Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gay City News on Charles Ludlam and Conquest of the Universe

Ludlam Celebrated By Those He Loved   



David Noh of Gay City News chats with Brian Belovitch and Everett Quinton on the opening of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE at La MaMa.

In the article Quinton says:

"“I was asked which of Charles’ plays they should use for this commemoration and I chose this, which was the first one he did when he started the Ridiculous. He would read the newspaper every day and just be inspired by whatever news story caught his fancy and wrote a play from that. And, as Tamberlaine, we have Grant Neale, who was in the original production! I play two roles: Cosroe and Zabina. It’s a big production, we’re excited about the fabulous design of it, and I just want to get it up on its feet! I’m so proud of this cast, which I hand-picked. Of course, it’s very gay: you know, Charles used to say, 'I get down on my knees every day and thank God I’m gay!'

Read the full article: HERE

And get your tickets for CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE!

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La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, October 30, 2017

6 Questions: Lenys Samá


CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE opens this week.  Up next answering our 6 Questions is Lenys Samá.  Don't miss the 50th Anniversary production of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous classic, directed by Everett Quinton!


1. Who do you play in CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE? 

BAJAZETH, King of Mars

2. Why do you think the play is still important/relevant today? 

Well, there’s a thin-skinned power hungry tyrant, and themes that run the gamut from rape as a weapon of war to the loneliness of unrequited love.

3. What does Ridiculous Theatre mean to you? 

It means taking risks, leaving pretensions at the door, being out and proud, rolling up your sleeves and working, and so much more. I was ignorant about the Ridiculous when I did my first play there but luckily it became an incubator for me.

4. Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played? 

My dream role…Lady Macbeth. I don’t have a favorite role but I have a soft spot for General Carragua Fanfarron in How to Write a Play and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot.

5. What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen? 

Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat, The Workshop by Torrey Townsend with Austin Pendleton was a gem, Roger Guenver Smith’s Rodney King blew me away and it’s on Netflix!

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

Going back to a uniquely New York wellspring of creativity that has given artists like Charles Ludlam the opportunity to create and produce their work. It feels so right to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Ridiculous Theatrical Company at La MaMa. My creative juices are flowing just thinking about it. I'm going to wallow in the experience.

_____


La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE



Thursday, October 26, 2017

First Look: HALLOWEEN UNLEASHED











All photos by Theo Cote
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La MaMa presents

HALLOWEEN UNLEASHED: 
Dancing Bones, Tasting Darkness 
and the Skeleton Within 

by Armitage Gone! Dance, New York City
Choreographed by Karole Armitage
Original Commissioned Music by Terry Dame
Music by DNA, Theoretical Girls, Wyclef Jean, Marilyn Manson, David Lang, Fats Waller

October 27 - 29, 2017
Friday: 7pm and 10pm; Saturday: 2pm and 7pm; Sunday: 2pm and 4pm

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors/Kids

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

For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

6 Questions: Jeanne Lauren Smith


6 Questions with the cast of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE continues with Jeanne Lauren Smith.  Everett Quinton directs the Charles Ludlam's classic for 13 performances only, November 2 - 19, 2017.  

1. Who do you play in CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE?
Ebea (Zabina, the Queen of Mars', maid)

2. Why do you think the play is still important/relevant today?
It is a twist of a tale of seeking not only world domination, but control over the whole universe. Themes of greed, violence and grasping for power seem to be on an endless, cyclical loop in our culture, and at our current moment on what feels like an exaggerated, aggressive scale.

3. What does Ridiculous Theatre mean to you?
Using all the elements at your disposal. Putting on stage what societal norms would rather cover up or push away. Being extreme and expressive in storytelling.

4. Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played?
I would love to play Li'l Bit in How I Learned to Drive.

5. What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen?
Spiritual Partnership by Gary Zukav

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
La MaMa does not only cover an inspiring physical space but also a movement and a history that embodies equanimity, creativity, quality and social awareness. I'm honored to be working on such a special play at such a special theatre during this extraordinary time on our planet.

_____



La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 19, 2017

6 Questions: Beth Dodye Bass


Beth Dodye Bass is next up to answer our 6 Questions.  The 50th Anniversary production of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE plays The Ellen Stewart Theatre from November 2 - 19, 2017.  Tickets now on sale and seating is limited.

1. Who do you play in CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE?
Natolia, Queen of Saturn

2. Why do you think the play is still important/relevant today?
Chartles Ludlam wrote this play during a tumultuous time in our history. We were embroiled in a war with Vietnam and we were fighting for civil and gay rights here at home. Seems to me this is happening all over again, making this particular piece extremely relevant.

3. What does Ridiculous Theatre mean to you?
The ridiculous is brilliant, hilarious, audacious and courageous theatre. Their work crossed all human barriers. The ridiculous not only appealed to gay audiences alone but to theatre goers of every race, creed and sexual persuasion. It raises a mirror to the social mores of society and the consciousness of the people who experience their work.

4. Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played?
LILY POSTIA in Everett Quinton’s adaptation of CARMEN

5. What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen?
Book: Recently reread 1984 by George Orwell, even more terrifying now.
Play: Little Foxes, Cynthia Nixon played Regina
Film: I just saw Gaslight again Bergman rocks!
Art exhibit: The Alexander Calder exhibit at the Whitney Museum

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
To Me La MaMa means the premier avant garde off Broadway theatre in the country. Artists from all over the world have performed in this theatre. La MaMa was a driving force in the creation of the off and off off Broadway movement. A safe haven for original ideas, performances and artists. I have been fortunate to have played at La MaMa before and I am thrilled to be performing at this great house once again.

_____


La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reviews are IN for Belarus Free Theatre's BURNING DOORS!




“bruising exploration of the dynamics of resistance — the kind that occurs in the intersection of art and politics...Galvanizing...The astonishment of “Burning Doors” — conceived and staged by the troupe founders and artistic directors (in exile), Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada — is its ability to translate political rage and impotence into an art of indirection that is often as complex as it is powerful.” 

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“Burning Doors is the most essential piece of political theater New York has seen in a long, long time.” 



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“a smart, smoldering, physically brutal piece of theater...The climax of Burning Doors is among the most brutal physical sequences I have ever seen onstage.” 




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“Burning Doors is intense and profoundly physical alternative theatre...a visceral and intellectual evening you will not forget.” 




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It is one of the most sensory experiences you'll ever have in a theater.” 
Yes Broadway   

_____



"Belarus Free Theatre creates poetry out of brutal reality, with the breathtaking physical capacity of its performers sending an urgent and powerful message that's a wakeup call for whoever is willing to listen." Theatre Is Easy
_____


“absolutely thrilling….Be Brave. Go and see Belarus Free Theatre’s Burning Doors at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre.” 

StageBuddy    



La MaMa presents

BURNING DOORS

Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre
Directed by Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada
With Maria Alyokhina from Pussy Riot

October 13 - 22, 2017
10 Performances Only!

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors

For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, October 16, 2017

6 Questions: Brian Belovitch



We continue our 6 Questions with the cast of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE with Brian Belovitch.

CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE plays The Ellen Stewart Theatre from November 2 - 19, 2017.  Everett Quinton directs this 50th Anniversary production of this early Ludlam epic comedy.


1. Who do you play in CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE?
I play Alice, First Lady of the Earth.

2. Why do you think the play is still important/relevant today?
The Ridiculous theatre is important for many reasons not only for its obvious historical relevance but for it's incredible, creative and theatrical accomplishments. It has inspired generations of talented artists and was an often overlooked early pioneer in the pre-Stonewall gay rights movement. The vast collection of plays written by Charles Ludlam are infused with biting and often hysterical social commentary that is still relevant today. Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide is a perfect example of what is happening today politically in the world some 50 years later. Also, the bravery and brilliant artistic vision that began in the 60's when there were no gay rights when you could be arrested as a gay person speaks volumes about the intrepid spirit of the early founders. Charles acting in drag was a hugely political act that took incredible bravery to be who you were at a time when the world was in such cultural and political turmoil.

3. What does Ridiculous Theatre mean to you?
I was an 18-year-old gender non-conforming teen when I saw my first Ridiculous play, Camille. I also had an excruciating toothache and almost stayed home but my friend begged me to go. From the moment Charles made his entrance the laughter became the best painkiller I could have taken. I completely forgot about my toothache. Coming from a small city I hadn't been exposed to much theater but I knew early on I wanted to act. Little did I know when I walked into that little theatre that it would have such a profound effect on me. Not only were men playing women's roles as was Charles as Camille, but there was such an unapologetic free spirit from the actors that made me feel like I wasn't alone in my queerness. It gave me tremendous hope that there was a place for me in the theatre and I've always been grateful for that early inspiration.

4. Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played?
A dream role for me would be a musical version of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane starring me as Baby Jane Hudson! A girl can dream.

5. What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen?
The last play I saw was Charm over at the Lucille Lortel theatre, it was based on a true to life story about a transgender woman who ran a charm school for LGBTQ kids on the fringes of Chicago. It was timely, extremely well written with a beautifully talented and diverse ensemble of LGBT actors. I also was at the reading at La MaMa legend and superstar Jackie Curtis's Guts, Glamor, and Gold which was a religious experience

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
I've appeared in several La MaMa productions over the years, my first was John Epperson's, (Lypsinka) Ballet of The Dolls. I also did Anthony Ingrassia's last play Sweet Dreams so for me it holds a very magical space in my heart. I'mover the moon to be returning to the stage at La MaMa after a long absence with the legendary Ridiculous Theatre and acting with and directed again by the divine Everett Quinton.


_____

La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

6 Questions: Grant Neale


This month we are playing 6 Questions with the cast of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDEConquest of the Universe is directed by Everett Quinton and runs from November 2 - 19, 2017 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.  First up is Grant Neale:


1. Who do you play in CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE?

I play Tamberlaine (President of Earth), something I have always wanted to be :)

2) Why do you think the play is still important/relevant today?

This play is spot on to our current political circumstances. It is also refreshingly incorrect, impolite, subversive in a way that modern audiences don't get much of. It is above modern notions "good" and "correct" instead it is honest, and biting about certain aspects of human behavior, and oh yes, Funny. The people who get to see this are in for a treat!

3) What does Ridiculous Theatre mean to you?

Ridiculous has had and still has a huge impact on my personal and professional life! Since I first joined the Ridiculous in 1992 playing Lech Fabrinski in the late great Georg Osterman's BROTHER TRUCKERS my creative views have been expanding. Joining Ridiculous Theatrical Company gave me the opportunity to bend into the largeness of my acting while most styles were asking me to dial it down and become small as an actor. Embarrassing the size of the style while remaining emotionally truthful and present in the moment is a wonderful challenge and feels so good to share with an audience! My experience with RTC has also permanently changed views on casting. At the Ridiculous casting "type" has more to do with the inside of the actor than with their outward appearance. The Ridiculous has also been quite expansive for me socially. Being a member of the company helped me be more open in my heart and mind about sexual and gender identity.

4) Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played? 

I have been lucky to play many "dream roles" including the Nicodemus/Lady Enid track in Charles Ludlam's THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, Romamn Polanski in Saviana Stanescu's POLANSKI POLANSKI, and Fool in my brother Randy Neale's wonderful two hander THE FOOL'S LEAR. I am very much looking forward to playing Mr. Smee (of "Peter Pan" fame in the short film 'TSMEE!

5) What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen?

I really love John Robert Tillotson's solo show Resdiual Effects (of course I am completely bios as I directed the piece. The Irving Penn exhibit at the Met Museum was so inspiring! And I loved reading "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr!

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

I've had the pleasure of working at La MaMa several times over the years as an actor, director, and producer. What I have found is that unlike some theatrical institutions that seem to ask "What is your show going to do for us?" "How is your show going to be the sexiest thing to hit the theatrical world in recent memory?" La MaMa seems to ask "What can we do to help you bring your show to life?"

_____


La MaMa presents

CONQUEST 
OF THE 
UNIVERSE 
OR 
WHEN 
QUEENS 
COLLIDE

by Charles Ludlam
directed by Everett Quinton

November 2-19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm; special performance Monday November 6th at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors: 10@$10 Tickets available

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE