, can get you into trouble, is often life threatening dangerous, takes voyeurism to a heightened sexy level, punches you in the stomach with brutal realities and sometimes…once in a blue moon, can be awfully, surprisingly nice.

Most people don’t experience this kind of emotional roller coaster in half a lifetime, never mind one single night.

The cast of “characters” in this show is hilarious and highly entertaining.  Hellcab is a great show all around creatively performed by a well-rounded cast. Worth the ticket.

There are only 2 performances left!  Friday, January 23rd & Sunday, January 25th, both at 8:00pm

For tickets, go to:  www.plays411.com/hellcab 

Performances:  Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 8PM – General admission:  $20.00

The Elephant Theatre (Elephant Stage) is located at 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90038

Featuring: Danny Parker, Anita Curran, Charlotte Taschen, Cody Anderson, Dominic Rains, Eric Bunton, Erick Nathan, Ethan Rains, Etienne Eckert, Gary Werntz, Jason Konopsis, Jennifer Finch. Joe Tomasini, John Charles Meyer, Jolie Carina, Katherine Barcsay, Keena Ferguson, Kim Estes, Kimberly Alexander, Lawrence Dillard, LeShay Tomlinson Boyce, Marina Mouhibian, Meghan Cox, Rey Goyos, Scott Krinsky, Shannon McManus, Tara Norris, Terrance Flack and Tim Starks.

80 minutes

Silent Witnesses at the Odyssey Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Silent-Witnesses_1

A genuinely humanizing, beautiful and hopeful amalgamation of the conversations of four women, one of whom is the therapist of the other three, Silent Witnesses articulates the narrative memories of child survivors of the Holocaust.

Stephanie Satie takes this one woman show into a quiet place to amplify a potent recanting of the Holocaust through the eyes of innocents.  Morphing into each character with impeccable craft she brings to life four heartbreaking yet incredibly inspiring realities.  Not ghastly in any way, Silent Witnesses is smart and uncommonly warm.

Truly unique of any of Hitler’s victims are the youngest Jewish children who were growing up under the Nazi regime.   For so many years their experiences were pushed aside and unspoken because they were ONLY kids.  They were allotted zero importance at the expense of even their own people’s collective cultural wail. Yet these children were ripped from everything they knew and throughout the Nazi rule, absolutely silently bore witness to every atrocity.  They grew up in the shadows, confused, terrified, displaced, even rejected by their own so they would have a chance to survive.  Some of the fairer ones, the pretty ones, even hid in plain site of Hitler’s gestapo, blended into sympathetic Aryan families for protection.  But because they were babies or practically so, they were almost ignored and that was their “luck”.

Most didn’t even know that there were others — hundreds of thousands like them, or a story to tell.  But theirs is probably the most important because they are the boys and the girls who lived.  Yet, for decades they did not have voice — until now.

It’s a short run with only two more Sunday performances left.  And it’s an easy show to sit through.   My only only disappointment with Silent Witnesses is not having a resolution with the therapist’s character with her personal history and family.  I would have liked to have known if she ever did keep her promise to go back to Lvov, to come face to face with a shocking fact revealed about her father.  Otherwise, this is one production that wholeheartedly deserves a last look before it disappears once again.  Ms. Satie is a brilliant storyteller.

Silent Witnesses

Written and performed by Stephanie Satie Directed by Anita Khanzadian

Now playing or 2 more performances Sundays, January 25 & February 1 at 2:00 pm

The Odyssey Theatre 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

For tickets and information call: (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or visit: www.refugeestheplay.com

Ticket prices General admission: $30 Seniors: $25 Students: $20

Don’t Dress For Dinner at the Lonny Chapman Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Patrick Skelton, JenniferLaks and PatrickBurke in Don't Dress For Dinner Photo Credit DrinaDurazo

Patrick Skelton, JenniferLaks and PatrickBurke in Don’t Dress For Dinner Photo Credit DrinaDurazo

Culture is doing a lot better than just eking itself out in The Valley these days. There have been some real hidden gems on offer in the past year alone by some edgy, risk taking theatre companies old and new waiting to be discovered by anyone willing to step out of the downtown LA and East to West Los Angeles theatre scene for a mini adventure, into the “wilds” of North Hollywood.  It seems however, not everyone is getting the full memo.

As it happens The Group Rep, now in its 41st season has mounted a mainstage production of the breathtaking farce, “Don’t Dress For Dinner” at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.

Currently almost a hole-in-the-wall in location, the L.C. is quite inspiring once you step inside, impressively equipped with spacious seating, a perfectly raked stage, unobstructed views from every chair and interior design meant to last — which it obviously has. A nice surprise to be sure, one which I will admit set the tone for the evening.

I personally came looking for a very juicy burlesque. Alas, I will have to continue my search. If you are however, interested in enjoyable, straight-up, take-no-chances theatre, this is a piece for you.

The Group Rep’s, Don’t Dress For Dinner, although light-side entertaining and appreciated by older, front row audiences, isn’t always the most exciting production. If I were being incredibly hyper-critical, I’d say it directionally needed an overhaul. The performances were occasionally flat and a bit too often predictable. Some moments even felt like a really awesome scene study class which had me wishing this show would have risen above such mediocrity. Personally, I would have never allowed any of the faux accent work (British or French) it wasn’t masterfully funny, in fact, persistently annoying. And the stage, although excellently dressed, could have been a lot sexier to heighten the comedic genre.

But…and this is a big “but”, the actors do not lack. In fact, there is tremendous talent in this company, completely obvious from light’s up. It just wasn’t utilized to advantage or strength in this instance.

Don’t Dress For Dinner by Marc Camoletti (Boeing-Boeing) opened in Paris, was originally performed in 1987 in France, in French and then in London for six years, eventually making it to Broadway in 2012 to a fabulously successful run at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City where it garnered two Tony Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award. It’s a wildly funny, already well tested show with a promise to delight. So although The Group Rep certainly put on its A- Game, this particular show needs a “step-up”. The characters don’t lack for any sort of over-the-top insanity, and most of the time neither did the cast. L’esprit de la comédie was all there but the delivery didn’t translate. The Group Rep has until January 25th to get it right. Fingers crossed.

Bernard’s plans for a romantic rendezvous with his mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard’s wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own… setting the stage for a collision course of assumed identities and outrageous infidelities.

The cook is Suzette, the lover is Suzanne, the friend is bewildered, the wife is suspicious, the husband is losing his mind and everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside.

Don't Dress For DinnerThe Lonny Chapman Theatre Presents The Group Rep in 

DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER

Written by Marc Camoletti; Adapted by Robin Hawdon
Directed by Drina Durazo
Produced by Bert Emmett and Dan Sykes for the Group Rep

Featuring (in alphabetical order):  Patrick Burke (Bernard), Stephanie Colet (Suzanne), Julie Davis (Jacqueline), Jennifer Laks (Suzette),  Patrick Skelton (Robert) and J. Christopher Sloan (George)

Now Playing thru January 25th
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM; Sunday Matinees at 2:00PM

Talk-back Sunday after the matinees on Jan. 11th

Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Reservations and Tickets/Information:  www.thegrouprep.com or (818) 763-5990

Tickets:  $25; Senior/Student: $20; Group 10+: $15

Running Time:  120 minutes (including one intermission)

Parking:  Ample street parking on Burbank Blvd. and on Cleon Ave. south of the Burbank Blvd.    Please allow at least 15 minutes to park.

Paleo Cleanse: Detoxing the Primal Way

PaleoCleanseReviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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As a rule, I like to begin every new year with a clean slate in all areas including eating.  For someone as active as myself, a former professional dancer, gymnast, triathlete and marathoner, everything I ingest is a conscious decision. Strength and suppleness in my muscles, ligaments, joints, heart and overall physical health is a number one priority.  I love being able to jump, turn and soar through the air in a dance class, power through an acrobatic workout, swim in the ocean, downhill ski and recreationally do any activity that spontaneously gets my attention. Life is so much fun having that kind of flexibility.  So I’m always on the hunt for ways to keep myself in prime condition.  When I received Paleo Cleanse for review I thought, “Ok, this might just be the thing.”  Plus, there’s definitely a little bit of vanity in following the lifestyle of one’s namesake.  It hasn’t gone unnoticed that my surname is one of the biggest keywords on the internet. lol

“30 Days of Ancestral Eating to Detox, Drop Pounds, Supercharge Your Health and Transition into a Primal Lifestyle.”

Paleo Cleanse is a very straightforward, no nonsense guide on how to transform your body and improve your health via a hard-core cleanse based on the caveman diet, by following a 30-day plan to rid your body of toxins without feeling deprived.   Included are over 100 recipes using whole ingredients like meats, eggs and fresh vegetables to help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Increase Energy
  • Boost mental clarity
  • Improve digestion
  • Reduce Inflammation

Confession:  It’s now January 3rd and my second day consciously eating as primally as I can muster in a modern world.  Personally, it’s not so tough aside from the (I forgot about this part…) intermittent but temporary detox headaches.  Last January 1st, I went completely “cold turkey” for 6 months in order to break myself of a serious carb addiction, lower my cholesterol, knock a few inches off my body and increase my energy.  I was actually ordered by my internist to do so while trying to recover from a long illness. Feeling a very desperate need to improve my health, I did it.  The results were amazing until June rolled around and I really wanted an ice-cream. Alas,  I fell off the wagon, although mostly maintaining the basic principles.  Now that I’ve had my fill of everything my taste buds “craved,” this second round with Paleo is kind of a no-brainer.  The Paleo Cleanse, is one of those helpful reminders that offers a different point of view of the “How-Tos” and non-abrasive, practical ways to achieve them.

amazon-logo-1There is a lot of helpful information in the first several chapters.  The rest is really up for you to decide what’s best.   That is how authors Camilla Carboni and Melissa Van Dover leave it to their readers in any case.  Their suggestion is to follow this lifestyle for the first 30 days very strictly “by the book” in order to get the full benefits of a Paleo cleanse. (Order the Paleo Cleanse on Amazon now. Click the icon to be taken directly to the order page!)

Variety is key psychologically and comestibly for most people and there are wonderful recipes, grocery lists and meal plans included, which while testing them at the latter part of 2014, I found occasionally difficult to follow, but generally satisfied.  You’ll have to be inventive at some point on your own.  Also, compensating for a busy work week of travel and not spending as much time as you might like at home is already challenging.  You’ll have to find your own way around that too, if you don’t have the work from home option.  This particular tome asks you keep your food intake to service from your own kitchen which isn’t going to happen for most people…at least not in every instance.  And in a world filled with too may low nutrient/high carb alternatives on grocery shelves it’s going to feel insane without some serious thought and preparation.  If you really want this to work, you’ll have to put in some work.  This is not a quick fix diet, although there will be some incredible, immediate benefits.

Paleo Cleanse Exerpt

Read an excerpt from Paleo Cleanse. Click on this image for an enlarged view.

Here’s what I loved:

The authors are 100% supportive where the lifestyle is concerned.  The book is somewhat conversational and you’ll feel like you have a buddy/coach comfortably urging you in the most positive direction as if it is the easiest choice you can make. In fact, within Chapter 14 (Week 3 page 152) readers can find a link to a website called, ThePaleoPact.com where everything you need to succeed in this cleanse can be found including giveaways, products, humor and even advice on dealing with criticism.  Apart from wishing they would have mentioned this information in an earlier chapter, it is one of the awesome additional perks and a great way to keep accountable.  Plus there are more yummy recipes to discover.

There are whole chapters dedicated to Paleo Food pyramids versus Traditional, tips on pantry purification, worksheets for tracking progress and what NOT to eat in your first 30 days for prime results.

I also loved the all-you-can-eat vegetables (Cauliflower Humus is ‘da bomb’!) included in the meal plans as snacks to get you through the withdrawals of grain based carbs and the suggestion of doing what many of us think is the impossible — making meals for the week. Although a definite commitment of time for the preparation and cooking process, this one weekly chore actually freed me from the unbearable hassle of having to think about breakfast, lunch and dinner, night after night.  It put the fun back into it.  And along with time, I saved money!

Personal past Paleo benefits included allergies subsiding, more focused, clearer thinking, more energy, smoother skin and with exercise — firmer muscle tone and weight loss, for starters.  And truly, I was able to finally break my carb addiction.

Paleo Cleanse is a great starter book for those looking to dip a toe into the water of the lifestyle and a helpful companion to get them through the initiation process.  If you are not a novice, it’s a quick boost for revisiting. Light easy reading and immediately usable, included are charts to assist in tracking progress and habits.  They do say “hard-core” cleanse and it kind of is.  But the best thing to know is that you absolutely won’t go hungry on this diet — ever.  Recommend.

searchFor fun I did a quick YELP search for Paleo restaurants in Los Angeles.  Click here for the results.  The list might come in handy later on after your 30 day cleanse period or in case you really NEED an extra option. Let us know at Gia On The Move if you’ve tried any of these.  We’ll be doing the same!

Downside:  Not for vegetarians, vegans or raw food eaters.  Primal means animal proteins. Legumes, all grains and soy products are restricted here.  Also, no dairy, no alcohol and NO CHEATING.  If you are partial to any of these…it’s not for you.

“Indian Ink” Is a Tom Stoppard Gem

BY CARLOS STAFFORD, THE MODEL CRITIC
Indian Ink Poster

When you see a Tom Stoppard play certain elements are always present: he dazzles with his useage of the English language, while at the  same time offering theatrically challanging and provocative ideas.   As playwright and thinker, he often accomplishes his concepts by crafting historically ambiguous, but plausible humanistic visions from the past, and linking them in a time warp to the present, as people and emotions become linked in time, immutable. The trip is breathtaking, and his scope is large.

Luckily, two plays presented by the Roundabout, The Real Thing, starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon and Josh Hamilton, now playing, and Indian Ink, with the incomparable Rosemary Harris and Romola Garai etc, which has recently closed at The Laura Pels, have thrilled Stoppardphiles.  Thanks must be extended to Tood Haimes of the Roundabout for his vision in bringing these two fine works to delight audiences this fall season.

Ms Harris and Ms Garai are peerless in Indian Ink; a play concerned with a magical romance in India between an English woman and an Indian man in the early 20th century; one that time-shifts to 1980’s England, uncovering a long-ago correspondence betweeen sisters. Much like Stoppard’s Arcadia, crafted in a similar telescoping motif, costumes and music are sometimes the only clues that indicate the period separation. Present characters are siblings, biographers and offsprings linked to the past that try to uncover secrets buried long ago. Clues remain, bits and pieces, but enigmas remain undefined.

Essentially, for Indian Ink, Stoppard has said that in the beginning, he wanted to have a play about a conversation between a poet and a painter.  Since Stoppard spent part of his youth in India, having been taken by his parents out of Czechoslovakia during the Nazi Invasion of  WW11, he decided to use India as rich source material for his fictional, free-spirited poet, Flora Crewe visiting India, while suffering from TB, and Nirad Das, a local painter (a wonderful Firdous Bamji) who creates a nude painting of her that survives as a legacy and clue for an English biographer 50 years later researching Flora’s life and poetry. Questions abound from the collected letters, secrets exposed perhaps, but all is imagined from the gauzy view of history.

The backdrop is Jammapour, a fictional Indian locale. The time is 1930’s India, where the English have had colonial rule since the early 17th Century under Queen Elizabeth 1. English culture dominates, but change is imminent as the gracious hosts are primed for independence with the Great Salt March, led by Mahatma Ghandi, in a non-violent protest opposing British rule that disallowed salt to be collected and sold by Indians.

Through intimate, tender and honest conversations between Flora and Nirad, we learn of Hindu culture, Krishna, Brahmin, Vishnu, Gita Govinda, etc., and the the concept of Rasa, “the essence of emotion.” Flora asks Nirad if his painting of her has Rasa. The answer gives meaning to their possible love affair, implied rather than specific, as the painting is found years later with Flora’s younger sister, now the aging Eleanor Swan (Rosemary Harris) living in England. Sensual and evocative, Flora’s and Nirad’s romance crosses cultural boundaries of what was then acceptable.

RASA: is an aspect of Hindu tradition that is defined as the essence of emotion. It has many literal meanings in Sanskrit such as “taste” or “juice.”  The term originates from the ancient Hindu teachings and is used to describe the “emotional essences” of art, literature, and the performing arts. There are nine rasas in total: Shringara (love), Hasya

(joy), Shanta (peace), Raudra (anger), Veera (courage), Karuna (sadness), Bhayanaka (fear), Vibhatsa (disgust). According to Nirad it is the artist’s duty to evoke these rasas in the viewer of a work of art. (Upstage Guide, Roundabout Theatre Company)

The story is nothing if not magically lush and transporting. Real life characters are woven into the fictional story throughout–E.M Forster, and A Passage to India is referenced, H.G. Wells, who is Nirad’s favorite English author, The Bloomsbury Group, Modigliani, who also once painted Flora (again fictionally), Arthur Conan Doyle, Gunga Din from Kipling–all embodied in conversations as life and art merge. Colonialism paints another type of reality and determines the obvious tensions and struggles with power and caste.

Stoppard succeeded in delivering Rasa. And Carey Perloff’s superb ease of direction conveyed a familiarity and understanding in guiding characters from two cultures in two distinct times.  Plus, she well understood Stoppard’s intent, and created a naturalistic, tangible environment. With one set only, used in imaginative ways, an hypnotic world was created between dream and memory, language and perhaps another Passage to India of sorts; I would say it covered as a warm breeze passing on a quiet hillside of memory.

Finally, we have an outstanding story with a beguiling sweep of romance, art, history, colonialism, religion, together with the more intimate and private reminisces of a sister, and a biographer, and the untold story of what really happened to a unique character in an equally unique place in time.

The acting was superb all around, a big success.

INDIAN INK
BY TOM STOPPARD
At the LAURA PELS THEATRE, NYC
CAST:
FIRDOUS BAMJI…NIRAD DAS
ROMALA GARAI…FLORA CREW
ROSEMARY HARRIS…ELEANOR SWAN
BHAVESH PATEL…ANISH DAS
Limited Run No More Performances