Tuesday, June 24, 2014

“Ephemera as Evidence” is an ARTFORUM Critics' Pick



Alex Fialho has chosen Ephemera as Evidence as a Critic's Pick. He says, of the exhibit which is open through Sunday, June 29th:
"Though a palpable sense of loss hangs over the exhibition—evoking Muñoz as well as those who have passed in the wake of the AIDS crisis—the art and ephemera displayed here stands as enduring witness to these vanishings."

Read the full write up: HERE



La MaMa presents
Visual Aids
Ephemera as Evidence

An exhibition curated by Josh Lubin-Levy and Ricardo Montez which brings together visual art, performance, and pedagogical projects that evidence past lives and future possibilities in the work of artists confronting HIV/AIDS.

La MaMa Galleria
6 East 1st Street
(between Bowery and 2nd Avenue)
New York, NY 10001


FREE!


Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 7:30pm

For more info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Kiku Sakai

Sam records Kiku in the La MaMa offices.

La MaMa resident artist Kiku Sakai is curating and performing in TALES OF PELE: HAWAI'I'S GODDESS OF FIRE, a myth told through the arts of hula and hula ki'i, June 19th - 20th in the Ellen Stewart Theatre. She sat down with Sam Alper for an impromptu six questions.

1. As a resident artist, how did you first become involved with La MaMa?
Originally, at the beginning, I was a student studying theater administration and I needed to find a an internship. I somehow got into La MaMa as a an intern and I really liked it. So I extended my internship period for one year and I thought maybe I can do some part time job here. I got a part time job and then I got a full time. At the same time I was doing hula, separately. It was pretty much at the encouragement of Ellen Stewart, Mama, saying I should do a hula show. She was really encouraging. I was like 'no no no no no, hula is not really a show..." but finally I did it with Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, a hula halau (hula school) that I am a member of, in 2010.

2. You dance hula and also do a form of puppetry related to hula. Can you tell us a little about that?
In addition to hula I was doing puppetry work, mainly with Loco 7 and Federico Restrepo, Theodora Skipitares, Vit Horejs. Then my kumu hula, who is a hula master, master teacher, Vicky Holt Takamine, found out I was interested in puppetry. She told me, there is a traditional, somewhat forgotten, hula form, hula ki'i, which is puppetry hula. She had a student Mauliola Cook, who learned from Aunty Nona Beamer, who is the one who revived modern hula ki'i. So my teacher Vicky thought I could learn from Mauliola. That's how it all started.

3. Do you have a preference between hula and hula ki'i?
Hula ki'i is so much fun but so difficult. Hula you dance with your body, but in ki'i, you have an additional body on your hand, and you have to collaborate with the puppet. In hula, usually you use both hands, but you have to work with one hand and then the other is devoted to the puppet, so technically, that's why it can be difficult.  

4. What can audiences expect from TALES OF PELE?
You're going to learn the journey of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire. Now she resides in a volcano on the Big Island, the island of Hawai'i. She had to come there from Havaiki, another island, so you're going to learn how her journey was - with hula and hula ki'i.

5. What shows in the past La MaMa season inspired you?
Of course all the puppet shows, because I'm still learning how to do puppetry. And of course the dance festival is great. Each choreographer and each dancer has a different style of expression. I like Miki Orihara's work. She has so much deep emotion that gets expressed through her movement. Her work is very inspiring to me.

6. Can you tell us a bit about your collaborators on Tales of Pele?
I mentioned my kumu hula, Vicky Takamine, and then her son is also a kumu hula,  Jeffrey Takamine. Mauliola Cook, my teacher is a part of the show. Then I had the privilege to meet another hula ki'i master from Maui, Kapono'ai Molitau and his student Moanalani Beamer, who is another great kumu hula. All the hula dancers and local artistsin New York are so supportive. We couldn't do the show without them.















La MaMa presents:

TALES OF PELE: HAWAI'I'S GODDESS OF FIRE

Curated by Kiku Sakai
Featuring Kumu Hula (master teachers of Hawaiian dance) and performing artists from O’ahu, Maui and Kaua’i islands of Hawai’i and New York City

June 19th – 20th, 2014 @ 7pm

The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults - $15 Student/Senior; ten tickets priced at $10 are available, in advance, for every performance via web, phone or box office as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative. 10@$10 tickets not available day of show.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, June 12, 2014

LAMBDA LITERARY talks to Marge Gomez


Marga Gomez spoke with LAMBDA LITERARY about Lovebirds, now playing through Sunday, June 15th.
Lovebirds was written to take the sting out of a long break-up. We had been living in San Francisco and everything there reminded me of us. I started to hate the Cable Cars. Rather than move away I imagined a world of men and women who also made bad choices to comic effect. Lovebirds characters were inspired by people I met on the road to love, which for me began in Greenwich Village where I came out and fell in love every week at a dyke bar called Bonnie and Clyde’s. 

Read the full interview: HERE


La MaMa presents:

LOVEBIRDS

By Marga Gomez
Directed by David Schweizer

FINAL 3 PERFORMANCES!
Now – 15th, 2014
Friday - Saturday @ 10pm / Sunday @ 5:30pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74a East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults - $13 Student/Senior; 10@$10 tickets are SOLD OUT, regular prices tickets are still available.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Friday, June 6, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Chris Tanner

Chris Tanner with his mother after performing in The Etiquette of Death at La MaMa

Performer and visual artist Chris Tanner brings his solo show, FOOTBALL HEAD to La MaMa, June 20th - 29th. Here, he answers our six questions.

1. You're a visual artist and a performer. How do those two practices affect each other?
They're very different, and they really use different sides of my brain. But that's the wonderful thing, that they are different, and when I'm immersed in one, I'm not at all in the other one. They feed each other, because when I'm doing theater and I finish, I have a great hunger to get back into the studio. I'll put my hand to the pallet and 
I'll start crying because I'm so happy to be back. But you don't really know until you start. It's the same way with performing. When you're onstage and you're one with the gods, there's nothing like it. It's like you're sailing. It's like you're surfing, actually. It's a high that you cannot achieve in any other way... except for maybe in your private times.

2. What draws you to "tales of shame and humiliation"? What happens when you share them with an audience?
I think we're born all gorgeous and lovely but we learn slowly about shame and humiliation from other people who are filled with shame and humiliation. Doing this piece, I want to inspire people to celebrate their differences and to not be afraid of becoming themselves. I want you open that drawer of shame and just let it out. Let it out, and decorate it! Decorate it and wear it out for everyone to see and enjoy.

3. Who are Lance Cruce and the Doo-Wop Girls?
Lance Cruce is my collaborator. We have been working together for about twenty years now. We've made many plays... it began with us working with Cyndi Lauper, her remake of Girls Just Want to Have Fun. We traveled all over the country with Karen Finley together. We've done many many shows here at La MaMa and it's great to be working with him as always.

The Doo Wop girls - One is Gina Bonati and she is fabulous. I've only known her for a year. We did a workshop of Football Head at Dixon Place together. The other one is Kaylin Clinton. I've been playing opposite her in Ildiko Nemeth's New Stage Theatre Company for, I guess, the last six years. She's a great star and a wonderful singer and I'm so honored to have both of these women in my company

4. Which artists have inspired you while you've worked on this show?
The artists that have been inspiring me on this journey are the artists I'm working with. Every day they bring something new and incredible to the piece and I am just so elated to be coming to rehearsal every day.

5. You've worked with Maria Irene Fornés. She's had an influence on a number of artists. Can you tell us a little about working with her?
We worked together on a play called A Visit. It was at least 25 years ago, at Theatre for the New City, and I think the music was by Galt MacDermot. She is a huge genius. It was one of my favorite theatrical experiences I've ever had. Going to rehearsal was like dessert. She was so interesting and exciting and fresh... I had an aunt that was an Avon lady, and I told Maria Irene Fornés, 'Please, write me a part for an Avon Lady.' And she said, 'Yes, yes, I'm going to have you be the Avon Lady next time, in my next play, and you're going to get all dressed up and you're going to be waiting there by the door from the beginning of the play, and past intermission you're going to be waiting, and actually you'll be waiting throughout the whole play to ring the doorbell, but you never will.' So I've just always seen myself by this door, backstage, waiting to go on, waiting to sell my make-up, and never going on, and nobody ever seeing me or anything. "Hey Irene, I'm still waiting, can I press the buzzer now?"

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Working at La MaMa means I'm home, and I can do no wrong because anything I do, Mama is going to throw her arms around me and protect me and love me. Every day I come to my studio, I look at Ellen Stewart's portrait on the stairs. I say hello to her in the morning, goodbye to her at night, and I know I am safe here at La MaMa. This is my home.






La MaMa presents:

FOOTBALL HEAD

By Chris Tanner
Directed by Daniel Allen Nelson

June 20th – 29th, 2014
Friday - Saturday @ 10pm / Sunday @ 5:30pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74a East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults - $13 Student/Senior; ten tickets priced at $10 are available, in advance, for every performance via web, phone or box office as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative. 10@$10 tickets not available day of show.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, June 2, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Marga Gomez


Acclaimed solo performer and comedian Marga Gomez is bringing her new show, LOVEBIRDS to La MaMa, June 6th - 15th. Here, she answers our six questions.

1LOVEBIRDS is your 10th solo show. How have your process and interests changed over time?
In my other shows I wrote about me: my flamboyant immigrant show biz parents, my youth bouncing from Washington Heights to Long Island, my perpetual awkward adolescence, and trying to make it in Hollywood. In all my shows I try to touch upon narcolepsy, lesbianism, death, paella, anal bleaching and Queen Latifah - my co-star in the major motion picture flop Sphere.

My process is: when my well runs dry I check Craigslist for nude modeling jobs and suddenly the next show pops into my head. Then I run my idea by the director of four of my best shows, David Schweizer. If I can get him to laugh his helpless laugh I contact performance venues looking for booking. Then I write the show and abandon my social life. My process hasn’t changed much since I started working with David in 2000, but in LOVEBIRDS my interests have changed. It’s not about me anymore. Marga Gomez has left the building and a band of fictional characters run the action.

2. What led you to create a performance taking place in 1970's Greenwich Village?
When I was 18 I had a crush on a woman who dressed like Jane Fonda in Klute, lots of boots under mini skirts.  She invited me to a lesbian bar on 3rd and Thompson called Bonnie and Clyde's. She said, “You’re a writer. You can write about this.”  Which I believe was her way of saying “I’m not into you.” She planted the seed by introducing me to Bonnie and Clyde's, a live lesbian pulp fiction nightclub with a hypnotizing disco soundtrack in the heart of Greenwich Village, which to me is still, viscerally, the sexiest neighborhood on earth. Forty years later my heart was pounded in a stupid, tragic breakup. The only way I could move on was to write LOVEBIRDS, an ode to romantically challenged men and women, set in Greenwich Village during the most wondrous time in my life.

3. You're based in San Francisco. Which places and performers are you most excited to see while in New York?
My dance card is still to be determined. I will see what else is playing at my mainstays: La Mama, Dixon Place, The Public and PS 122. I did reserve my ticket for Justin Vivian Bond Celebrates 20 Years in NYC at Poisson Rouge. When I get to town I’ll consult with performance pals Carmelita Tropicana and Murray Hill on what’s good below 14th street. The day I fly in I will be attending the La MaMa memorial for Lisa Mayo of Spiderwoman Theater. I love those women. They were my first friends in radical theater. I met them in Europe and I’ll never forget how joyous they were. RIP Lisa.

4. How does performing stand-up affect your work as a solo performer, and vice-versa?
Honestly, being a solo performer could be hurting my stand up. The comedy persona is very guarded and controlled. Irony has replaced emotion. And I enjoy being a hot mess on stage sometimes. Good news is I prefer theater to the hassle of comedy clubs. Theater audiences are involved in the art and history of the form. Comedy audiences seem like they walked in from the mall. But my stand up background helps me stay present with the audience when I’m in character because an unexpected disturbance will happen at live shows. And people remember a good comeback.

5. How would you describe your aesthetic?
Lowbrow meets arched-brow.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
La MaMa means I’m in Ellen Stewart's house. I feel her energy and hear her voice. It means power and truth telling, family, respect for women artist and artists of color. It also means proper dressing rooms. My last show in San Francisco, I got ready in a day care room. And it means 'don’t wear green'. La MaMa is also where I got a GLAAD award for my show Intimate Details directed by David Schweizer. GLAAD never did send me a certificate or trophy, but I have a screen grab of my name in the announcement.






La MaMa presents:

LOVEBIRDS

By Marga Gomez
Directed by David Schweizer

June 6th – 15th, 2014
Friday - Saturday @ 10pm / Sunday @ 5:30pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74a East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults - $13 Student/Senior; ten tickets priced at $10 are available, in advance, for every performance via web, phone or box office as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative. 10@$10 tickets not available day of show.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE