Tag: city paper
Terrific review by Paulina Reso in the City Paper. Ha, can’t argue with her about the final stage of the show. I know from past experience that when you risk opening a scripted entertainment up to the chaos and randomness of a seance for a few minutes anything could happen — and sometimes very little. Too bad she wasn’t there for the Ouija board fireworks last night. And I’m not sure how switching from talking to singing and playing a guitar before launching directly into more talking could be construed by anyone as a water break; that would truly be a supernatural feat. This show is wall to wall mouth, baby. Read on…
Fringe review: Boneyards
By Paulina Reso
WE THINK: With its penchant for the paranormal and its autobiographical focus, Jeffrey Stanley’s one-man show could come across as overly strange or egotistical, but his charisma and fascinating tales from the crypt kept it on track. Staged in a musty, 118-year-old cellar in Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel, a historic South Philly synagogue, the show began with Stanley performing George Jones’ country hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which, his tender rendition revealed, is a lovelier song than I had originally thought. But we in the audience weren’t sitting in a damp cellar, squinting our light-deprived eyes at a barefooted man with a painted face to get a lesson in music appreciation. We were here for a taste of the macabre, and Stanley didn’t disappoint. CONT’D at citypaper.net>>
BONEYARDS is back from the dead to rock your underworld. Four new post-Fringe shows in October just in time for Halloween. 10/17/13, 10/20, 11/2 and 11/3. Only 20 seats per show, get ‘em before they’re gone.
Blood, guts and experimental theater
by Shaun Brady, 09/05/2013
“… Maybe it’s the darker sensibility of an audience primed for avant-garde theater, but Fringe is second only to Halloween in terms of people being ready to buckle down and open their minds to horrific subject matter … Jeffrey Stanley had little need to seek out horror films or literature as a child: He grew up next door to a funeral home in rural Virginia. ‘My bedroom window looked directly into their embalming room and they never closed the curtain,’ Stanley recalls. ‘So at night I’d go up there and watch, and I could see the body laid out on the slab. For whatever reason it never scared me; I thought it was fascinating.’
That’s one story Stanley will recount in Boneyards (Sept.8-17, Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel), the one-man semi-sequel to his 2011 Fringe hit Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. The show takes place in the basement of a century-old storefront synagogue and, for its final performance, at Laurel Hill Cemetery … As in Beautiful Zion, Stanley will conclude with a Ouija board séance, a habit he began at a teenage New Year’s Eve party. ‘We were sitting around the kitchen table in the dark and crazy things started happening. We’re all convinced that by the end of the night we spoke to Jimi Hendrix, he possessed my friend’s kitten and made it pluck his guitar strings.’
Stanley insists that his obsession, like so much horror fiction, has a cathartic side. ‘As dark and macabre and creepy as it is, I hope it’s ultimately life-affirming. In the end it’s about loving life and taking away some of the fear of death that we have in our culture.’” full story at citypaper.net>>
And don’t forget to watch and listen to this historic first: a casting call for the dead. The first round of open auditions for the spirit world was held in the 1895 coal cellar using the famed P-SB7 AM/FM scanner for listening to EVPs. Here are the results. No tricks, no jokes. The transcript is also included along with a few afterthoughts but watch the video first.
Thank you so much for coming to our 2012 Philly Fringe show EINSTEIN/TAGORE: SEASHORE OF ENDLESS WORLDS. As Shiva3 Productions (which started as a lark in last year’s Philly Fringe show and then turned into something real) I’ve served as the behind-the-scenes producer, marketer and graphic designer as well as the script consultant for Einstein and Tagore’s adapted conversations recited during the show. We’ve been truly humbled by the unexpectedly large numbers in attendance for our modest-sized art gallery space. It’s been a thrill for us. The Philly Fringe is primarily theatre-centric, so here we are off to the side in the dance category, and within that we’re something apparently called “ethnic dance” which further reduced our audience expectations, and in a storefront art gallery instead of a theatre. This show was purely art for art’s sake. You have blown our assumptions about Philadelphia out of the water.
With officially only a 20-seat house, 5 out of 6 shows were sellouts hovering around an audience of 30, and we were literally turning more people away at the door. If and when the show returns we promise a larger venue with better sightlines. In the meantime please enjoy our rave review in the City Paper.
Many thanks for your support,
“Taking place in the intimate front room of Twelve Gates Arts gallery in Old City, producer/choreographer/director/dancer Bidisha Dasgupta and fellow dancers Leslie Elkins and Jodi Obeid star in this diamond-in-the-Fringe-rough show inspired by the well-documented religion-versus-science discussions between Einstein and Tagore. Though there is some dialog — the dance routines are interspersed with quick, straight-from-the-script readings by Elkins and Obeid — the dancing is why you should put this on your Fringe itinerary. Dasgupta, decked out in gorgeous, traditional Indian garb, is a force, engaging every ounce of her being in routines that run the gamut from energetic and attention-demanding (“Mangalam: Honoring the Elements”) to rip-your-heart-out passionate (“Trance”). Elkins and Obeid, both with backgrounds in contemporary dance, join in on a few numbers, too, most notably the final performance to Bikram Ghosh’s refreshingly funky “Rhythm Speaks.” It doesn’t have the high-flying acrobatics you might find in some of the more-hyped Live Arts dance shows, but this little must-see will take you on a mesmerizing cultural journey you’ll want to take again and again.” Full listing and review at http://www.citypaper.net/authors/josh_middleton/FRINGE-REVIEW-EinsteinTagore-Seashore-of-Endless-Worlds.html
Thu., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., free, with Jeffrey Stanley and Justin Jain, Live Arts Studio, 919 N. Fifth St., 215-413-9006, livearts-fringe.org.
by A.D. Amorosi
Before Nick Stuccio buys a zoo, I mean, a restaubar/performance space on Delaware Ave., he and the Fringe peeps will take advantage of that Live Arts Brewery spot in Northern Liberties for several socially interactive programs between artists and audiences. Best case-in-point is the monthly Scratch Night, a salon environment funded by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, where cross-genre performers and directors make new works based heavily on improvisation. First up are Jeffrey Stanley and Justin Jain CONT’D AT citypaper.net>>
Pardon My Invasion
Through Nov. 19, $15-$20, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia
by Mark Cofta, City Paper
Smart and silly, Joy Cutler’s Pardon My Invasion receives an impeccable première by director Cara Blouin in Plays & Players’ 50-seat studio. Emily Gibson plays Penny, announcing, “There’s a man inside me.” Soon soldier Pvt. Mac takes over, requiring Gibson to play him trapped in a teen girl’s body, accomplished brilliantly. Pulp fiction writer mom Jennifer Summerfield copes not only with Penny’s boyfriend (Julian Cloud) and a curious cop (Theresa Leahy), but imaginary characters from her fiction and CONT’D AT CITYPAPER>>
If you were a private in the army and went AWOL in Iraq, where would you hide? In the body of a teenage girl, of course.
Plays & Players is presenting the world premiere of Joy Cutler’s Pardon My Invasion, an adult dark comedy about Private Malcolm Jack and his residency in 13-year-old Penny’s body. Penny’s mother tries to lure Jack out, and what follows is nothing but pure, rowdy fun.
Naturally, casting Penny/Private Jack was no easy feat. “This city [has] an amazing abundance of quality young female performers — but to find one that can be a 13-year-old girl going through puberty and a [twentysomething] male full of the bravado and the pain necessary to represent a soldier, well, it was no easy task,” says artistic director Daniel Student. “Emily Gibson has both the natural instinct to take on both of these characters.”
Plays & Players has been heralded in Philadelphia Magazine’s Best in Philly issue twice in a row, and this is the fourth year in a row the theater is featuring the world premiere of a local playwright. “It feels that each year we are able to stretch our CONT’D AT CITY PAPER>>
If you liked The Golden Horseshoe: A Lecture on Tragedy, you’ll love the followup, Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. Join me as I try to resurrect a hidden and dangerous history. Which of you will dare to enter the terrifying Ouija tent of the damned and open a channel to the Other Side for me, live onstage?
Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a surreal, 60-minute, autobiographical show about the impact of ghosts – the real kind — and of dream interpretation — the inept kind — on one’s past, present and future. It’s tragic, and it’s also hilarious.
It’s also a work-in-progress. I’ll be performing it with limited set, script partially in hand, followed by a Q&A, one night only, with support from my friends at the historic Plays & Players in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia City Paper’s ultra-cool Critical Mass arts blog sez it’s probably going to be good, and they’re probably right, so you should probably come.
City Paper Critical Mass Theatre Preview by Matt Cantor
“It’s a one-man show, but award-winning playwright Jeffrey Stanley isn’t the only one in it. At least, he hopes not. Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a 60-minute ‘autobiographical black comedy’ whose supporting cast is made up of ghosts — if they’re willing to make an appearance, Stanley says. An adjunct faculty member at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, Stanley is workshopping this free work-in-progress in Philadelphia — his new home — at the historic Plays & Players theater.
“Years in the making, the new play combines elements of earlier works, including another black comedy Stanley performed in New York at the Gershwin Hotel under the curation of Andy Warhol pal Neke Carson. Mix that with ‘inept dream interpretation,’ family history, and a Ouija tent, and the result is Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. The play is ‘about communication between family members while they’re alive and maybe even after they’re dead,’ Stanley says. Expect humor, but also ‘a lot of death, a lot of suffering, a lot of human misery.’
One-man shows or otherwise, Stanley’s works focus on shared experience: in performing his CONT’D AT CITY PAPER>>