Thursday, April 30, 2015

Opening Night: Belarus Free Theatre's TRASH CUISINE

Cast of TRASH CUISINE

Laurie Anderson

Olympia Dukakis

Casey LaBow 


Oskar Eustis and Linda Emond

Mia Yoo

Nicolai Khalezin  and Natalia Kaliada



La MaMa presents

TRASH CUISINE

Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre
Directed by Nicolai Khalezin | Written by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada
Concept, stage direction, costumes, lights by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada

A continued collaboration with The Public Theater in support of Belarus Free Theatre.

Running time: 90 minutes | Performed in English

Now - May 17, 2015


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

Tickets: $30 Previews (4/25 & 4/26); $40 Adults; $35 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

The Reviews Are In for TRASH CUISINE!



highly effective...raw fare for strong stomachs....Belarus Free Theater has emerged as one of the bravest and most inspired underground troupes on the planet...Its presence has provided a necessary and welcome reminder that theater can indeed be a revolutionary art...it’s hard not to admire its pure theatrical imagination.” 
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

- - - -

"theatergoers always on the lookout for something they've never seen before are guaranteed to find that here." 
- Huffington Post

- - - -

"The show thrillingly raises important questions about the modern state of capital punishment through a well-choreographed barrage of sights, sounds, and smells...Every member of this eight-person ensemble fearlessly dives into the production, to chilling result...this unique and rigorous political theater is not to be missed." 
- TheaterMania

- - - -

"a beautiful exploration of human craving and excess; the desire to indulge our mouths not so different from the urge to whet our aggression." 
- NY Theatre Review

- - - -

“Exiles from Europe’s last true dictatorship, the Belarus Free Theatre delivers a knockout punch with its monumental “Trash Cuisine”...Dark, moving, and unforgettable, Belarus Free Theatre is one for the history books.” 
- Theatre Reviews Limited
- - - - 

"TRASH CUISINE is political theatre done imaginatively... These very talented, international cast members are a skillful, physical group. And the live music was wonderfully matched. This is a noble use of theatre to send a critical message." 
- ELJ Arts

- - - -

"Trash Cuisine, the latest play by Belarus Free Theater, explores capital punishment using stark, memorable images."
- Theater Pizzazz

"Execution by beheading, hanging, stoning, beating, hacking, electrocution, and firing squad are explored in the Belarus Free Theatre’s elegant multimedia performance"
- The New Yorker

La MaMa presents

TRASH CUISINE
Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre
Directed by Nicolai Khalezin | Written by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada
Concept, stage direction, costumes, lights by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada

A continued collaboration with The Public Theater in support of Belarus Free Theatre.

Running time: 90 minutes | Performed in English

Now - May 17, 2015


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

Tickets: $30 Previews (4/25 & 4/26); $40 Adults; $35 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE




Throwback Thursday: The Floatones


1995 photos by Tom Brazil


The Floatones by Jim Neu played La MaMa in 1995. The four-person cast was: Bill Rice, Keith Macdermott, Jim Neu and Mary Shultz.

The first-ever revival of The Floatones opens tomorrow at The Club @ La MaMa, directed by Catherine Galasso and original cast member Keith Macdermott.  The Floatones 2015 are: Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo.


- - - - -


La MaMa presents
THE FLOATONES
by Jim Neu
directed by Catherine Galasso & Keith McDermott
with Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo


May 1 - 10, 2015Friday and Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday at 6pm


The Club @ La MaMa74A East 4th Street(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)New York, NY 10003


Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets available for every performance, advance sales only, while they last!


For tickets and info: CLICK HERE

Video Preview: DUSK AHEAD by Junk Ensemble



The award-winning Junk Ensemble was established in 2004 by identical twin sisters Megan Kennedy and Jessica Kennedy with a commitment to creating works of brave and imaginative dance theatre. Junk Ensemble bring DUSK AHEAD to La MaMa as part of the 2015 La MaMa Moves!

La MaMa and Irish Arts Center present
DUSK AHEAD
by Junk Ensemble

Part of the 2015 La MaMa Moves Dance Festival

May 21 - 24, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets available for every performance, advance sales only, while they last!

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

6 Questions: Keith McDermott



Keith McDermott was one of the original stars of Jim Neu's The Floatones in 1995 when it premiered at La MaMa.  Well, Keith is back at La MaMa, co-directing (with the fabulous 
Catherine Galasso) the first ever revival of the show - for a new generation. The Floatones begins performances Friday night and Keith took time out from tech rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions:

1. What was the inspiration to revive this piece by Jim Neu?

In a way, for me, it’s been a case of not knowing what you have till it’s gone. I directed or performed in Jim Neu’s work for 20 years. I knew then that the plays were funny and fun to do, and his fans and reputation grew with each production. But after his death in 2010, I - along with so many others - missed the wit, intelligence and generosity of Jim’s plays terribly. Maybe I’ve become harder to please with age, but I’ve realized that great comedic writing like that is so rare. I wanted to remount a Jim Neu play but without Jim, and with the loss of so many of our core group of actors, I couldn’t quite imagine how to do it. Then I serendipitously met dancer/choreographer, Catherine Galasso at party. Her parents had been early collaborators of Jim’s, and she’d practically grown up on his work. We easily warmed to remembrances of Jim’s hilarious productions. A friend of mine was doing a festival of performance pieces paring performers under thirty and over sixty and we did a short Jim Neu piece. She put a choreographic spin on it that I loved. It was her idea to collaborate on a revival of “The Floatones.” She has a thousand skills I lack, and though I try to bring my ancient wisdom to our collaboration, I’ve really been sailing along on her talent and enthusiasm since since we began work about a year and a half ago.


2. How is this production similar and different from the original production in 1995?


I stepped into the original 1995 production of The Floatones a week or so before the opening when an actor didn’t work out. The other actors were Jim, Bill Rice and Mary Shultz. Mary and I, in our forties, were the youngsters. The 2015 Floatones - Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Valez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo - are....younger. We also cast “crossover performers,” comfortable in the dance and performance world, and each of them create their own work. The similarity in the two productions is that there was a certain “ga-ga” quality to the 1995 Floatones that I loved, and it continues with the 2015 Floatones. Both sets of performers retain the oddball charm of social misfits who come together to form a self-help singing group.

3. Are there other works by Jim Neu that you'd like to see given a new production - either by yourself or others?


God yes! Kiss Shot which is set in old Hollywood, and starred the brilliant Mary Shultz and has a lot of music. Our longtime composer Neil Kirkwood is especially anxious to see that one go up again (though it includes a party scene with the Rhonda Fleming Society of Extras so it’s a double-digit cast). La Vie Noir is a hilarious play that takes place in a bar at the top of the highest building in a small city and includes a tornado. Jim’s last play at La MaMa, Gang of Seven was perhaps his most critically lauded play, but we had a tragedy - the death of one of the actors - mid-run, and I’ve always wanted to do that one again to take away the dark stain it left for all of us who were involved in the production (am I killing the party?). Truthfully, Jim was prolific. He wrote a play at least every 18 months. And it doesn’t have to be me who revives them - his archives are housed at Fales Library, at NYU’s Bobst. Anyone can look at the work, including plays, videos, etc..


4. Who has inspired you?


Robert Wilson is a major inspiration. I’ve worked for him off and on for thirty years. I wrote a novel, Acqua Calda, inspired by my work with Bob. I met Jim through Bob. My co-director’s parents were both “Byrds,” attendees of his early workshops on Spring Street in the 60’s and 70’s. Also, since I work in small theaters, Charles Ludlam, a master of comedy who used his tiny Ridiculous theater to such side-splitting effect, is an inspiration. These days I’m also inspired by anyone not on Facebook, but you can delete that if you think it just sounds like geezer rant.


5. What is the last good book you read?

Well, I didn’t read it, I wrote it. Or typed it. It’s Edmund White’s Our Young Man, which isn’t even out yet. Ed’s an old friend and he writes in long hand in big notebooks and dictates them to me. I was totally engaged and laughing out loud while my fingers raced across the home keys. Ed is brilliant. He may do some tweaking to the prose I’ve typed, but basically his first draft comes out full-blown like Dionysus from Zeus’ thigh.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?


First of all, I did all Jim Neu’s plays at La MaMa. For that alone, I feel a deep love for the theaters and the rehearsal spaces on Great Jones. I know everyone there. Not only from work, but because I live around the corner, so most of the staff and crew are as much friends as working partners. And to me La MaMa will always mean Ellen Stewart. Her aura extends way beyond her death. When I was directing Jim’s Kiss Shot, she came to a dress rehearsal. The scene changes were slow because I hadn’t quite mastered the rather complicated set. She said to me, “Baby, you got to get it together. You almost got a very good thing here!”



La MaMa presents
THE FLOATONES
by Jim Neu
directed by Catherine Galasso & Keith McDermott
with Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo


May 1 - 10, 2015Friday and Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday at 6pm


The Club @ La MaMa74A East 4th Street(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)New York, NY 10003


Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets available for every performance, advance sales only, while they last!


For tickets and info: CLICK HERE


Monday, April 27, 2015

TheaterMania on the return of Belarus Free Theatre


TheaterMania's Zachery Stewart spoke with Natalia Kaliada on Belarus Free Theatre's return to New York with TRASH CUISINE, their first show in English.

"Trash Cuisine has also been informed by the fact that Belarus is the last country in Europe with the death penalty. The show, which was a hit at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, uses various national cuisines in order to explicate local flavors of violence. Kaliada incredulously asks, "If the government shows the people of a particular country that they can kill, why shouldn't I, as a citizen, kill someone if the government says it's OK?"

Read the full article: HERE

La MaMa presents

TRASH 
CUISINE
Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre
Directed by Nicolai Khalezin | Written by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada
Concept, stage direction, costumes, lights by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada

A continued collaboration with The Public Theater in support of Belarus Free Theatre.

Running time: 90 minutes | Performed in English

April 28 - May 17, 2015


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

Tickets: $30 Previews (4/25 & 4/26); $40 Adults; $35 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Andrea Assaf on Eleven Reflections of September




Dan Bacalzo spoke with Andrea Assaf about her new piece, Eleven Reflections of September, a spoken word, multi-media performance on the Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world.

What I hope this piece does is flip the script in a way. It looks at how the people who suffer the most in any military conflict are always the women and children. Everything that we tend to see is mostly about men and the occasional female soldier that’s actually featured on the news, which is rare.

Read the full interview HERE and get your tickets now!




La MaMa presents
ELEVEN 
REFLECTIONS 
ON SEPTEMBER
Written & directed by Andrea Assaf
Live music by Aida Shahghasemi & Guest Artists
Choreography created & performed by Donna Mejia

April 30 - May 17, 2015

The First Floor Theatre @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 available for every performance - in advance only - while they last!

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Memorial Performance for: Tonya Gonnella Frichner

On this Earth Day 2015 we pat  tribute to Tonya Gonnella Grichner (Onondaga Nation/
Snipe Clan)!  Tonya was a great Native America attorney and global freedom fighter for indigenous peoples and mother earth!

American Indian Law Alliance
presents
Don't Feed the Indians!
A Divine Comedy Pageant
Written and Directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant

Wednesday April 22nd 2015

“Watch Over Me” Written and Composed 
by Henu Josephine Tarrant

Additional Writing by Performers 

Performers
Danielle Soames (Mohawk)
Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/HoChunk)
Murielle Borst Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock)
Henu Josephine Tarrant  (Hopi/HoChunk/Kuna/Rappahannock)
Nic Billey (Choctaw/Creek/Delaware)

Coming Soon: THE FLOATONES



The first revival of a Jim Neu play since his passing, THE FLOATONES was originally produced at La MaMa in 1995 and is back for its 20th Anniversary with a new generation of performers: Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo. Directed by Catherine Galasso & Keith McDermott (Keith was one of the stars of the original production!)




La MaMa presents
THE 
FLOATONES
by Jim Neu
directed by Catherine Galasso & Keith McDermott
with Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo

May 1 - 10, 2015
Friday and Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday at 6pm

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

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets available for every performance, advance sales only, while they last!

For tickets and info: CLICK HERE

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Winner of the Tom Murrin Performance Award Announced!


Our friends at Dixon Place have announced that the 2015 Tom Murrin Performance Award winner is Monstah Black!

Monstah Black is a performing artist known for his multi-dimensional funk drenched musical creations, blurring the lines of genre & gender. Fusing his love for music, movement, fashion & visual art. He has performed at New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Dixon Place, Movement Research and well as La MaMa.  

The Tom Murrin Performance Award, aka 'The Tommy' is granted to a NYC-based early career artist or company who embodies a generous artistic spirit & gift for unearthing big, meaningful ideas & is intended to provide a transformative career opportunity to its recipient.

A big congratulations to Monstah Black!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 9: Countdown to Trash Cuisine - Natalia Kaliada explains 'Give a Body Back'

Countdown until Belarus Free Theatre returns to La MaMa. 

Trash Cuisine runs April 25th - May 17th, 2015. Buy Tickets: HERE

Day 9: Belarus Free Theatre Co-Founder Natalia Kaliada explains the Give a Body Back protest campaign.



From Belarus Free Theatre's Website:

Belarus is the last country in Europe that has not yet abandoned the death penalty. Bodies of those executed are not returned to families. Cases of political kidnapping and murder are not investigated, and today there are 14 political prisoners in Belarusian jails, and dozens who are not rehabilitated.

Natalia Kaliada, Nicolai Khalezin, Irinia Bogdanova and Free Belarus Now staged a peaceful protest against the human rights violations in Belarus, shedding light on the hundreds of people who have “disappeared” or been executed.

Petition to end the death penalty in Belarus - CLICK BELOW:



A Rave Review for GOLONDRINAS/SWALLOWS



Ann Firestone Ungar of Front Row Center LOVES Golondrinas/Swallows now playing at The First Floor Theater @ La MaMa.

"Direction by the playwright is exemplary, as is the completely fluid and accessible translation by Francine Jacome (and a poem translated by James Cascaito). Music by Fina Monc and Maria Eugenia Atilano adds much to the intense and melancholy atmosphere. 
Here is an opportunity to think. Take advantage of it. “Golondrinas” is well worth your time."

Read the full review HERE

La MaMa presents
GOLONDRINAS/
SWALLOWS
By SinTeaTro Intimus
Directed and written by Aminta de Lara

April 16th - 26th, 2015
Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2pm

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets are available for every performance - advance sales only, first come - first served

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Follow the countdown to TRASH CUISINE's first performance!

The groundbreaking Belarus Free Theatre bring their highly acclaimed TRASH CUISINE to The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa, in continued collaboration with The Public Theater.

You can follow the countdown on Storify.

Watch the first three entries here:

 
Trash Cuisine Trailer from La MaMa on Vimeo.


I Stand with Belarus Free Theatre from La MaMa on Vimeo.


Casey LaBow on Trash Cuisine from La MaMa on Vimeo.

La MaMa presents
TRASH 
CUISINE
Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre
Directed by Nicolai Khalezin | Written by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada
Concept, stage direction, costumes, lights by Nicolai Khalezin & Natalia Kaliada

A continued collaboration with The Public Theater in support of Belarus Free Theatre.

Running time: 90 minutes | Performed in English

April 28 - May 17, 2015


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

Tickets: $30 Previews (4/25 & 4/26); $40 Adults; $35 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Dane Terry in FLAVORWIRE


Dane Terry is featured in Flavorwire, talking about his new album "Color Movies" and his upcoming show at The Club @ La MaMa, BIRD IN THE HOUSE, opening Friday, April 17th:

"In Terry we have Randy Newman, sardonic and ironic, but filtered through a modern-era queer lens."

Read the full article HERE, and get your tickets to the show!



La MaMa presents
BIRD 
IN THE 
HOUSE
written and directed by Dane Terry

April 17 - 26, 2015

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

Tickets: $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors / 10 tickets at $10 are available pre-sale for every performance

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Approval Matrix on Arthur Meeks' ON THE CONDITIONS...

Arthur Meeks was on New York Magazine's radar when their Approval Matrix called his solo show "demented"!

Well Meeks returns to La MaMa for a one-performance return engagement of ON THE CONDITIONS AND POSSIBILITIES OF HILLARY CLINTON TAKING ME AS HER YOUNG LOVER on April 20th at 7:30pm at The First Floor Theatre.

Don't miss it...again!




La MaMa presents
ON THE CONDITIONS 
AND POSSIBILITIES 
OF HILLARY CLINTON 
TAKING ME AS HER 
YOUNG LOVER
Part of The New Zealand Performance Festival
Performed by award-winning playwright and actor Arthur Meek

Return Performance: Monday, April 20th 2015 @ 7:30pm

First Floor Theatre @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors.


To purchase tickets CLICK HERE

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Judith Malina: 1926 - 2015


We are so sad to hear the news of Judith Malina's passing.  She last appeared at La MaMa as part of Theodora Skipitares' stunning production of THE CHAIRS (above) and was the subject of La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles last spring. 

Rest in peace brave lady.


Friday, April 10, 2015

6 Questions: Nicky Paraiso - Spring Time Edition

photo: Theo Cote
Nicky Paraiso's annual holiday show, Spring Time in Nickyland take over The Club at La MaMa April 11th & 12th, 2015. This spring's show includes: David Cale, Edgar Oliver, The Floatones, Joseph Keckler, Salley May, Jon Kinzel, Jennifer Miller, Yvonne Meier, Mike Iveson, Heather Litteer, Susan Murphy, Ronald Peet & Shane Shane. We spoke with Nicky about the solstice, mercurial artists and shudders of the spirit.

1. What feeling do you want to share with a room full of people as springtime begins? 


The Springtime show, now in its second incarnation, represents the spirit of rebirth, renewal and the resurrection of the spirit, celebrating all things new as well as all things old made new again.

2. You've been hosting 'Christmas in Nickyland' for some time, and only more recently introduced 'Springtime in Nickyland.' Why add a spring performance?

LOL! See Question 1. But the Springtime show did come about last year because folks were so enthusiastic about seeing another Nickyland show in the same season. The Springtime show made so much sense, also because we were also celebrating the memory of the great performance artist Tom Murrin last Spring. The Springtime shows fall right on the Spring Solstice, the day(s) when there are equal amounts of light and darkness within a 24-hour span.

3. You're presenting a lot of very personable artists, people who are easy to talk to as well as great onstage. Do you find it's important to work with easy-going people, when possible? 

Uh, well. DUH! I've worked with all kinds of personalities, artists are so well, mercurial, and predictably unpredictable that way. But the artist-performers on NickyLand have by-and-large been such a joy to work with. They are who they are, with their own great artistic strengths and flaws, an unbelievable combination of ego and generosity of spirit.

4. How can the theatre help us re-focus on the themes of spring: rebirth, resurrection of the spirit, etc? 

Theater is historically and traditionally a forum and vehicle for great catharsis and healing. Earthquakes, hurricanes, ice and fire-storms and shudders of the spirit, all conspiring to put the hurting earth back together again to face, hopefully, another new morning. Oh god, does that make any sense? I think I've completely lost my mind and bearings.

5. You're always out at the shows - What have you seen in this past season that stuck with you? 

The OBIE-winning play from last season, AN OCTOROON, sticks with me, for all the reasons that you might think. This nation called America is at odds with itself. The people, the culture and the politics are all hurting and in need of reevaluation and rethinking, i.e., what democracy and freedom and responsibility mean to us as a society and nation at the beginning of the 21st century. I also loved new dance & performance work by Neil Greenberg, Rashaun Mitchell, Andrew Schneider, Sally Silvers, Meredith Monk, and performances by Melissa Toogood and Ellen Fisher.

6. If Nickyland were a country, and you were its sole and absolute ruler, would you make any crazy laws?

See Question 5. I think someone else said it perfectly 2000 years ago: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.


La MaMa presents
Spring Time
in Nickyland
Curated and hosted by Nicky Paraiso

April 11, 2015 - April 12, 2015


The Club @ La MaMa
74a East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10001

Tickets: $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 are available in advance for every show - first come, first served.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE