La MaMa Blogs: 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Meet Iris Beaumier & Glynn Borders of DARK STAR FROM HARLEM


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La MaMa presents

The Dark Star 

From Harlem: 
The Spectacular Rise 
of Josephine Baker

Book by Glynn Borders
Music and Lyrics by Mario E. Sprouse
Directed by Tai Thompson
Choreography by Kim Grier-Martinez
featuring Iris Beaumier*, Chris Bolan*, Katelyn Bowman* Catherine Calloway, Heather Gault*, Joe Komara* Kimberlee Murray*, James A. Pierce III*, Jed Peterson*, Melissa Victor*, Zuri Washington*


*Appearing Courtesy of Actors Equity Association

November 21 - December 01, 2019


The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, November 18, 2019

Behind The Scenes at DARK STAR FROM HARLEM













All photos by Theo Cote




The Dark Star From Harlem: The Spectacular Rise of Josephine Baker begins performances on Thursday, November 21.  The musical follows the journey of 19-year-old Josephine Baker, from her arrival in Paris in 1925, as a company member of La Revue Negre, to her rise to stardom in Europe. Josephine is cast as the comic dancer who crosses her eyes and can’t keep up, but before long , her talent as a singer and “exotic” dancer takes her to center stage and the launch of her career. As a young woman in a foreign land, she navigates sudden fame, a new language, racial acceptance in Paris and the violent Jim Crow laws back home in America.


La MaMa presents

The Dark Star 

From Harlem: 
The Spectacular Rise 
of Josephine Baker


Book by Glynn Borders
Music and Lyrics by Mario E. Sprouse
Directed by Tai Thompson
Choreography by Kim Grier-Martinez
featuring Iris Beaumier*, Chris Bolan*, Katelyn Bowman* Catherine Calloway, Heather Gault*, Joe Komara* Kimberlee Murray*, James A. Pierce III*, Jed Peterson*, Melissa Victor*, Zuri Washington*


*Appearing Courtesy of Actors Equity Association

November 21 - December 01, 2019


The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, November 14, 2019

6 Questions: Philip TreviƱo




1. What does the world of Virgo Star look like? 
For me, what we are creating is a world that takes elements from the Wild West and then contextualize them through a Queer viewpoint. We are using stereotypical representations as seen in Old Western Films in order to bring imagery familiar to the audience and then incorporating that imagery in a Pop Fetish sort of way. In this hyper-world, the hope is that the heart and harshness of the world will expose a new viewpoint for the audience.

2. What do you hope audiences leave thinking? 
I hope that the audience leaves thinking that they found the work entertaining and thought-provoking; that despite the mythos that has formed around the American Cowboy there is much more beneath the surface.

3. How can you explode the myth of the American Cowboy? 
I think presenting multiple voices of different viewpoints will help explode this myth. There were Women, L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+., and people from various cultural backgrounds that were part of the reality of this period in history who are often written out or made into stereotypes.

4. Do you have a favorite Western movie? 
It's really hard for me to pin down a favorite, but I think The Misfits and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by John Huston are excellent. Blazing Saddles could work for this too...

5. What makes Virgo Star different from other Pioneers Go East Collective productions? 
Some of our most recent pieces have really thought about the way our work relates to the space beyond the theatrically typical setup and I think that this piece will further that experience for the audience.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
Working at La MaMa, a historically and culturally significant space for Experimental Theatre, is thrilling for me beyond words as I can only hope that the work and voice that I bring to Pioneers Go East Collective can help continue the traditions of presenting challenging and exciting work for audiences of today.

--

Virgo Star
November 14 - December 01, 2019
$25 Tickets; $20 Student/Senior Tickets [+$1 Facility Fee]

World Premiere
By Pioneers Go East Collective

Virgo Star explores and explodes the myth of the American Cowboy. An underground, kinetic ride through the Cowboy myths performed from a queer perspective, this dance-theatre work fuses personal storytelling and movement to re-create scenes from Western Movies.

Monday, November 11, 2019

6 Questions: Beth Graczyk





1. What does the world of Virgo Star look like?
The world of Virgo Star is like a queer cowboy/girl dreamscape. Classic scenes turned inside out, to allow the queer undertones embedded in these stories to emerge from the westerns we grew up watching. Sensual, playful, with dark undertones VS brings us into the dissonances and revelations of queer stories including the homoerotic, longing, shame, violence, and chivalry.

2. What can the audiences learn about love in Virgo Star? 
I hope audiences will feel open to reimagining the paradigms that we take for granted including the western and look further at stories that present a certain heteronormative paradigm to open up to seeing other possibilities.

3. How can you explode the myth of the American Cowboy? 
That's a tough question. I wouldn't claim to have any real answer to this one, but I do think the practice of re-imagining narratives that are pressed into our brains around romanticized masculinity is a good place to start. What if the American Cowboy was a kind of skin suit you could enter in and allow yourself to fill the interior with your own unique particularities of sexuality, gender, and desire? I think that might have some explosive qualities, and infinite variations, which is always my favorite. Reminds me of a hearty quote shared with me by my mentor Torben Ulrich:

"That is, it's the way the Talmudist would read the same little scene, or dialogue with a capacity for interpretations which is many, many fold. There's no conclusive version, there are a hundred versions. And this is most important. Now, when I look at anything that happens in reality, any kind of event, I want a hundred versions of it". - Helene Cixous, Live Theory

In re-imagining the American Cowboy, perhaps there could be numerous expressions, variations, and that we could re-live a single scene over and over again simply by the different ways that these "cowboys" are expressed which includes as many variations of being-ness that we conjure, only finding an edge at the limits of our imagination.

4. Have you learned anything new from this production?
I continue to learn about the satisfying process of collaboration, and the benefit of working on multiple projects through time with the same core cohort of artists. I love working with Daniel and Gian Marco who are so generous in their desire to incorporate the ideas of others while keeping a steady path towards their artistic vision.

5. Do you have a favorite Western movie?
True Grit (2010) Cohen Brother's film.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Working at La MaMa is an honor. La MaMa is a community of talent, acceptance, and love. It has allowed me to challenge my abilities, celebrate my work and exposed me to so many great works and artists that I admire.

--

Virgo Star
November 14 - December 01, 2019
$25 Tickets; $20 Student/Senior Tickets [+$1 Facility Fee]

World Premiere
By Pioneers Go East Collective

Virgo Star explores and explodes the myth of the American Cowboy. An underground, kinetic ride through the Cowboy myths performed from a queer perspective, this dance-theatre work fuses personal storytelling and movement to re-create scenes from Western Movies.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Photo Call: The Bad’uns





All photos by Carlos Cardona
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La MaMa presents


By Clowns Ex Machina 
Created and Directed by Kendall Cornell 
in collaboration with the ensemble

November 7 - November 17, 2019

Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 3pm

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

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Information and Tickets: CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Video Preview: The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion


Clowns Ex Machina takes a darkly comic look at transgression, the corruption of dreams, and women in dangerously, dangerously bad moods. Inspired by legends of “the Bad-uns” – famous women criminals, outlaws and killers – the show examines notoriety, morality, defiance, and the social constraints of womanhood. Mischievous, startling, and sublimely ridiculous, this world premiere contains interwoven acts of song, dance, verbal wit, and incredible humor.  
Performances begin November 7th!
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La MaMa presents


By Clowns Ex Machina 
Created and Directed by Kendall Cornell 
in collaboration with the ensemble

November 7 - November 17, 2019

Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 3pm

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

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Information and Tickets: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Music of DARK STAR FROM HARLEM


Just a small sample of the music of DARK STAR FROM HARLEM: THE SPECTACULAR RISE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER opening at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa on November 21, 2019.






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La MaMa presents

DARK STAR FROM HARLEM: 
THE SPECTACULAR RISE 
OF JOSEPHINE BAKER

Book by Glynn Borders

Music and Lyrics by Mario E. Sprouse

November 21 - December 1, 2019   
Thursday to Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 5pm; 
additional perf Monday 11/25 at 8pm

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

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Student/Senior Tickets (+$1 Facility Fee)

For Info and Tickets: CLICK HERE


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Look who was at the La MaMa Gala!

Katie Holmes

 Bill Pullman

Gala Honorees: 
Philip Glass, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Sam Rudy

Frank Carucci (La MaMa Board President) and David Diamond


Jill Hanekamp and Jeff Haley
  
Jackie Rudin


Dr. Emily Rafferty


Daniel Nardicio and Heather Litteer

Heather Christian

Philip Glass

Gala Director Dan Safer and Jane Comfort


Stafanie Batten Bland

Ozzie Rodriguez, Michal Gamily and Gala Co-Chair Donald Capoccia

Mia Yoo and Nicky Paraiso

All photos by Theo Cote

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

2019 La MaMa Gala Performances

"Ring the Bell - A Song for Ellen" written and performed by Heather Christian 

"Ring the Bell - A Song for Ellen" written and performed by Heather Christian 

"Madonna" by Stefanie Batten Bland

"Madonna" by Stefanie Batten Bland

"Disconnected" composed by Woody Pak; Media Design Sangmin Chae; 
Created by CultureHub
Performed by Starr Busby

"Change" (excerpt from La MaMa Cantata by Elizabeth Swadows)
performed by Starr Busby, Jo Lampert, Preston Martin, Alicia Olatuaja; Casey Reed, accompanist

"Change" (excerpt from La MaMa Cantata by Elizabeth Swadows)
performed by Starr Busby, Jo Lampert, Preston Martin, Alicia Olatuaja; Casey Reed, accompanist

"Gee-Whiz, a song for Ellen" written and performed by Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson

"Gee-Whiz, a song for Ellen" written and performed by Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson

"Gee-Whiz, a song for Ellen" written and performed by Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson

All photos by Theo Cote


Monday, October 21, 2019

6 Questions: Anabella Lenzu




1. What is your role in Virgo Star? 
I am a performer, choreographer and collaborator. 

2. What can the audiences learn about love in Virgo Star? 
Love is inclusion, understanding, embracing differences, supporting and sustaining each other. That is what we practice in rehearsals and performances at Pioneers!!! 

3. How can you explode the myth of the American Cowboy? 
For me as an immigrant from Argentina, I had a lot of homework and research to understand this foreign concept. As part of my preparation, I saw at least 15 iconic western movies to grasp the context and culture. Aside from being a lot of fun, I learned a lot about the archetypal world of the American West. 

4. Have you learned anything new from this production? 
As a choreographer for my own company a guest choreographer for different theater and opera productions in NYC (since 2007), it has been a long time since I performed for someone else's show. It's a muscle that I forgot I have. Being in rehearsal with such a fun and creative group is stimulating and refreshing! 

5. Do you have a favorite Western movie? 
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
Working at La MaMa again is reaffirming my commitment with such an amazing community of artists and audiences. It's about belonging to a genealogical tree of artists that I have admired since I was young. Working at La MaMa saying yes to celebrating works that push the boundaries of language and culture and performing cutting-edge ideas.


--

Virgo Star
November 14 - December 01, 2019
$25 Tickets; $20 Student/Senior Tickets [+$1 Facility Fee]

World Premiere
By Pioneers Go East Collective

Virgo Star explores and explodes the myth of the American Cowboy. An underground, kinetic ride through the Cowboy myths performed from a queer perspective, this dance-theatre work fuses personal storytelling and movement to re-create scenes from Western Movies.