La MaMa Blogs: April 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet the Cast of CHERCHEZ LA FEMME



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La MaMa presents

Book by August Darnell and Vivien Goldman

Music and Lyric by August Darnell and Stony Browder Jr.

Directed by Angelina Isabella

Choreographed by Kyndra 'Binkie' Reevey 

May 20 - June 05, 2016
Tuesdays - Saturdays at 7PM; Sundays at 4PM

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

Tickets: $35 Adults; $30 Students/Seniors

For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Katy Pyle and Ballez featured in The New York Times

Gia Kourlas previews Ballez' SLEEPING BEAUTY & THE BEAST by Katy Pyle opening next week as part of 2016 La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival:

“I just don’t believe in neutral,” Ms. Pyle said in an interview after a recent rehearsal. “I want to use this form to show that people are still carrying these subconscious judgments and ideas about how we should behave in relation to each other, how we should look and move, and what’s possible and what’s allowed.”

Read the full article HERE

La MaMa presents 

Choreographed by: Katy Pyle, with Jules Skloot and the Company 
Conceived and Directed by: Katy Pyle

April 29 - May 08, 2016

Wednesday to Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm

Ellen Stewart Theatre

66 East 4th Street

New York, NY 10003

Tickets: Adults: $35; Students/Seniors: $30

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Video Preview: LA MAMA MOVES! 2016

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival 2016 from La MaMa on Vimeo.

La MaMa Moves! 2016 arrives next week.  Check out the new trailer for the festival.

La MaMa presents


Curated by Nicky Paraiso

Paula Josa-Jones, Amanda Loulaki, Yvonne Meier
InNprogress Collective
B.S. Movement & Jumatatu Poe
Tiffany Mills Company
Cardell Dance Theater 
and MORE!

April 29 - May 29, 2016

In all 4 La MaMa spaces!

Tickets: $35-20 Adults; $30-15 Students/Seniors; La MaMa 10@$10 Tickets still available for some performances

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

6 Questions: Heather Litteer

Lemonade, written by and performed by Heather Litteer opened last week.  Heather answered 6 Questions for the La MaMa Blog and talks about the show, 

1. What was your original inspiration for Lemonade?

Lemonade first started out as a poem. I was thinking about all the different jobs I have had over the years and all the acting roles I have done and then it just started to flow together. There was a sort of a pattern and I started to think about my life and how some things mirrored each other, there were similarities between my personal life and the film roles and even my own mother Nancy.

She was a Steel Magnolia of a woman who had some struggles, but she always powered on and she never looked back and neither have I. I had an epiphany and realized how similar we were and that we were both just two girls trying to make it in this world the best way we knew how. There was this point in my life where the role of mother/daughter changed and we became friends. For me, my mom and my dad were superheroes and the older I got, I started see them as my best friends. The unconditional love was there and we are only humans and none of us are perfect. We are just dong the best we know how. We all wanted to be heard on our own terms. 

I was feeling the strain of being type cast in the film world, I felt like being in Requiem for a Dream really set the tone on how I was perceived as only a sex object. Please, I rolled with it and went in willingly but started to get tired when that was the only way people could see me. I had so much more to offer as an actress and as a person. I want my own name and a first and a last name in credits and not just Bored Hooker #1. I suppose I was naive. 

I am playing with the dialogue of a few of the films that I have been in while taking a tongue in cheek look at these roles set against the deep Southern roots of my Mother. I think so many people can relate to parental relationships and how they form us, as well as rampant misogyny in film. I inspect how women can be perceived not only as sex objects, but ageist outlooks as well .My mother passed away suddenly during the writing of Lemonade, so in writing Lemonade it is cathartic for me to heal and to take back the power for myself to honor my mother. 

2. You talk about being typecast  in your film work, How is theatre different?

Theatre has been a completely different animal for me. You can make and be whoever you want and take your imagination to the deepest, darkest, or most surreal. 

I have been embraced wholeheartedly by the community and there are no boundaries or roles defined by gender, race or age. We create together! The opportunities are endless and the creative juices just start flowing and everything is so wildly alive and you build these amazing shows together as a family, especially in downtown and the avant-garde, where I feel most at home. Branching out could be nice, but my homes is from Houston to 14th street.

Theatre has a huge life of imagination and anything can happen because it is live and exciting!

3.  How has New York City changed since you have been here?

Well the New York that I moved to in the 90's was a 'lil more gritty! Downtown was still downtown and I made it here on the tail end of rent stabilization. I am lucky to have one of those apartments in the Lower East Side. I could never afford to live here now with the skyscrapers rising all around and the mom and pop stores just washing away. It's like the neighborhoods are disappearing and everything is becoming more like a shopping mall. It's becoming a college town, hedge fund, medical suppliers, and campus haven. I rarely go out on the weekends anymore, I just can't handle it!

There still so many wonderful things in New York City theatre, music, and performance. Even in the LES, just look around you and stop saying there is nothing and make something happen! Of course, a lot of it has spread to Brooklyn and I am slowly learning how to get on that train and head over the pond. I'm usually never disappointed, Brooklyn is great too!  You just have to know where to find it and and when you have the downtown aesthetic you always will and it's alive in you!

4. What do you miss about Georgia?

For me, Georgia is my youth! I have lived on my own in NYC since I was 18 years old.
So Georgia is playing in the woods and the creek behind the house, building forts, sucking on Honeysuckle plants, and doing cartwheels. Playing with Barbie's, having tea parties with my Mom, and going to Ga. football Games with my Dad. As a teenager, I drove around in my Honda Accord at Stone Mountain and swam in Rock Quarries, and I even taught Charm Classes to little girls, and was a high fashion model at the mall where I also used to work at The Bridal Shop! Then I went on to NYC, this is where I started my own adult life, I'm still here and chipping away!

5. If you could pick up tomorrow and go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would travel back in time to have that last talk and giggle with my mom, Nancy.
I wish so badly that we had been able to say our good-bye's, it just happened so fast.

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

I consider La MaMa the Maverick's of the downtown theatre! La MaMa takes chances and is located right here in my neighborhood in the LES.

I am so happy to be part of the La MaMa family, Ellen Stewart started a theatre aesthetic for ALL people to come together and create and experiment with theatre and performance. It's a home, it's a family vibe. There are no wrongs or rights, there is freedom to create here! 

La MaMa lets artists color outside of the lines and is very community oriented, not only here, but also internationally. Mia Yoo keeps up with that tradition and I wouldn't be here without Mia saying yes to working with me on the Fox Fellowship. All it takes is one yes, and life can take a turn! This Fellowship has allowed me to make Lemonade!

I am so grateful to the whole La MaMa team as well as my mentor and Downtown treasure, Nicky Paraiso. My 'lil heart just beats with happiness! I Love you Maverick La MaMa! Love you like Lemonade!

La MaMa presents
Written and performed by Heather Litteer
Directed by Elena Heyman
Assistant Directed by Callie Jane Farnsworth
Dramaturg: Lucy Sexton
Script Editor: Mike Albo

Now - 24, 2016 - 3 more performances!
Friday & Saturday at 8pm, 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;

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, April 18, 2016

New York Times on Cecil Taylor and Min Tanaka

Cecil Taylor, left, and the dancer Min Tanaka at the Whitney Museum on Thursday. 
Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times        

Early La MaMa artists Cecil Taylor and Min Tanaka are currently at The Whitney Museum of American Art.  Ben Ratliff of The New York Times says:

"This kind of meticulous museum treatment is unusual for a musician, let alone an improvising or living one. You should go."

We agree!  Read the full review: HERE

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Martha Coigney (1933 - 2016)

Martha Coigney (l) with Ellen Stewart (r)

It it with great sadness that we lean about the passing of Martha Coigney, a very special person who was important to the history of La MaMa.  Martha was the served as Director of the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) from 1966 to 2003 and was integral to the incorporation of international performance to the programming at La MaMa. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.

La MaMa Moves! 2016 Brochure!

Tickets now on sale for all shows including La MaMa's 10@$10 Tickets and the $99 La MaMa Moves All-Access Passes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cherchez La Femme opens in May

August Darnell (a/k/a Kid Creole of Kid Creole and the Coconuts) and Vivienne Goldman (one of the founding members of The Flying Lizards) have written a new musical called CHERCHEZ LA FEMME set in New York City and the Caribbean in the 1980s.

In the mid - 80’s, in New York, there was no hotter band than Kid Creole and the Coconuts, featuring August Darnell. Darnell, who wa s in the Grammy - nominated band Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band (managed by Tommy Mottola , no less), had a major radio hit with “Cherchez La Femme.” They played at all the premiere NYC clubs at the time like the much - missed Hurrah’s and Jerry Brandt’s The Ritz. They opened up for the B52’s on their first national tour. They were a true New York favorite. August also produced and co - wrote (1977) Machine’s ground - breaking hit “There But For The Grace Of God Go I.” 

Even though Kid Creole were popular in the U. S. , they became huge in Europe and continued so for years, notching hit after hit, like “Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy,” “Stool Pigeon,” “Endicott,” and, “I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby” – which was a Top 40 hit here in the U. S. on radio – and the band wen t onto to record 11 albums. Now, the Bronx - born Darnell has returned to New York where he has written a play with Vivien Goldman entitled Cherchez La Femme; opening on May 23 at La Mama in the East Village in NYC. The play features several Darnell classics as well as new material. Darnell, who co - authored a play (with Eric Overmeyer) in 1989 called In a Pig’s Valise (boldly praised by the New York Times ), is finally realizing a life - long dream: “I watch Guys & Dolls twice a year and have always loved the E sther Williams - classics; I’ve wanted to do this for years and with Vivien’s invaluable assistance, it has now become a reality.” 

Vivien Goldman, who the BBC dubbed "The Punk Professor" for her teaching at NYU's Tisch school, says: “From learning musicals i n the Library in London to seeing our show onstage get the audience laughing and grooving on the Lower East Side, Cherchez La Femme is a wild ride that could only have come about because of August's particular vision -- and the downtown N. Y. creative ene rgy he helped unleash in the early 80’s, when the show is set. His work impacted me then as I was writing NME covers about him. Now, it is smashing to see those bold, deep dreams take shape and happen, especially at La Mama, which is so much a part of down town NY creativity."

Tickets now on sale, including La MaMa's 10@$10 Tickets for all performances.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Heather Litteer in Huffington Post!

Tim Ranny chats with Heather Litteer about her upcoming show, LEMONADE, at The Club @ La MaMa for Huffington Post:
"In the late 90’s I got a part in a film called Requiem for a Dream. I played opposite Jennifer Connelly in the tragic ending sex scene where it shows what length a junkie will go to get her fix. This ‘ass to ass’ scene became one of the most horrific and popular sex scenes in film today. This is the kind of scene that will be burned in your brain forever - “ass to ass” is even in the Urban Dictionary. After this I was just typecast in role after role as the junkie or the whore. It has followed me around for 17 years like a horror movie monster that just keeps on coming and won’t let go."

Don't miss Heather's one-woman show LEMONADE, running from April 15 - 24, 2016 - 6 performances only!

La MaMa presents
Written and performed by Heather Litteer
Directed by Elena Heyman
Assistant Directed by Callie Jane Farnsworth
Dramaturg: Lucy Sexton
Script Editor: Mike Albo

April 15 - 24, 2016
Friday & Saturday at 8pm, 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; La MaMa's 10@$10 Tickets still available for some performances.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, April 4, 2016

Theodora Skipitares on News 4 New York, WNBC

Watch Theodora Skipitares chat about her new show SIX CHARACTERS (a family album) with Chris Glorioso on News 4 New York.  Puppeteers Jane Catherine Shaw and Chris Ignacio were also on hand to give life to two of Theodora's creations.

Watch the segment HERE.

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La MaMa in association with Skysaver Productions presents
(a family album)

Directed, Designed, and Adapted by Theodora Skipitares
Music Composed by Sxip Shirey and Jordan Morton
Set Design by Donald Eastman
Technical Design by Jane Catherine Shaw
Dramaturgy: Andrea Balis

Featuring: Jan Leslie Harding, Chris Ignacio, Jordan Morton, Jane Catherine Shaw, Thomas Walker, Molly Ballerstein, Brandon Fisette, Maiko Kikuchi, Britt Moseley, Atticus Stevenson.
and Estelle Parsons as the voice of Margaret Mead

March 31 - April 16, 2016
Thursday to Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; La MaMa 10@$10 Tickets available (advance sale only, first come first served)

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

For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Introductions at La MaMa Galleria

For this Introductions, Roberto Juarez and eight of his colleagues will each introduce an artist of their choosing to the gallery. The show focuses on visual and spatial conversations between artists working at different stages of their careers, and through this contrast mixes genres and ideas. Some of the artist pairs are in close dialogue with one another, and they present their work with this relationship in mind. Others have chosen to make work that stands on its own. Through the show’s hanging, Juarez encourages new and surprising associations within this artistic community to emerge.

We asked these visual artists to describe why they chose to introduce their specific artist to La MaMa Galleria. These are the pairings currently on display at 47 Great Jones Street until April 10th!
Introductions comprises eighteen artists:
John Ahearn → Devon Rodriguez
Robert Bordo → Jared Buckhiester
Jane Dickson → Charlotte Becket
Inka Essenhigh → Ali Miller
Michael Glier → Derek Stroup
Roberto Juarez → Nic Freberg Morgan
Jack Pierson → Bradford Teasdale
Kiki Smith → Angela Conant
Barbara Takenaga → Beverly Acha

Inka Essenhigh on Ali Miller

I first met Ali Miller when I was a guest lecturer at MICA, where I saw a strange and complete split among the males and female painters. All the guys were doing big abstract work and all the girls were making fantastical narrative art. leading the charge was Ali! And I was impressed by the way she couldn't help but be herself.

Mike Glier on Derek Stroup

Derek Stroup is a fine thinker who likes to make things. He also has a good sense of humor and he is very tolerant of nonsense. He lives in a body in which the mind and the flesh are integrated into one reactive, feeling being that can hold opposing thoughts without too much dissonance. His artwork is just like him.

Roberto Juarez on Nic Freberg Morgan

I selected Nic Freberg Morgan for "Introductions" because, as my studio assistant, I have had the opportunity to witness his development as an artist very closely through the years. Recently, he started making these intricate drawings that have a strong graphic quality that when inspected closely are delicate, complex, emotional and powerful in a very original way. Early on, I was struck by his abstract paintings that he started in my studio that successfully combined many layers and surfaces to arrive at compositions that were direct and unexpected.  As well as his videos where he was able to translate his ideas about painting in a time based medium using music and editing to arrive at something that was as successful as his paintings, which is a very difficult thing to do. 

Galleria: Introductions

March 17 - April 10, 2016

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 7PM, or by appointment

La MaMa Galleria | 47 Great Jones St.

Free Admission

More info: