Search Gia On The Move
Beka&Bell – Now Available in the USA!
TICKETS ON SALE NOW – GO TO – HOLLYWOODFRINGE.ORG
- The Whitney Museum Gets a New Graphic Identity
- The Model Critic Reviews Irina Dvorovenko’s Final Curtain in ABT’s Onegin
- The Model Critic Reviews: We Fall Down, We Get Up
- The Inspiration of Dance
- Cathy Weiss: I, Remember…May 18th
- Anything You Want Dad – You Got It!
- Have You Been To Church?
- Invitation to Dance…The Eye Candy Land Couture of Dore Dance Designs
- On the Road to Pontelandolfo! Finding Family On Mother’s Day
- We sparkle
FEATURED IN PR NEWSWIRE
Gia On The Move Is A Super Sweet Blogger!
Looking for more? Try here…
- May 2013 (22)
- April 2013 (30)
- March 2013 (40)
- February 2013 (27)
- January 2013 (23)
- December 2012 (21)
- November 2012 (32)
- October 2012 (22)
- September 2012 (27)
- August 2012 (29)
- July 2012 (28)
- June 2012 (31)
- May 2012 (22)
- April 2012 (21)
- March 2012 (21)
- February 2012 (20)
- January 2012 (16)
- December 2011 (14)
- November 2011 (13)
- October 2011 (15)
- September 2011 (18)
- August 2011 (5)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (7)
- May 2011 (4)
- April 2011 (6)
- March 2011 (5)
- February 2011 (6)
- January 2011 (7)
- December 2010 (4)
- November 2010 (4)
- October 2010 (9)
- September 2010 (11)
- August 2010 (8)
- July 2010 (11)
- June 2010 (7)
- May 2010 (9)
- April 2010 (13)
- March 2010 (16)
- February 2010 (11)
- January 2010 (8)
- December 2009 (4)
- November 2009 (1)
Category Archives: Theatre
ABT is sadly loosing another great star: Irina Dvorovenko. Here is a dancer who is still so artistically superior to most dancers in every category, in her looks, art and intelligence, that it’s a big disappointment to see her pack her bags. The stars we are used to seeing at ABT are shrinking faster than the polar ice caps. Annashevilli, Carreno, Stiefel, Osipova, to name of few recently, and now Dvorovenko. And while some dancers depart in a natural progression, others seem premature. What gives?
But before making her final boisterous curtain calls, Dvorovenko made a lasting impression not soon to be forgotten. Playing Tatiana, the naive and romantic heroine from Pushkin’s famous and beloved narrative poem, we see her express a deep and astonishing range of emotions, progressing from provincial love struck ingenue, to sophisticated and transformed socialite living in St. Petersburg many years later.
Onegin, brooding, cold, and arrogant, must visit the country to inherit the property of a relative who has died. There he encounters the characters pivotal to his future existence. Lensky and Olga, lovers to be married become his friends, as well as Tatiana, a young beautiful, but bookish girl who sees Onegin’s imperial and remote bearing, and is shaken to her heart’s core with love and desire; she struggles as to whether she should reveal her own true feelings. Being smitten, she dreams of him. In a erotic and passionate pas de deux, Onegin’s image appears in her bedroom mirror, then emerges magically in the flesh to dance with her.
Embracing, both Stearns and Dvorovenko create flames in their wild, open and ecstatic dance with Dvorovenko’s longing fluidity, her graceful, exquisite, and effortless nuance. Stearns, rapier slim, and elegant in black, partners her with delicacy and care, and is unwavering in his lift, carries and caresses. Later, as Tatiana slowly awakens to reality, she bravely opens herself to complete her love letter to Onegin.
Gemma Bond and Blaine Hoven were perfect as Lensky and Olga. Both danced with ardour and connection– totally believable characters that were both charming and clean in their movements; deeply in love, full of hope and joyful expectation, depicted in their splendid pas de deux in Act 1.
At Tatiana’s name-day party, the guests dance a Czardas, and waltz in celebration. Olga and Lensky join in. Onegin catches Tatiana alone in the gazebo, and as she quietly awaits his response to her love letter, he archly and coldly detached, hands her back the letter, leaving her stunned, and then casually returns to the party unmoved. There he arrogantly grabs Olga and dances wildly with her. Olga too submits to Onegin’s charm and energy and forgets herself while Lensky watches As his jealousy mounts, Lensky confronts Olga for her behavior, but is rebuffed. Onegin unconcerned, continues to waltz with her deliriously as she submits to his lead. Afterwards, Lensky’s honor wounded, challenges his friend to a duel at sunrise.
With moaning birches stuck onto a gray, forlorn landscape, the duel tragically ensues. Friend against friend, wounded lover defending his own fragile honor and that of his lover; pride, jealousy and spite all mixed in. Onegin senses the futility of such a duel and tries to end it, but Lensky will have nothing of it. In a single shot, Onegin kills Lensky. All collapse in bitterness.
Years later in St Petersburg, Onegin returns a broken man, his whereabouts unknown. He appears at an elegant ball, royal and aristocratic, given by a distant relative, Prince Gremin (Vitali Krauchenka). Onegin dances with many women, all in a psychological, metaphorical dream, and ends at a table alone and disgusted. A woman dressed resplendently in red dances with the Prince. Here, Mr Krauchenka dances a beautiful pas de deux with his new bride, none other that Tatiana, and displays a tenderness and care that is fitting in their exquisite pas de deux; Dvorovenko rare, fine and astonishingly moving; the Tchaikovsky music filling the depth of the moment. When Onegin realizes the woman is Tatiana he understands his mistake from the past, and is compelled to write a love letter to her, and express his true nature. But it is much too late! As she reluctantly meets him alone, and he pleads for her on his knees, she realizes too she still loves him, has never forgotten him, but could never open her heart to him again. In an act of courage and defiance, she takes his letter, rips it to pieces, and hands it back to him.
They say that in Russia there is a statue of Pushkin in every town and city, that he is their most esteemed writer. It is also worth noting that English writer Jane Austen also wrote a book that had similar themes in Pride and Prejudice. That in love, these themes of pride and prejudice, as in aristocratic Onegin and provincial Titania play out constantly in art, literature, opera, drama, and popular culture. Class structure impedes and confuses choices of the heart, and as Pushkin seems to be saying through Tatiana, its not a good idea to block your own true natures. This evening the dancers surely didn’t, and it was a tremendous gift Dvorovenko and company offered on her send off. Those in attendance at the Met knew it was a memorable moment, and responded with repeated curtain calls to a stage filled with cast and fellow dancers, and mountains of flowers, and lastly Dvorovenko’s little girl, dressed in what else, red.
Onegin, American Ballet Theatre
Choreography by John Cranko
Based on the poem by Alexander Pushkin
Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Ballet in Three Acts and Six Scenes
Eugene Onegin, Cory Stearns
Lensky, Onegin’s friend, Blaine Hoven
Tatiana, Irina Dvorovenko
Olga, Gemma Bond
Prince Gremin, Vitali Krauchenka
RG Dance Projects is a newish modern dance company with impressive dancers, headed up by choreographer Ruben Graciani, himself a dancer who performed with Mark Morris from 1994 through 1999.
Friday night, Graciani’s group of dancers presented to a sold-out house, three bold dances. The most impressive piece was the final offering of the evening, We Fall Down, We Get Up. Backed by twelve men and twelve women in a vocal chorus, Emily Craver, Jacob Goodhart, Stephen James, Emily Pacilio, and Leslie St. Jour gave an all-out passionate and focused performance of final redemption and salvation.
“This work is an exploration on one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit.”
The dance begins with the dancers rolling, tumbling, crawling onto the stage in a simulated desert landscape. The singers are delivering a wall of celestial, religious chanting that underscores sympathy and salvation for the burden of the human condition. All is heavy and weighty for the dancers–they stumble and help each other. A red ribbon is strung across the stage in various ways symbolizing prisons and barriers that confine the dancers. Images of squalor, dust bowl-suffering, depression era poverty in the Deep South is echoed in another country bluesy tune–Everything I Got I Done and Pawned. The dancers get up and fall down, struggle and wilt to the floor– sometimes a bit too long and bit too much. The chorus re-enters with spiritual fervor.
This continues in duets between man and women, man versus man, until in a resolution of wild and harmonious freedom, Indian tabla drumming and sitar strings release the group from their oppression, and ecstatic moments of flying, represented when Emily Pacilio, climbing upon crouched bodies hurtles through the air with confident liberation, is caught, and repeats the move three times; it increasingly becomes a powerful moment of triumph. Ms Pacilio danced with passion and committed energy here, as well as in Swing and Miss.
“This work is an exploration on one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. I am thinking about how much control we have over the expression of our identity, if some of identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent.” Graciani.
All the dancers gave their utmost with great energy and conviction. Art isn’t easy–getting an idea conceptualized in movement as metaphor requires the luck and inspiration of a great poet. There are so many gestures, leaps, twists, turns, and falls symbolizing an idea, that putting it together in a dance is truly difficult. Seeing a piece only once is a challenge, since pieces grow in color and depth as you closely observe. Rapture, the second dance of the evening wasn’t as successful. The elements were there, the back projection of emotive images, water, clouds, lovers on a wharf, but the choreography didn’t convey the intense message the title suggests. In the Westbeth space, your vision was drawn more to the images on the wall than to the dancers on stage; the dancers became obliterated. Also, the choreography had the dancers strangely chaste, while those on screen were engaged.
Swing and a Miss spoke of the vagaries of love. In a speedy piece, the choreography was in a classical modern dance mode that had clean and precise lines with first, four dancers in a group, pairings of each man and woman, and lastly, a piece for two women. Wary approach, wary avoidance. Another peek, another retreat. Love is dangerous, love has pitfalls. The costumes were fun in fiery red and yellow unitards that conveyed robustness, ready and reporting for battle.
RG Dance Projects
Graham Studio Theater at Westbeth, New York, NY
May 17th @ 8pm and **May 18th @ 3pm & 8pm
Masterpieces of Art and Music of Iconic Film Presented by The Golden State on Saturday, May 11, 2013
On Saturday, May 11, 2013, Varèse Sarabande Records the largest label dedicated solely to film music, is celebrating 35 years of releasing film music. To mark this special occasion will be a star-studded anniversary concert performed by the Golden State Pops Orchestra, conducted by Steve Allen Fox, at the Warner Grand Theatre 478 W. 6th Street in San Pedro, CA, hosted by Varèse Sarabande’s producer Robert Townson.
The 35th Anniversary concert will include music from Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, John Powell, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, and Alex North. Hollywood’s leading film composers will be in attendance, several of whom will guest conduct. Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino will conduct the world premiere of his music from the upcoming film Star Trek Into Darkness.
In addition to a concert celebration of the music of Varèse Sarabande, the Art Deco Gallery will house a display of paintings used in Varèse Sarabande album covers. The exhibition features original film artwork by Bob Peak, best known for his iconic movie posters including My Fair Lady, Apocalypse Now, and Superman the Movie. His son Matthew Peak, who created numerous Varèse Sarabande album covers, will also be featured.
The Art Deco Art Building gallery, located at 741 S. Pacific Building, will be free admission for the general public from 3:30 to 7:30 the day of the event. To purchase concert tickets here:
The concert is part of a global series of Varèse Sarabande events taking place throughout the year. The 35thAnniversary global concert series kicked off in February in North America at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA. This performance was a tribute concert to Alan Silvestri, whose films scores include Captain America, Back to the Future, Forest Gump, and Castaway, selections from all of which were performed by the Golden State Pops Orchestra, a year-round orchestra specializing in film music.
Upcoming shows include a Star Wars Musical Tribute on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Additional concerts in Poland, Spain, and Austria take place this summer, and other European and U.S. concerts will be announced for the fall.
Varèse Sarabande is the most prolific film music label in the world, boasting more than 1500 soundtrack albums with 60 to 70 titles added each year. Releases of classic scores are handled by Varèse Sarabande’s imprint, Varèse Vintage.
The Dance Conservatory Performance Project Annual Spring Gala and International Ballet Competition June 2013
Artistic Director Valentina Kozlova, the eminent former ballerina from the Bolshoi Ballet, offered her welcomed annual spring performance gala for students at Symphony Space, New York City, last last month.
In a smorgasbord of dances from the classical repertory, both tiny tots in leotards and tutus, to seasoned performances from professionals from ABT turned the evening into a special magic.
Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory Performance Project mission is “to foster classical dance and disseminate its education, both as a traditional value and everyday performance art form. Through classroom work, scholarships, performance presentation, the commissioning of new choreography, and its newest initiative, the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (VKIBC), formerly known as the Boston International Ballet Competition, (June 27-30: Registration currently open) DDPP strives to nurture, educate, and promote budding artists.”
Two very obvious standouts of this mission were exemplified in the beauty and grace of Veronika Verterich and Sara Steele–graduates who are off to the Dutch National Ballet and Tulsa, respectively. We wish them well, and hope to see more of them in the future.
Both Ms Verterich and Ms. Steele are equally adept in the classical repertory, as well as in contemporary dance modes. For Verterich, her Don Quixote Pas de Duex with ABT’s Alex Hammoudi was both fiery and well performed. An unusually gifted dancer with great dynamics, long line, and pliant body Verterich showed refined and confident ability once again with Cesar Reyes Lopez in Primera Vez, a contemporary piece. Ms Steele, dignified, with elegant charm, danced the Sleeping Beauty Pas de Duex with strong and attentive Craig Salstein, from ABT, to the familiar Tchaikovsky music, and closed the evening with a contemporary piece, Les Sabres du Paradis, where she displayed another dimension in her dramatic movement abilities in a dark, and apocalyptic piece by Nina Buisson and Cesar Reyes Lopez.
The evening was filled with great moments. Hannah Park and Choong Hoon Lee were flawless in the Le Corsaire Pas de Duex; Ms Park confident, graceful, and seemingly with ease captured the character of Medora, the slave girl, while Mr. Lee performed the iconic bravura dance, incidentally, the role Ethan Stiefel offered as his farewell piece at ABT last year, with concentrated commitment and artistic magic.
Jack Furlong and Darrah Brewster were winsome in Flames of Paris Pas de Duex, to the quick tempi of the music by Boris Asafiev, with Furlong showing strength, stamina and speed in this challanging piece, as well as his La Fille Mal Gardee, again danced beautifully with Brewster. Ms. Brewster showed a lot of promise with their abundant charm, daring, and fine line.
Lastly, Juex d’Eau choreographed by Nina Buisson and Olga Verterich was one of the most unusual and sensual pieces of the varied evening, in a word, beguiling. A contemporary dance with themes of water, waves and natural elements, and to music by Henri Torque and Tchaikovsky, proved to be a beautiful combination of lyrical and poetic movement patterns danced by the large and engaged cast of dancers.
The very talented students of VKDNYC showed what exposure to dedicated training can produce, as the two star graduates graced the stage.
Irina Dvorovenko: Competitions Make You Strong
Ms Kozlova continues with her International Ballet Competition(VKIBC) in New York, June 27-30, showcasing dancers from around the world, and will no doubt be a grand event and great opportunity for emerging talent, and audiences alike.
Dance Conservatory Performance Project presented the students of VKDCNY in the Annual Spring Gala at Symphony Space on Saturday, April 20 Performances featured excerpts from Raymonda, Don Quixote, Flames of Paris, Le Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille Mal Gardée and a new contemporary ensemble piece choreographed by Nina Buisson.
Registration now open.
Making her playwriting debut with Sewer Rats at Sea – a daring genre-bending production that is a playfully crooked cross between clever bar banter and a JD Salinger novel, Lowenfels will be showcasing an even more important issue in American theatre:
Female playwrights represent less than 17% of all staged plays and staged productions in this country.
This will make her premiere a whopping triumph for herself and young women everywhere, along with The Hollywood Fringe’s decision to “break from the ordinary” and present her play.
“The Fringe Festival is a great opportunity to showcase ZK’s brilliance,” commented Aaron Lyons, a veteran director of the festival, to be held this June, who initially surprised by the age of the playwright, also commented “It’s a fantastic script with such a strong base. It hits you on so many levels.”
The drama plays out at sea as characters trapped on a yacht find their secrets slipping out. The tension mounts as one final, all-important secret looms ahead like an enormous iceberg in the fog, a truth that will shipwreck the status quo and cast preconceptions into freezing water.
Writing has always had a place of high importance in Lowenfels life at a very young age. And it could also be said that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Ms. Lowenfels had great influences starting with her great-grandfather, avant-garde poet Walter Lowenfels, fueled by the works of some of his friends and fellow troublemakers (Beckett and Henry Miller, among others). She’s been writing since age 5 and published since age 7.
Z was also encouraged by the rave reviews of her readers, and the help of her closest friend, young producer Gia Vangieri. Assisted by the muscle of Mr. Lyons (Pulp Shakespeare, Rise) this summer her words will come to life in Los Angeles.
Tickets go on sale May 1
Show dates are:
RG Dance Projects presents We Fall Down, We Get Up featuring three pieces from choreographer and Artistic Director Rubén Graciani on May 17, 2013 at 8pm and May 18, 2013 at 3pm and 8pm at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance’s Studio Theater at Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor, NYC. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors, and artists) and can be purchased here: ‘
The evening will include two works from the repertory - Swing and a Miss set to music by Richard Danielpour and Rapture, a multi-media duet to the music of Debussy. The program culminates with the new work, We Fall Down, We Get Up - a larger work with 5 dancers, 24 singers from the Broadway Community Chorus, and a “living” set by Philip Treviño.
We Fall Down, We Get Up is an extension of a work begun at Skidmore College about the boundaries of identity. The new work is an exploration of one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. The work questions how much control we have over the “performance” of our identity if some of those identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent. The singers will be part of a “living” set to which they are tethered, demarking the stage space with tangible boundaries for the dancers to either work through or be constrained by. The singers are not only performing with the dancers, but also creating and changing the dynamics of the performance space as a living, breathing set piece.
Rubén Graciani has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group (1994-1999), been a company member of the Kevin Wynn Collection, Company Stefanie Batten Bland, and the Joe Goode Performance Group, and has been a Guest Artist with the City Dance Ensemble and the Brian Brooks Moving Company, among many others. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase, and an MFA from University of Maryland-College Park. His work in dance film was profiled in the November 2012 issue of Dance Magazine. He is currently an Associate Professor at Skidmore College, and a Dance Panelist for the New York Council on the Arts.
RG Dance Projects was loosely formed in 2009, and was formalized with debut performances in the DanceNow Raw Materials show in April of 2012. The company performed at the International Woodwind Festival in July of 2012 – cementing our commitment to collaborating with other artists on performance projects. The company performed in the DanceNow Joe’s Pub Festival in September of 2012, winning the Audience Favorite Award for our evening. In February 2013, the company debuted at the CoolNY Festival, and in March, the Current Sessions Festival premiered a dance film project. The company had a residency at DanceNow SILO in Pennsylvania as a result of our Joe’s Pub performance. RG Dance Projects is ecstatic to be able to begin work on a spring season with such a prestigious award. They have also been invited to perform their season at Saratoga ArtsFest in June of 2013.
For more information, please visit www.RubenGraciani.com.
“Botanicum Seedlings,” Theatricum Botanicum’s development series for playwrights, announced yesterday, the recipient of its 4th Annual “Izzy” Award. The winning play is Recipe by Michael Gene Sullivan.
After its June playreading (directed by Jen Bloom and featuring company actors including Ellen Geer), Recipe was performed at Theatricum as a celebrity benefit. The August, 2012 staged reading was directed by Geer and starred Cloris Leachman, Amy Madigan, Wendie Malick, Jean Smart and Lisa Bonet.
The Izzy is named for Theatricum’s late dramaturg, Israel Baran, who passed away in 2007. To honor Israel’s keen mind, sharp tongue, and ear for language (despite the fact that he was frustratingly deaf), the Izzy was established to recognize the Seedlings play that “speaks to us the loudest.”
“This is quite an honor!” says Sullivan, a critically acclaimed playwright based in San Francisco. “First it was super-cool to have the script read and directed by such a talented group of women at a socially aware theater, but now winning this award is unexpected, and wonderful icing on the cake. Which is appropriate for a show called Recipe!”
Since its inception in 2002, Botanicum Seedlings has established itself as a vital resource for writers across the country. The series has been instrumental in the development of over 100 new plays, at least 25 of which have gone on to be published, win awards and receive major productions.
In addition to its public playreadings (scheduled later in the summer), now produced by John Maidman, Seedlings recently added new programs for playwrights: writing workshops and dramaturgy led by Theatricum playwright-in-residence Jennie Webb: The Seedlings Playwrights Workshop (the next session begins June 8; deadline is May 1 for playwrights to submit materials), Private Dramaturgy and Family Story Workshop.
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a year full of events. For more information on Botanicum Seedlings and new programs for playwrights call (310) 455-2322 or visit www.theatricum.com. Visit them on facebook:www.facebook.com/theatricum. Follow them on twitter: @theatricum.
by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Seated at a small club table in the dark, inserted me right back into my early New York City gritty, speakeasy days, where live, storytelling was outlandish, the sky being the limit to an open imagination.
This time around was no different, except that The Lord’s Lover was in the room. Filling the space with its soulful sound, erotic, David Lynch like noir, blinking art and raw, beautiful burlesque, the Mad Hatter gathered all his wisdom and biting truth together to tell an awful satire about love and God, inspired by ancient myth.
The Lord’s Lover expressed the purely evocative through a gamut of lust, fantasy, shame, sourness, stasis and sarcasm. The devices of parody were curious and often had a carnival-like effect. But above all, this one performance, unlike any other, as I have not seen another of its kind in recent days, offered a wise fool’s impact.
A convoluted rondeau that involved text, poetry, live musical interludes and multi-media appealed purely to the senses. But then, they weren’t aiming to tell a linear tale; a benefit to the cast and a satisfying release for an audience who needed more than just theatre. This was theme driven high drama!
I honestly thought I was in for a “friendly, dirty comedy.” I was if fact astounded to be “falling down the rabbit hole” of often peak, perceptive wit, engulfed in a sort of theatre in the round, which used the entire second floor of Los Globos to engage its audiences.
There were a few dry spots in the purely spoken dialog. But this experience was well worth the ride and the ticket, I might add. The Lord’s Lover is written and directed as well as all music and lyrics written by Juliet Annerino goddess supreme of the Torch Ensemble and strongly supported by a troupe of unique players: Jim Bolt, Tori Amoscato, Ruben Maldonado, Rebecca Diamond, James Maverick, Stream Gardner, Skip Pipo, Ruman Kazi, Andrey Priadkin, Robert Walters and Morgan Schutte.
The musicians of the performance were a knock out!: Juliet Annerino, Vox; Jimmy Williams, guitar; Reggie Carson, bass; Tori Amoscato, vox harmony; Clinton Cameron, drums; Blaine McGurty, keyboards.
And kudos to special effects, video, make up sound, lighting, costumes, etc. for an effective blending of artistries that created all of the special for this event.
Whether it comes and goes, stays or makes a comeback, The Lords Lover leaves an indelible mark in the mind, body and soul. Who knows what will surface next.
“The truth? The truth has set them free. I let them go! Their on their own now. Cruel. Cruel! ” ~God
Playing every Wednesday until April 24th. Don’t miss the last performances. You will regret it!
Artfully, sexy, colorfully bizarre and just a little wicked!
Now playing at
Now playing in the downstairs room at 8pm Wednesdays through April 24th
40 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Call for tickets: 323-666-6669 or visit TheLordsLover.com
Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move, Departed actress
“Being evil on a nightly basis to the four young actresses who share the role of Matilda can be difficult,” says Lesie Margherita, playing Mrs. Wormwood in one of Broadway’s most anticipated shows of the Season, Matilda The Musical which opens April 11th at the Shubert Theatre in NYC.
When NewYork.com, got in touch with Gia On The Move and asked if we’d help promote, Matilda, Roald Dahl’s beloved story of an extraordinary little girl with not so great parents, we said YES! Who doesn’t love a girl with a sharp mind and a quick wit?
Matilda The Musical takes us behind-the-scenes with Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood (played by Gabriel Ebert and Lesli Margherita) as they reveal that it takes some pretty good acting to play the delightfully awful pair and why they were careful not to become too familiar with the actresses playing their daughter throughout rehearsals…(more)
As the ultimate resource for anything and everything New York, NewYork.com is committed to offering both locals and visitors the best of what New York has to offer from attractions, to tours, dining and more. Follow NewYork.com on Twitter and Facebook.
by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
I have to admit, I was impressed.
Walking up to the brand new, $20,000,000+, community supported, performing arts center, built for the students of Arcadia High School was an awesome experience. And that’s not merely modern “slanguage” i.e. cool or epic!; I mean that in the literal dictionary definition of stupendous, astonishing, stunning and sublime; in other words, inspiring awe.
I wouldn’t normally write an amatuer theatre review, as in this case for Arcadia High. However, a premiere performance mounted as a debut for a state of the art production facility, that rivals theatres such as the Broad or the Ahmanson, more than raises the bar for everyone involved including the viewing audience. And so the question now really is not so much as, “How did they do?” but instead, ”How will they live up to it?”
Years ago, I read an article about the film industry during a time when period pieces were making a comeback via such movies as Restoration with Robert Downey Jr. The article talked about the tough task faced by even the best, most talented, iconic actors to find their way through the increasingly grand visual “wow” factor that is “technically” possible today.
Because of the juxtaposition of age, talent and experience versus the new facility itself, the students of Arcadia High are much in the same position; at the cusp of theatrical greatness, heading into an ambitious adventure, where anything is possible, opening the field for potentially developing now, a real, verily distinct, Julliard-like performing arts curriculum.
This new addition to the city of Arcadia sets us up for much more than mere pleasure. It brings a higher community based value and expectation for the students and the city itself; in other words, undeniable and visible prestige. In some ways, “the pressure’s on.”
I voice this (as always from experience and deep respect) as a performer who spent many years, gifted by a National Endowment of the Arts scholarship at a college level performing arts school which included a comprehensive theatre, film and dance arts education, including regular main stage Broadway style musicals plus athletics and other categories. There was a lot to participate in. And at the same time, we were expected to endeavor our most professional efforts (even on my first year, at age 10). It was a “chunk!”
In this case, with the gift a professionally designed, modern 1200 seat theatre with side balconies and a fully equipped tech booth, the teachers, directors, set, wardrobe etc. and especially the actors have so much more than most artists with which to apply their craft. They also have much more responsibility to utilize the stage for top-tiered, crackerjack, amazing. Unequivocally challenging and utterly exciting!
Well, the Arcadia High School players, for their first production decided to mount what has become one of the more popular old school spoof revivals from Broadway to LA, The Drowsy Chaperone. It’s a magnificently large show able to accommodate tons of actors, singers, dancers, musicians and a slew of back of house designers and crew ready for creativity (i.e. everyone gets a part).
Did they put on a seriously “sexy” show. No. It’s a high school. Hello. There are limits.
Was I wishing the student driven, costumes and choreography were a bit more glamourous. Well, sure. In a show like this, the sky’s the limited. But they did put their best, most colorful glitz forward and that was sparkle factor a’plenty.
Was I hoping for a few more high kicks by the lead actress in the the highlighted number of the show. Definitely. I mean, after having seen it done on Broadway in 2006 at the Marquis Theatre, I was anxious for the physically audacious “showing off” during the song, “I Don’t Want to Show Off,” which IS the comedy of the moment.
But what these kids did do, was outstanding. And the lead singer could sing! (as could the rest of the cast), vocally showing off by belting out the best numbers bringing the play home and the audience to its feet for a well-deserved standing ovation.
They lived up to it – in every way!
Arriving last minute because of a prior commitment and traffic, I showed up just before the top of the show and was most graciously given a front row seat just under the (totally exciting) footlights!
The curtain opened and the rest is truly history. The premiere performance of The Drowsey Chaperone provided a special treat for all complete with a dedicated and again, vocally, talented cast, throwing out a few spot on characters and fancy footwork, aided by the absolutely unique experience of un-canned music played backstage behind the curtain by the school’s outstanding band! The Arcadia Performing Arts Center is such an achievement that features so much promise. I can’t wait to see what these kids come up with next. BRAVO!
“As We Stumble Along”…
Studio C Artists has just announced their first One Act Festival,
which will open on April 5th (until May 11th) and run for six weeks, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm.
IN THE BEDROOM is a collaboration of 4 producers, 5 directors, 10 writers, and 24 actors and is comprised of 10 One Act plays that all take place in a bedroom setting. Alternating ten One Act plays each weekend (five on one night, five on another), the plays cover a variety of themes including love, sex, race, infidelity, murder, extortion, abortion, discrimination, and suicide – and represent a nice balance between drama and comedy. There will be an audience award for best play.
“In The Bedroom” – One Act Festival
Studio C Artists – Hollywood Theatre Row
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Runs from April 5th – May 11th, 2013
Running time – 1 hour, 30 minutes
by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move~
Hats off to actress Laura E. Rosas who stepped in on Friday, March 17th, to play, in less than 24 hours, the lead role in The Curious Savage, currently showing until March 30th at The Mirror Theater in North Hollywood. Ms. Rosas’ effort was a valiant attempt to recover a production nearly thwarted because of an accidental injury by Lynne Delaney, that I was told, took Delaney out of the run completely. Ms. Rosas’ grace kept the show open and the audience reasonably happy.
Alas, however, an effort does not a professional presentation make.
The Curious Savage is a bit of a “language” play. It is fast. It is witty. The quips, jibes, taunts, in the overarching humor cannot be sluggish or we lose the intention and simply the “ha ha” of the broad comedy.
Where it is the actor’s job to do the best they can, it is the responsibility for a driving lead to hold an ensemble together, keeping them propped up and revolving dynamically, especially in a fast moving play.
And so, at some point it becomes a choice in a situation as this, as to where the emphasis should be placed, on heavy character work, dialect etc., or to just “say the lines”. Had just saying the lines happened, the play would have been much more successful and so much easier for the rest of the cast who were doing their best to lite dynamite the entire evening.
And one can only hope that an award winning director such as Savages’ Julie Raelyn, who has a decent background in comedy, vaudeville style performance, and directing can be reliable enough to pull a balanced presentation together, even under duress.
If you’ve seen it done well, an actor having to understudy, or step into a role last minute, script in hand, and perform brilliantly, then you know it is totally possible. And that is where professionalism comes in.
Ms. Rosas had the bulky task of working through material she had no time to memorize while dealing with an already mounted show. But she was none-the-less availed of a great script that was funny and entertaining without a whole lot of work. She also had the assistance of a well rehearsed cast who could help her along in the most difficult moments, which they did. And she has stage experience. In addition, she already is possessed of the stature and voice quality that endows the role with a certain believability.
Given the shared advantages of the production, that should have been enough. And although, The Curious Savage had its tremendous, exhilarating moments, it chugged, often ungracefully; unfortunate because its has a wealth of potential.
The Curious Savage, written by John Patrick, is a comedic play about Ethel P. Savage, recently widowed, whose husband has left her ten million dollars. Mrs. Savage’s intent is to set up a charity whereby people can be funded for the absurd things they have never been allowed to do. A Happiness Fund so to speak.
Her horrible stepchildren, however, have other ideas about the money and they attempt to institutionalize Mrs. Savage in order to arrest the family fortune from her.
Primarily a comedy, the play sets up, a contrast between the kindness and loyalty of the psychiatric patients and the avarice and vanity of the “respectable” public figures i.e. Mrs. Savage’s stepchildren. By the end of the play, the viewer wonders who the crazy ones really are. In its essence it is a lampoon about celebrity culture.
Playwright John Patrick stated in his foreword to his play (which was first produced in 1950) : “It is important in ‘The Curious Savage’ that the gentle inmates of The Cloisters be played with warmth and dignity. Their home is not an asylum nor are these good people lunatics. Any exaggeration of the roles will rob them of charm and humor. The whole point of the play is to contrast them with Mrs. Savage’s children and the insane outside world. To depart from this point of view for the sake of easy laughs will rob the play of its meaning.”
In hindsight, and given the situation, the respective players could only do what they could do. And they did in fact, mostly accomplish this goal. But taking into account the direction of the playwright himself, and all present elements: the cast, the director and the text, the show did a bit of a disservice to itself. The audience was set up to rely solely on Ms. Rosas’ character ingenuity which filled a void but then created a vacuum that the rest of the players were sometimes forced to overcompensate for by heavily playing on the “theatrics” for a night of lamentable mediocrity.
Hopefully they have worked out the kinks since then and are set for grand exhibition on their final weekend.
NOW PLAYING until Saturday, March 30th
Fri, Sat 8pm
Special Show Info
Running time: 150 minutes.
There will be an intermission.
The Magic Mirror Theater
4934 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Ample Street Parking