I recently went to see Stuck Elevator at the American Conservatory Theater recently. Having gone and seen Dead Metaphor, which for this New Yorker was DOA, I was skeptical about this 90 minute play about a Chinese illegal immigrant’s experience being trapped in a Bronx elevator. To say I was actually surprised to have enjoyed the picture was an understatement. The subtitles in both English and Chinese was a delight. I kept studying the Chinese characters and promised myself I would venture out and learn some Chinese when I had the time. The songs were catchy, melodic, and funny. The acting was absolutely superb. Additionally, the set design which consisted of a scant elevator fixture in the middle of the stage was utilized masterfully by every actor in the cast.
Joel Perez, who plays Marco and other characters, stood out the most because his singing reminded me of In The Heights, and after reading his mini bio, I can see why. He toured internationally with the play and I’m pretty sure he was a major character in the play. His charisma shone throughout his performance.
I gotta give props to the lead, Julius Ahn, who was able to hold the viewers attention with each syllable he uttered. His presence worked well for the performance and I could not have imagined anyone else in the role.
Even though the play was 90 minutes, I felt that this play based on real events did stretch out a little longer than necessary but was able to make itself relevant and entertaining with each song.
Stuck Elevator is playing until April 28th at ACT and you should check it out for a fun and engaging evening.
Edited by: Peter Nesbett, Sarah Andress, and Shelly Bancroft
Published by: Darte Publishing LLC (2006)
A young artist asked a group of established artists “Is it possible to maintain one’s integrity and freedom of thought and still participate in the art world?” and this pocket sized books contains written responses from these writers. The book contains letters from Jo Baer, John Bladessari, Cai Guo-Qiang, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Adrian Piper, William Pope. L and many more.
Not being familiar with 85% of these artists, I couldn’t gauge the level of their popularity. Their messages about art were consistent across the board – as an artist, just Do. At least this is the message that I culled from the small book.
As a writer, I was able to relate to the advice and support these artists provided to the “young artist.” At the end of the day, all artists must create, love what they do, put aside the monetary success, and express themselves the only way they know how to in their medium. I think every artist should own this and read it as their own support group. In the vein that Writing Down the Bones and Bird by Bird are compassionate to the budding and accomplished writer, Letters to a Young Artist provide the same sentiment to aspiring and accomplished artists everywhere. To have an idea of what some of the letters are like, read Yoko Ono’s letter here.
In short, an inspiring nugget that reassures every artist why they are doing the work in the first place; they hear it from those who have been there and know what to expect in their future.
Joseph Gridgely says it best: “It’s the stuff that has nothing to do with art that has everything to do with art.”
On May 18, 2011, I watched the Beatles Tribute band Rain on Broadway. With my newfound Beatlemania, one of my close friends who is also a Beatlemaniac, invited me to watch the tribute band to see how much they would be able to recreate the sixties and how well their covers would be, of course. It was his fourth time attending.
The show was absolutely perfect for this Beatles fan and any Beatlemaniac for that matter. Prior to the band starting, the audience is sitting with a soundtrack from the sixties and Beatles trivia on the two TV screens on each side of the stage. Continue reading
Recently, I took my friend to watch “The Lion King” on Broadway. Having seen the movie years ago (I think I saw it once or twice), I wondered how close the original incarnation of the story the play would follow.
Hey Blog readers!
I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted. Life gets in the way. It happens.
I don’t know if ya’ll know but this coming weekend is all about books and arts! The Brooklyn Book Festival is happening from September 10th-12th. They are so big this year that they are hosting events all weekend long! Visit the website and find out which one of your favorite authors will be in attendance.
Apart from The Brooklyn Book Festival, Poets and Writers is partly sponsoring an event at Le Petit Versailles Garden on September, 10th at 7 pm in the Lower East Side.
There will be readings by Mary Gaitskill, Shelley Marlow, Robert Marshall, and Peter Trachtenberg.
There will be an artist reception for Baroque Bike Rack by Bernard Klevickas. More information on the website.
Lastly, The Howl Festival occurs this weekend. There are events throughout the Lower East Side as well as plays way after this coming weekend.
That’s all for now. I have more posts coming soon about any of these events I attend and then some!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
This Friday, I had the privilege of witnessing live theater in it’s truest form: in Brooklyn’s Carroll Park in the Carroll Gardens section.
I learned about this play because a friend of mine portrays a few characters throughout and I thought, “It’s free. Why not?”
Upon arrival at the park, I was quite confused because the park wasn’t huge or even pretty like Central Park’s Delacourte Theater where Shakespeare in the Park takes place. There wasn’t even a stage! A towering bronze 1920 World War I Soldier and Sailors monument was surrounded by a playground where kids were flouncing and running around.
On Sunday night, I watched the Off-Broadway play, Tales from the Tunnel written and directed by Troy Diana and James Valletti. The title is self-explanatory.
Tales ranged from poignant to hilarious in the same breath.
The actors were outstanding; Vayu O’Donnell embodied every single role he took on – brilliant actor – I know he will go far.
The stage lit up every time Geri Brown took the stage with her MTA attendant stories; I looked forward to her appearance.
Carla Corvo’s accents were absolutely phenomenal – especially the Eastern European woman who kept telling Farah Bala’s character “she should kyck hur ahss.”
Wilson Jermaine Heredia’s take on the Dominican family man who plays an accordion and trumpet, trying to make extra money on the side, was entertaining and colorful. Every time the character was on stage, I wanted to learn more about his character and of course, more of him.
Farah Bala’s portrayal of the Indian woman who was a victim of racism was incredible; the performance was more emotional filled than when I saw the play as a part of The New York International Fringe Festival last year. Absolutely excellent.
And the new edition of Brandon Jones to the cast added a new level of authenticity to the cast.
The ensemble cast work well together; their chemistry was seamless.
For some good entertainment, watch Tales From the Tunnel. It’s a fine way to spend your Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening after a long week of traveling on the subway. It’s a tale you won’t forget.
Last night, I hung out with a friend I made when I was in film production. Every time I hang out with her, I am inspired to create. I feel the same way after a writing workshop, meeting, or panel I attend. Creative people omit energy that can’t be described. I know because I feel it and maybe I omit the same thing too.
On Monday night, I met two women that told me I look like a writer. I’ve never heard me described as a “writer” before. I don’t know what a writer looks like but I was filled with pride and glee. I’ve awakened my creative energy and I’m no longer shying away from my passion. Maybe it’s because I see writing/creativity/imagination in everything now more than ever, and am writing everything down that those women saw that in me? Whatever the case may be, I was proud to be seen as a writer.
Writing is such a solitary activity, ya know? So when you connect with a fellow creative person, you feed off of each other’s energy and push each other to keep going.
I look forward to making the time to create with my friend and other fellow writers. There’s nothing like a collective artistic force banding together and making art.
When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think I would’ve spent the whole afternoon reading a memoir written by Jessica Hendra (book review will be up soon). The most exciting thing about sitting down and reading a well-written book is how involved you become in the story. I did not want to put this book down but alas, I have social engagements awaiting me and also, writing assignments to be completed.
I love how I can use my time however I want, with no disturbances and relax. After a crappy Thursday, my weekend is starting on a high note.
Enjoy your weekend everyone! I sure will!
Friday night, I went to see Lady Gaga in concert. She’s no Madonna but she works the crowd in her own way.
“The Monster Ball will set you free! Follow the glitter way!” she told us at the start of the show.
The theme of the show was her version of Wizard of Oz; instead of going to see the wizard, she was going to the Monster Ball.
Her outfits were outrageous (but not as much as I expected), yes there was blood, a monster, and many many costume changes. I had a blast.
This performance illustrated that Lady Gaga was indeed an artist; she may be known for her antics and persona, but when she sang “Speechless,” she rocked MSG.
She called us her “little monsters” the whole time which was cute; it was quite a performance.
Overall, this little monster is going to “follow my glitter way” and find my own “monster ball” to be set free!