“Mothers” in Spirit

In this world, so many women who go through pain but societal norms force them to bury their emotions. A step further than it not being easy to be a woman is it is not easy to be a mother. Life’s inequality can force your dreams to fall into a thousand pieces. Three plays about three “mothers.” 

Reviews by Mehrunnesa Akter

The-Hunting-Season-poster-SQUARE-300x300.jpgThe Hunting Season by Magaly Coliman
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

“The Hunting Season” is a powerful tale or racism and oppression wrapped in clairvoyance and mysticism. A Haitian mother’s second sight prompts her to protect her family against dire premonitions of their death. Like many tales of faith vs fate, the latter comes out victorious. In Magaly Coliman’s well-acted, well-written work, the mother turned the spiritual page too fast and acted too soon. While the surface is an exploration of spirituality and its boundaries – on this plane and others – the deeper meaning shows us how oppression permeates even our prayers. Coliman’s work is a powerful and well-thought.

ruby-sq-300x300.jpgRuby by Susan Gross
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

We are taught to soldier passed tragedy and to live on. Yes, that is the prevailing message in Ruby. But what about what goes on inside? Susan Gross gives a tour-de-force giving us the battle of ionner emotional pain after a miscarriage – all brought on bya  baby crying! While not a mother (yet), Gross’ tale is one that every woman should see. A journey such as this creates community. I loved every part of this show and learned from its message.

 

PregnantPause-1-300x300.jpgPregnant Pause by Kathleen Jones
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

Pregnant Pause concerns a woman, her personal success, and her marital bliss.  As the fates (maybe the same ones in Hunting Season) have determined that her first Broadway show opening is the same day as her baby-due date.

Planet Connections should be lauded for all these really powerful and compelling stories about women’s struggles – especially motherhood. Kathleen Jones prose were really well-thought, flowed beautifully and seemed made for actress Amie Cazel. her honest, powerful portrayal was simply brilliant to watch and packed a  learning-lesson about life today … and possibly tomorrow.

I simply wanted more.

 

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Veronica Moya: “facilitate a safe space for self contemplation and the rest will follow.”

Veronica-Moya-TV-Set.JPGArt Imitates Life and Life Should Be Savored.

Five Star Arts Journals and Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment will spotlight a series of artists who have devoted themselves to helping people celebrate their lives.

Veronica Moya, an international performer with stage, film, and TV credits heard the call. She tapped into her innate spirituality and combined it with her endless energy and ambition to help those who are lost. Focusing on your people, she is somewhat like a spiritual life coach – helping people tap into their own inner stregeth to move forward. 

Veronica, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. Tell us about yourself as an artist? 

Veronica-Moya-in-Telemundo.JPGMy acting career started when I was 4 years old, back home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was a featured singer in a children’s TV show called “Cantaniños” which aired once a week. I was admitted to the National Academy of Dance (comparable to Juilliard school) when I was 10.

At age 16, I founded a “Children Entertainment Co.” with a couple of classmates. We became very successful and coveted with our upbeat performance. We used to sing and dance for the kids and as soon as parents saw us, they would hire us for their own children’s birthday party. 

I was part of several Theater productions & TV shows back home. including a featured role in “El Verso” starting Luis Brandoni.

But my heart was always on Musical Theater. I came to New York sponsored by a modeling agency, and I started my studies in Musical Theater. I had the good fortune to work with George Morrison, Paul Sills, T. Schreiber &  Liz Caplan as my vocal coach. Among my favorite credits are “Logic of the Birds” performed at Lincoln Center. Carnival (Lili), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), The Wizard of Oz (Glinda) with a bilingual touring Co.  I was part of the Spanish Festival “Candilejas” where I performed comedies such as “Mi novia tiene 3 novios” where I played the female lead, opposite to Spanish mega star Manuel de Sabattini.  

I was also a member of the Enchanted Players, where I was taken under the wing of its founders Regan & Mary Ryzuk incredible writer & composer team who were amazing teachers to me. 

The theater has always been my passion, I was in films as well (El Verso, American Gangster, Sex & the City), but it was never as rewarding as being present with the audience. The communion between the actor and the audience is a feeling impossible to match. When you are on that stage, you truly feel like you are GIVING something, you are being of service. For a couple of hours your audience can be transported somewhere else and forget about their lives for just a little while. You feel like at least for a little bit, you made a difference. 

Impressive! Tell us about yourself as a healer/counselor?

Tarot-reading-at-Namaste.jpgI started my path in the Self-help world almost by accident. I am laughing because as we all know, there are no accidents. I suppose it was always meant to be. As I was waiting for an audition I found a Wisdom Magazine right there on the table in front of me, the first thing I saw was an ad for a “Psychic development Class” at the Edgar Cayce Center. Needless to say, I had no idea who he was or what that center was, but i was pulled to it so I went. The class was taught by Coni Buro, the center was a non-for profit, very warm and friendly organization which was run mostly by volunteers. Before I knew it I became a big part of the Center. I was invited to be a member of the program committee, this group would meet once a week to discuss prospect new classes and guests speaker for the center. I started scouting new talent and people who I thought would be good fit for our audience. 

Before I knew it I was teaching classes myself, offering Tarot Readings and Reiki sessions. I quit my full time job and I started doing readings and healings for a living, a perfect match for my eclectic schedule. I was still acting at the time, and I would get up at 5:00AM to go ice skating and to sign up for auditions at 6:00AM. Yes, that early. The auditions would start at 9:00AM but people were lining up at 6:00AM.

The way everything happened was pretty seamlessly. Just like a domino effect, one thing would always lead to another. I was soon known for my Energy and enthusiasm and my no non-sense style of delivery. 

Other centers took noticed started calling me to teach. I was invited to Holistic centers in Long Island, New Jersey and even to the prestigious Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I was teaching how to read the Tarot cards, and How to develop your intuition. Every class would start with a meditation and I’d always emphasize the importance of clarity of mind and purity of heartwhen embarking in this sort of work.

I would teach them to always make a heart connection with their client, and have ONLY the intention to “be of service”. Your Ego must to be out of the way! You must know and trust that whatever comes to you is information that will be helpful to the inquirer. 
I guess here is how all my theater training ties together with this work. Any Good actor must Become the character they are playing. They can not Act as if, they must become the character, and leave all self analysis aside. Well, doing readings for other people is quite the same, you must detach from your own story (your thoughts, your opinions, your intellect) and become a blank canvas, able to bring forth whatever is presented for them. 

I was doing this work for about 5 or 6 years when I was called by a morning show in Telemundo to give weekly advice to their audience. The show was aired live and it started at 6:00AM so I had to get up super early to be there good & ready to go at 6:00AM. It was a lot of fun! 

After this show I was also interviewed by E entertainment and asked to do an on camera reading for Candice Kumai. I was part of the documentary The Many sad Faits of Mr. Toledano created by Joshua Seftel and presented by the New York Times. I’ve done readings for explorer Fabien Cousteau, Joan Dangerfield, and some football players as well as business people here in New York City.

What do you look for in people to know if they need your help? 

Excellent question! I am NOT a fortune teller. And I simply can not work with people who are accustom to consulting readers in a regular basis. 

My intention is always to Be of Service and to ultimately inspire and encourage people to lead a happier life.

So the most important thing I do look for in a client is their ability to take responsibility for the unfolding of their life. I am happy to give advice, encouragement, and guidance. Sometime we all need a push, but  I can not work with victims. I am here to empower the brave, not to coddle the weak. Jason Marshall wrote an article about this very subject about 10 years ago, I had my ex husband’s last name at the time: http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/1562/

Was there one incident or something in your life that you feel put you on this path? 

Yes, I never talk about this because it sounds strange. I was born “remembering” where I came from. Yes, and I don’t mean remembering a past life. I mean being completely aware of my truth & my essence as a Spirit. 

Landed on this earth with a clear understanding of the downgrade I had just undertaken. Life on Earth is not great, but that’s mostly because people don’t know who they truly are. If they did, I am sure they would have a much more positive outlook and therefore a better outcome in their experience.

But here I was, an old, old Spirit in a world of contrast and challenges. I found that I was able to clearly see things that others didn’t. This can be quite frustrating, and lonely. Many facts of life were SO Obvious to me that I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that other seemingly intelligent, and much more mature people, didn’t see. Why can’t they see that? Don’t they know it’s going to go down this way? Or That way? Or whatever way..? 

I realized that I was able to read patterns (that’s what I call it). No, I don’t hear voices, and I don’t see any images, or Spirits or anything like that. I simply KNOW. I can look at a situation or a person and describe in great detail what they are about (how they feel, what they think, their highs, their lows) and what is most likely to happen. 

I’ll be honest, I was a cranky little girl growing up. Very impatient and frustrated with everybody. Also bossy and of course assertive. But, wouldn’t you be?

This is why I LOVE to work with children today! If they are silently going through what I went through, then of course I understand their Frustration. 

Of course they will have tantrums, of course they will be impatient. It’s not because they are being spoiled now. It’s because they WERE spoiled before they came here.

See? We all experience wholeness and bliss before we are called to become humans again. A child will naturally have a hard time adapting to this life; specially when connecting with all the anxiety, worry and fear from their parents. It’s a hard transition and really difficult to understand. 

Who is your main clientele – who do you help the most? 

Meditation-Class-with-Veronica-Moya.JPGToday my main clientele is young people. I specialize in Children and teens. It is imperative that they learn the power of their minds and the reach of their thoughts. 

When they figure out how much power they have over their lives, they gain a new perspective. They become more optimistic and purposeful. 

I love spending time with young children because they Get It! I don’t have to convince them of their power or how special they are. They already know. So my job is to make sure they never forget. 

And with that end, I developed “Self-Aware Child” which is a meditation practice designed specially for children. It allows them to experience wholeness and bliss just by closing their eyes and using their imagination.  We have different meditations for different situations. So they can have a nice toolbox of good and healthy resources for when they are feeling anxious, sad, worried or simply feeling awkward in front of their peers. 

I also do one-on-one consultations which are SO, so, SOOOO rewarding and fun to do!! I found that I am very effective at guiding teens, and young adults, on choosing a career that will be gratifying both financially & emotionally at a personal level. 

Tell us about the world and how you feel we can survive it. 

I personally don’t have any big problems with  the World. The only thing that I find harmful is our thoughts. The collective consciousness needs to change and the focus of our existence should certainly shift from this FEAR Based reality to a trusting and allowing mentality. After all, we are indeed responsible for everything so, if we don’t like something, we should simply disengage. Don’t participate. As they say, it takes 2 to Tango. So don’t. Thing that we don’t give our attention to ceases to exist.   

Art-proyect-Veronica-Moya.JPGPeople use the expression “A perfect world” … to a spiritual person like you, what is a perfect world? 

A perfect world is one where every person is satisfy with themselves. Everybody is self confident, self loving, and proud to be who they are. Because they’d experience true contentment and peace, there would be no anger, conflict, or hostility towards others. 

I find that most of our problems are originated in the need to fill a void that’s inside; and everyone tries to fill it while focusing on events happening outside of themselves. It’s a never anding story. It can’t be done. The only way to find true happiness is by Loving the perfect expression of yourself.  Too tall, too short, too fat, too..? Who cares? Whatever you are, however you are, you came from perfection and you are perfect. 

Self acceptance is the key! 

Where do you see yourself in a year … 10 years … beyond

In a few years I see myself in a big house by the beach in San Diego. I don’t know why (I’ve never been to san Diego and I don’t even know I would like it) but I have had that recurrent image for years now. LOL

I am presently working on my fist book for children, which could easily become a series of books. So in a few years I hope to have inspired and encourage a larger number of young minds to be fearless and enjoy this life to the fullest. I would also like to be founder of a learning center dedicated to the True Development of the human mind, highlight on the Intuitive. 

Final thoughts?

Final thoughts are Thank you for taking the time to learn about me and my work. My last words would be to most parents, who worry so much about their children, I want them to remember that their kids are not as helpless and defenseless as they might think. They are powerful souls that came through to have a human experience, and if given the chance they can truly soar as human beings. 

Don’t teach them too much about Spirituality, they already know. Simply facilitate a safe space for self contemplation and the rest will follow. 

Learn More about Veronica Moya

 

On the P.A.T.H. of Mary Micari

 

Art Imitates Life and Life Should Be Savored.

Five Star Arts Journals and Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment will spotlight a series of artists who have devoted themselves to helping people celebrate their lives.

Mary Elizabeth Micari has developed a new method of vocal training that strengthens your voice… and you.

The MCenter Vocal Academy in Manhattan provides focused, entertaining, enriching vocal performance classes & lessons. Each student will receive a full portfolio of audition songs as well as learn the essentials of stage technique, musicianship, music history and theory.

What sets this above others of its kind is the fact that it is ONE-OF-A-KIND. Ms. Micari has created a new teaching method. You’ve tried Stanislavski, you’ve tried Meisner. Now, get on the P.A.T.H.

Performing Arts Training-HOLISTICALLY, created by Mary E. Micari, this method includes meditation, aromatherapy, Reiki, fear-removal and personal empowerment.

 

For more information, please contact:
MCenterPath@gmail.com • 646-338-5472 • the-M-center.com

Meantime, let’s chat with the founder for a few moments.

38391794_10155338477161567_2364480458244227072_nMary, it’s good to have you back at DQ for an interview. We know about your wildly successful cabaret and your on-going vaudeville series, now tell us about M Center

The M Center was formed way back in 2000. I began teaching at the Jan Hus Playhouse 74th and 1st Ave.  I had a group of women engaged in a work called GAIA (Girl Artists Innovating Art) and it branched out into voice, movement and acting lessons for theater professionals as well as Opera Singers. Genesis Repertory Ensemble was working in that space and  (I was a founder) had both a classical stage division and an operatic division.  We had a large company and that is where I began it all. Later I  opened a little store front studio near my home in Brooklyn and eventually moved that to a large church in my neighborhood where the M Center is now housed. We have different types of people we work with from all age groups.  Right now, I am opening a studio on the Upper West Side where I studied in my youth. 

That’s great. Yes, you’re at a studio that’s frequented by opera professionals and run by a colleague from  your operatic days. Elaborate, tell us about Mary the artist.  

I am a singer and an actress. I am also a bit of a dabbler in composition, sound and music work for sacred meditation and empowerment and a bit of a  writer.

How is your program/school/curriculum different? 

My private lessons are semi-traditional in that I studied and used old techniques with my teachers from the Bel Canto (beautiful singing) technique of Opera which I blend with my first technique, the Stanley method, which centers around proper phonation and the physiology of the voice.  I also teach all genres of music and of singing and believe that every singer can and should sing every type of music. I show students how to place their voice and use it to create different styles safely. I am very much about keeping the voice healthy and working into very old age and very cautious about working with singers who are too young or not fully grown.  Classes are more geared towards performance and songs are treated like monologues that need to be fleshed out and made full. Of course, vocal technique is always in the front of all I do as well.

What do you bring to the table that you might not find in other schools? 

I am not only a singer but also have studied different healing and spiritual techniques that I use in teaching to release fear, open a student’s mind to music, to their potential and to the sacredness in all singing and sound.  I am certified in Sound and Music healing which I use to help students center, release the voice and find characterizations through movement.  I am a Reiki Master (hands on energy healing from Japan) and use that to move blockage in the mind and body.  I am also an herbalist, aromatherapist and Bach flower healer.  I can show singers how to prevent illness and use plants to heal from illness as well as add strength and power to their body, mind and spirit. I use meditation techniques as well. I am also very well versed in the physiology of the body as it pertains to sound production. 

I remember the play at 13th Street and thought that was innovative.  You include a performance at the end. Is that usual? Is yours unusual somehow?  

We always get singers up in front of an audience as often as possible.  I think some schools to this but for me this is the reason to take a class and show the world what you can do. We offer video and photographs to students after shows and presentations and also have a full press service getting their names on the internet, in articles and reviews. My school is a great place to get ready for a big career in the theater, cabaret, auditions and more.

Maybe I’ll come by for a lesson. Thanks, Mary! 

37669751_10155657252038873_8280785590518022144_n

Brute Force

Thanksgiving Brutes.jpgThe Brutes-part of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity 2018 at the Clemente

Review by Jen Bush

Barrymore, Baldwin and Booth.  These are just some names that conjure up thoughts of some of the most distinguished acting dynasties known to stage and screen.  Another commonality of equal notoriety is scandal.  Each family has had its share of scathing occurrences but none so tragic as the one associated with the Booths.

The Brutes takes us back in time to the auspicious occasion of the singular evening that all three brothers, John, Brutus Jr. and Edwin shared the stage together.  It was the one and only time they publicly performed together.  The production was Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  The performance was a benefit at New York’s Winter Garden Theater to raise money to erect a statue of William Shakespeare in Central Park.  The true drama took place behind the scenes as tension mounted among the siblings.  How ironic that a play fraught with conflict and political discord would be the one performed by the brothers who were also riddled with conflict.  A play with an assassination of a significant political figure that foreshadowed the tragic reality of what was to come.

As the play progresses, we see a tension filled Thanksgiving dinner.  There is jealousy and political disagreement among the brothers.  Asia Booth Clark, the sister of the Booth brothers and husband of the company manager John Sleeper Clarke adds more conflict by flitting about flirtatiously.  We see the plotting and unfolding of lethal plans of confederate sympathizers who will soon be joined by John Wilkes Booth.   A character who was likely not present on the night of the production but who was present in the play was the patriarch of the acting family, Junius Brutus Booth Sr.

It is challenging enough for an actor to breathe credible life into the part of an average individual.  Accomplishing this in a period piece with a little Shakespearean dialogue thrown into the mix is a lofty endeavor for any thespian.  This cast rose to the occasion and produced a thoroughly believable period piece.  Adam Belvo did an outstanding job of portraying Edwin Booth.  He was unwavering in his discipline and highly effective in his delivery of the most successful of the brothers.  John Hardin’s complex,  layered and intense portrayal of one of the most famous assassins in history, John Wilkes Booth was riveting.  Mick O’Brien gave a forceful, moving and dramatic portrayal of the ghost of Junius Brutus Booth.  Bravo to Sara Fellini for brilliantly wearing a plethora of hats for this production.  She was director, costume and prop designer while effortlessly and expertly played the part of the whimsical and coquettish Asia Booth Clarke.

While there is humor peppered throughout, this is a dark and heavy play with grave subject matter. We see some finely executed Shakespeare with snippets of a play within a play.  The costumes were exquisite and well suited to the cast.  The props were cleverly made and versatile.  The steamer trunk was a thing of beauty.  Seats on all four sides of the stage served to draw the audience closer to the action facilitating deeper engagement.  Between Casey Wimpee’s script using language of a time long past coupled with the exceptional acting, it felt as if we were transported directly to the 1800’s and truly witnessing the brothers Booth and the tormented ghost of their father.  It seems fitting to conclude with a quote from Edwin Booth himself.  “But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls.”

Winner at the Poles!

Pole-300x300You Hold a Pole Everyday

Written by Laura Sisskin

Planet Connections Festivity

@The Clemente

107 Suffolk Street

NYC

Reviewer: Veronica Romero

 

You Hold a Pole Everyday was a very energetic, entertaining and relatable show. It brings you to places many find easy to remember like the first time you asked for a training bra when you didn’t need one and many others. It was very amusing, but it also had some deep meaning as well. Sisskin speaks of her sexual abuse and explains how she found comfort in pole dancing. She uses it as an expression of her pain and she makes herself feel better about it, by doing so she teaches others how to embrace themselves and most importantly how their body should be used to express themselves and how to take control of the body and the emotions used.

Laura Sisskin both writer and performer did a wonderful job. I was very impressed. She transitioned from different characters in and out of dancing and singing. She executed all the characters very well and it was a great story and so well orchestrated.

I really loved the meaning behind this play. It helps to make women feel more comfortable in their body embracing it showing how to love it no matter what. The combination of many elements well sewn together made this play what it was…amazing.

In America, everyone is a lesbian!

Peace Camp Org.

Written by Mariam Bazeeb

Fresh Fruit Festival

The Wild Project

195 East 3rd Street

NYC

Review by Nusrat Hossain

 

Politics. The cause of peace … and destruction.  The politics behind the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel is one such instance. The Palestine and Israeli war began with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. After World War II. The Jewish people, having been uprooted from their homes by the Nazi’s in Germany and other countries did not have an established home to go to and the state of Israel was formed to provide one. They were given a large part of Palestine, which they considered their traditional home. However, the Arabs who already lived there and in neighboring countries felt that was unfair and didn’t accept the new country. Anger and chaos ensued.  

This play focuses on an Egyptian Muslim girl named Mariam. Mariam lives a life with her disabled mother, her overbearing uncle and a girl she occasionally hooks up with. Mariam dreams of getting away from the miserable walls of her mom’s apartment. She decides to go to a “peace building” camp in Maine, USA. The peace camp organization turns out to be a Zionist organization that changes her life forever. Through the organization, she ends up finding a hidden talent of singing. She is offered a scholarship for her singing along with a ticket out of her country.  

Peace Camp Org by Mariam Bazeed is a cleverly written piece that sheds light onto a topic not heavily discussed in social media. She sheds light on what it is like living in a strict Muslim household, where being lesbian is taboo and a great sin. Where girls are not given as much freedom as men, and where you are bound by society, family and religious expectations. One of my favorite lines in the play was, “She’ll come back to you a lesbian! In America, everyone is a lesbian!” Mariam’s story shows how completely different a person’s life can be from yours, but at the same time completely alike. Peace Camp Org stirs empathy in all audiences, especially the ones that can relate. I encourage all audiences to catch a glimpse of “Peace Camp Org”. This witty play filled with raw passion will surely capture your heart and leave you something to think about.  

BIRTH

pregnant-pause-ts-2-of-2-1PREGNANT PAUSE

Written by Kathleen Jones

Planet Connections Festivity

@The Clemente

107 Suffolk Street

NYC

Review by Amanda Kavaja

Amy Cazel stood at the crossroads in Kathleen Jones’ engaging and well-written one-person tome about a woman standing on the line between family and career. Regardless of strides for equality, this seems not to change. 

Amie Cazel did a wonderful job creating a reality essential to the execution of her character (some one-person pieces can get away with a sense of demonstration) and the hard decision she is forced to make. She showed us a gamut of emotions: frustration to fear; disappointment, regret, deep deep sadness all tied to a bright energy that allowed us to be voyeurs on her journey. 

The look at the future of this character by Jones was fascinating. No one can ever really see (except in hindsight) how decisions pan-out. It was interesting to hear common inner thoughts like “will my body ever be the same shape again?” and others that most women face when considering children.

Cazel should be praised for her depth. During the performance, it was hard to not notice the many women in the audience tearing up. The dialogue and its delivery spoke volumes. 


This play gave me the chance to see what making such a strong decision was like. 

The Dark Side

girlmirror_icon-300x290 (1).jpgGIRL IN THE MIRROR

Written by Nicoletta Mandriotti

Planet Connections Festivity @The Clemente

107 Suffolk Street, NYC

Review by Amanda Kavaja

 

 

This brief dance piece about a woman’s darker side as depicted by a battle between the inner works and that of the daily face was engrossing and – in so many ways – inspiring. The simple-yet-clever dance revolves around a woman and her love for herself and the other “not so nice parts.” Six women in white symbolize the goodness within her and two women wearing black clothing stand behind her … waiting.

Cemre Su Salur displayed utter poise and demonstrated a sense of still strength. Her dancing clearly expressed the way she felt always and she showed us great fear as she began shaking once the two women wearing black told her what she could and could not accomplish. The depth of emotion actually made it difficult to watch her sally through such torture, as the darker characters seemingly got the best of her. But Cemre Su Salur embodied her character with a fortitude to help her weather through. Tatiana Ronderos joined to express the opposing view by evoking Su Salur’s inner child and the innocence left inside. This gave us hope that the bright side would prevail. Tatiana Ronderos was marvelous as the younger version of the character.  Victoria Ric and Antonia-Sophia Scholz were subtle but ominous as the women in black. Representing the evil in her, creating life’s “plot twists.” Melissa Monconduit, Cat Grey, Franlis Rodriguez, Marissa Graham, Charom Seerra, and Carly Pecora, all chanting, humming and physical actions which remained in sync and organized when moving was wonderful to watch.

In the end, Su Salur did a wonderful job of portraying a woman [possibly] at a crossroads accessing her deepest thought to reveal her truest self. This all-woman performance was truly beautiful and apropos in this time when a woman’s identity is – once again – in question. The style of clothing was very chic and simple, revealing the simplicity of non-simplicity. Lighting – a simply use of fades and red gels, had a life of its own and the mesmerizing music was melancholy, moving and dark.  I hope that this dance will be highly recognized and deserves to be seen by many more people. Lovely piece. I was very happy to have attended.

Ruby: A Real Gem

susangross_icon-150x150.jpgRuby By Susan Gross

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

The Clemente, The Latea Theatre

Reviewed by Alexa Garcia

 

 

This emotion-packed tale would probably make you cry if it wasn’t for the clever bits of humor peppering this one-person narrative about a women’s journey post-miscarriage. We go along for this ride as she tries to cope with her grief, body issues and anxiety. Ruby (played with command and sincerity by author Susan Gross) takes us on a roller coaster ride trying to get past the confusion ensuing after the loss of her impending child. She tries to understand the loss, coupled with her continued desire to have a child while being surrounded by women who seem to have it all.

Both written and solo-performed by Susan Gross and directed by Jake Lipman, this show has seen many venues in its life – Virginia, Boston and New York City. Gross managed to tell an engrossing tale relatable to many on many levels.

Ruby delivers the kind of punch that connects you to its topic and gives you a powerful night in the theatre. Tongue in Cheek Theatre is known for presenting works of this caliber … you will laugh, you will cry, you will learn.  

 

Sweet!

BloodSugar_Icon-300x300.jpgBlood/Sugar written and performed by Diana Wyenn

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

Reviewed by Waeza Jagirdar

 

Blood/Sugar, based on a true story, written and performed by Diana Wyenn, and shares with us the tale of Type I Diabetes. Considering the fact that no one in her family ever had diabetes, nor has she ever met anyone who ever did, she has to face the harsh truth and accepting the reality alone per se.

 

Throughout this play, we discover the not-so-sweet facts about Diabetes and how it’s not seen as one of the important diseases in the United States – but should be. Although, we spend about 700 billion dollars every year for diabetes, majority of Congress believe diabetes came from obesity and that it’s a problem that we’ve created among ourselves. However, that isn’t true. Among the people in the U.S that have diabetes, more than 15% have it through other means. Many of the people, just like Wyenn, may have diabetes but not know about it due to the fact that 9 out of 10 don’t know they have pre-diabetes. It’s an alarming situation for everyone and the statistics aren’t helping the case. Type I Diabetes is rarer than the Type II variety. Wyenn is one of those rare people. She has an insulin pump around her hips and this helps her maintain a stable amount of insulin to go through. Nonetheless, she still has to deal with the problem of putting in the right amount of insulin, not too much or not too less because she could end up killing herself. Seriously.

Overall, this informative play about Diabetes brought great awareness to the circumstances. Through Wyenn’s fine acting and expert writing, I feel as though I’ve learned a tremendous amount. I will look at my own afflicted family members now in a new light.

What better compliment can I give except I think I need to get checked.