Columnist Inola McGuire attended select programs at the 2016 FRESH FRUIT FESTIVAL at the Wild Project.
“The production allowed the audience to get its money worth of pleasure to cherish for a very long time.”
The first performance that I saw was the Compagnia KÖRPER perform their signature full length work “Aesthetica-esercizio n ͦ 1” – directed by Gennaro Cimmino.
The audience sees the first dancer as he enters the stage in a crawling position, and the other dancers follow him in the same manner to the stage. All of them listen to a particular sound of beeps to alert the arrival of text messages. The dancers’ performance allows the audience to reflect for a quick second on the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre group. As the dancers move forward with their tailor-made presentation, their clothing become less and less on stage. At one point in the show, some of the dancers change the colors of their designer briefs; and they gyrate to the music.
Most of the dancers rotate their time on the stage as they move to the music, and some of them provide the Chip and Dale fantasy for the audience. The movements of the dancers serve as a prelude to late-night encounters. Each dancer parades his stuff to the audience and it savors the performance with elation. It was a moment of euphoria for the audience. The dancers repeat their crawling on the floor of the stage, and they exhibit an all-out fantasy as an overture the audience.
The production allowed the audience to get its money worth of pleasure to cherish for a very long time. I will recommend this show to theatre goers who enjoy this type of theatre.
“I will recommend this show to theatre goers who want to experience theatre at its best.”
The second performance that I saw is “Chance” written by Richard Isen, directed by Jonathan Cerullo, assistant director, Seth Rettberg, stage managed by Vanessa Wendt, produced by Anne Nygren Doherty, The Band: Evan Alparone, piano; Paul Davis, Drums; Steve Milhouse, Bass; starring Craig Sculli, Matt ZanFagna, Courter Simmons, Calli McCrae, and Casey Bagnall.
The audience sees the band on stage and two dress-alike attendants join them. The attendants move the extra lights on stage around, and they stand on both sides of the singer, The Lady, who entertains the audience. With a quick shift in scenes, the Lady plays a doctor and she attends to a male character, Gregory, in a hospital gown over his clothes. He stands up and then he sits up in a melancholy states of mind. He talks about his strange life with a spirit guide. Chance enters the stage and he sings in unison with the Lady and Gregory.
Gregory goes back to his mundane life, and he communicates online with Chance. The Lady encourages Gregory to explore his options on Social media. Chance and Gregory meet in a public location, and Chance tells him all about his going rate of $200.00 per hour. The singers perform another rendition in songs.
Chance and Gregory meet for their rendezvous and Gregory freezes up, and Chance advises him that romance is costly. Chance gives Gregory a blow-by-blow detail of his personal history, and Gregory reminds him that his lifestyle may warrant a visit to the doctor’s office. There is a little more singing to entertain the audience. Chance lets Gregory know how the economic gap in society creates the Have’s and the Have-nots’ in many social circles. The ambiance at the bar and the drinks force Gregory to take a chance with Chance, and he takes him to his apartment. Their time together is interrupted! Gregory experiences a heart attack, and Chance takes his wallet and his watch and leaves him for dead without calling 9-1-1.
Miraculously, Gregory survives his heart attack, and the Lady reenters his life. Gregory reveals the pain and the disappointments in his life before his heart attack. He reminisces about his life with his former lover before he disappeared from his life and died. Gregory tells the Lady that he wants to forgive Chance. Chance and Gregory meet and they try to explain their individual position to each other. Gregory tries to express himself to Chance. In return, Chance offers to give Gregory his watch back, and he refuses to accept it.
Gregory returns to his apartment and he talks to the Lady about his meeting with Chance. The Lady advises him that Chance knows where he lives. Chance shows up at Gregory’s apartment, and he shows him compassion. This time around, Chance places Gregory’s watch on his wrist. Gregory gets the opportunity to care for Chance which allows the Have-not and the Have to form a mutual friendship. The union between these two men from different worlds is celebrated in songs, one more time, for the benefit of their new found unification. It delivers a warm feeling that permeates the audience with an ecstatic mood.
The writer gets his message across to the audience, for he highlights the perils and benefits for people getting together with their excess baggage. I will recommend this show to theatre goers who want to experience theatre at its best.
“… the best out of both worlds.”
The third performance that I saw is “Always Plenty of Light at Starlight All Night Diner” written by Darcy Parker Bruce, directed by J. Mehr Kaur, stage managed by Cynthia Claudio; starring Lena Wilson, Siobhan McManamon, Jaime Rossow, and Michael Vernon Davis.
The audience looks at the stage and it sees the setting of a diner in a remote location. The employees at the diner are Jessa, a pregnant worker, and Sam, her coworker. Jessa unburdens herself of her dissatisfaction with her husband to her, and when she feels a pain in one of her feet, Jessa asks Sam to rub her feet for her! Sam complies to the rubbing of Jessa’s feet. Dr. Moxie and Danni rush into the diner with a lot of papers in their hands, and they commander the table at the diner with their theory about an imminent danger of Asteroids traveling towards earth.
Danni sorts some of the papers on the floor, and Sam tries to convince her that she must not be so devoted to Dr. Moxie. Jessa brings a piece of pie to Dr. Moxie! Sam is clueless! She doesn’t understand what’s going on! Danni leaves the diner, and Sam investigates Dr. Moxie’s papers on the table. Danni returns with a box! Next, she plays with an item in a glass jar. Jessa gives Dr. Moxie more coffee in his cup. Despite all of the activities in the diner, Jessa finds the time to compliment Sam on her commitment to the cleaning of the diner. Sam pours out her heart to Jessa without mentioning her love for her. Jessa reveals a little about her emotional mind set while she’s at the diner, but Danni interrupts their deep and meaningful conversation.
Danni speaks to her mom via her cellular telephone, and her mother reminds her about the appropriate hair style, the proper clothing and a pair of suggested shoes that are adequate for her. Jessa hears Danni’s response to her mother, and she tells her that her husband is leaving her. Danni tries to convince Jessa to disclose this information to Sam. Jessa avoids the question! She asks Danni if she and Dr. Moxie are an item. Danni gets a reprieve from Jessa’s line of questioning, for Dr. Moxie asks for a fresh cup of coffee.
The audience observes the drama as it unfolds on stage among the performers. Jessa leaves the stage! Sam and Danni communicate with together. Dr. Moxie helps himself with more pie from the counter! Jessa’s cries from off stage vibrate on stage for Sam and Danni to hear, and they run to her rescue. By the time they return with Jessa to the stage, Dr. Moxie sits on the chair motionless. The women are not aware of Dr. Moxie’s death until moments later. Jessa tells Danni where to find a blanket to cover him. They cover Dr. Moxie with the blanket. Danni says to the ladies that Dr. Moxie is family, and Sam replies that we’re all family! Danni loses it with grief over the sudden death of Dr. Moxie, and Sam tries to comfort her before she leaves the stage.
Jessa’s baby moves in her belly, and she shares the information with Sam. Jessa makes inquiries about the Asteroids, and she voices her concerns about the impending fallout of an Asteroid if it lands in the ocean and floods the subway system. Sam takes off her top and she shows Jessa her body. Jessa tells Sam how she loves her, too. Danni returns to the diner, and she sees Jessa and Sam in a very emotional embrace. The audience witnesses the first kiss between Jessa and Sam, and it resonates a sense of jubilation for all to appreciate as adults.
The writer gets the message across to the audience because in life some people refuse to verbalize how they feel about certain people they are attracted to sexually. It is safer to be cautious before one reveals his or her soul to the other person. Both characters, Jessa and Sam have played with their food before they eat it.
The reviewer’s point of view: I believe that Jessa’s character is a great manipulator because in my opinion, she played on Sam’s emotion for a very long time. Her very needy personality is a conscious effort on her part to draw Sam closer to her. She played on Sam’s emotions. Jessa’s stories about her husband’s short comings could have been a fabrication in her dossier of deception. She wanted to become Sam’s lover for quite some time, but she had to prolong the process and get the best out of both worlds.
“It is a must-see performance and I recommend it to theatre goers.”
The fourth performance that I saw is “The Fierce Urgency of Now” written by Doug DeVita, directed by Dennis Corsi, assistant director, William Spinnato, production stage managed by, Sidney Golden; Matthew Jellison, Steven Hauck, Teresa Kelsey, Carole Monferdini, Paloma Pilar, Voice-Overs, Victoria Z. Daly, Mary Leggio, and Stephen K. Weisbrot.
The audience witnesses a break up between two men, a younger man, Kyle and his an older partner, Neil. In the next scene, Kyle discusses his love life with his supervisor, Kate; and she voices her opinion about Neil. He’s not one of her favorite coworkers, and Kate reminds Kyle that it is not a good idea to shit where you eat. In other words, the bathroom and the kitchen can’t be the same room. It is October 31, and it is Halloween in New York City. Kate wants Kyle to go out and enjoy the parade. Within all of the small talk between Kate and Kyle, she tells him of the imminent changes in their department.
Kyle has to work with an older employee by the name of Dodo, and her reputation precedes her. Kate may request to purchase some pampers to appease both of them. Kyle may settle for the brand to accommodate babies, and Dodo may have to compromise her pride for the Depends. Their working relationship develops and they work on the company’s Citi Bank account. Dodo knows the ins-and-out of the JWT’s account. JWT means J. Walter Thompson.
Neil visits Kyle in his office and he gives him some fatherly advice about his supervisor. Kyle has to be very astute and mindful of Kate’s charm, for her flattery is just a trick to disarm the other person. Kyle doesn’t want to cooperate with Kate. Meryl comes into his office while he’s on the telephone with Kate. The disagreement is all about Kate’s decision to assign him to the Marriott’s account, for Angela is on vacation. The company request Kyle to attend its company’s Christmas party in Washington, DC. The audience witnesses the drama in Kyle’s office. Dodo and Meryl introduce themselves.
Dodo and Kyle exchange small talk until some pertinent information surface. His parents were on the Pan Am Flight 103 that crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Dodo reveals to him that she’s a pilot, and she had to hide her age when she got her job. Kyle’s nickname becomes known to the audience. His mom called him Ace! There is a genuine bond being developed between Dodo and Kyle.
Kate sits in her office and Neil enters, and she calls him out on his mishandling of the company’s business. Neil blackmails Kate to total submission, for he has enough dirt on her to fill a New York City garbage truck on trash day. She calls for her reinforcement. Up until this time, Meryl is ignorant to the fact that she’s being used by Kate. There has to be three o’clock meeting. The prospective attendees are Kyle, Dodo and Kate. Kate likes the ad, but Kyle has to do his magic with the white space on the proofs. Kate tells Kyle all about the ad spots that are slated to be shot in the Los Angeles area in California. He’s afraid of flying!
Kate and her subordinates are in the conference room discussing the company’s business. Anita voices her personal opinions about the creative team, and the group overhears her comments. Through Dodo and Kate, the situation was contained for a brief moment. Kate complains to Meryl on the way to Washington, DC in the Delta Shuttle. Kate claims that Neil and Kyle got their jobs through their family connection.
Meryl, Kate and Kyle meet up at the Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC; and they communicate with each other. They leave the fireworks on the job in New York City. There is no guarantee how long the truce is going to last among the employees.
Back in New York City, Neil and Kyle meet up at a bar. Kyle tells Neil he has a date, but Neil wants to have dinner with him. Kyle asks him about his wife, and Neil informs him that his wife is away with her Boy-toy lover. Neil takes Kyle’s cellular telephone and he tells Kate all about his rendezvous with her star subordinate.
Kyle is at Dodo’s place and she talks about her life outside of the office with him. She gets Kyle to divulge his career choice, his dreams when he was a child. Before the dreadful air disaster in 1988 with Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; Kyle wanted to become a pilot. Dodo tries to convince him that he’s trying to stifle his dreams. She lets him know about her health scare a few years earlier, and with hesitation she tells him that the disease is back. Kyle agrees to keep her secret! Kyle wants to fly with Dodo on New Year’s Day.
Kyle is in his office and Kate enters. Her sole purpose is to collect his work. Soon after, the office becomes the epicenter for office politics. Dodo and Neil enter the office. Then, Kyle and Neil discuss their friends with benefits status that generate a special interest from the audience.
Kyle and Dodo meet Kate in the conference room. Neil comes into the room with very thick binders. He states that Benjamin Moore is going to cover all of the cost to categories movies for a particular network. He lets the cat out of the bag in terms of promotion in the company. Neil states that rumor has it that Meryl and Anita are going to be promoted to VP status. The first concept of the movie is due in one week. Dodo gets out of her comfort zone. Kate tells Kyle that Angela will be getting his office. Kyle is angry and Dodo tries her best to calm him down. In the meantime, Meryl eavesdrops on them. Meryl enters the room and she tries to help Kyle. She comforts him, and he confesses his emotional baggage to her. He reminisce about his last encounter with his parents, for he didn’t give them a descent goodbye. His mother had intention to be back for Christmas. Kyle gets back to reality! He suggests to send his work over to Angela. Meryl tells him to apologize to Dodo.
Kyle goes to Columbia University Medical Center with Dodo for her medical treatment. They discuss movies. She tells him to watch the movie, Gone With The Wind. Kate calls Kyle on his cellular telephone and he refuses to answer it. Kyle and Dodo decide to use color by the decades in order to categorize the classic movies. Kate may not agree with them!
The audience sees Kate and Meryl in Saks Fifth Avenue store shopping for an evening dress. Meryl tries on a long evening dress as she and Kate discuss the company’s business and her manipulation on Kyle’s professional life. Meryl doesn’t like Kate’s behavior, and Kate makes her case and she reminds Meryl of all that she had done to help her. Meryl takes off the dress and she leaves it on the floor. She refuses to accept Kate’s hand-me-downs.
Kyle and Dodo discuss their presentation in the room. Dodo gets a call! She talks to her doctor via her cellular telephone. Meryl tells Kyle what Kate did to him. Kyle throws yellow paint on Kate. Meryl, Neil, and Dodo take pictures of Kate with their cellular telephone. Kate gets her just dessert.
The audience sees Neil and Kyle at the O’Lunney’s bar having drinks. Their topic of discussion is all about Dodo for a brief moment. Kyle reflects on his mother. The next chat happens to be about Neil and his wife Bev. Neil married the boss’s daughter. Neil shares the burning truth that his wife loves someone else. Kyle doesn’t want Neil’s help, and he refuses his offer and promises. Kyle wants to be there for Dodo.
With anticipation, the audience witnesses Kyle and Dodo at the Teterboro Airport. Kyle is going to learn how to fly an airplane. Dodo calls Kyle, ACE. He has taken his first step towards realizing his dreams from his childhood.
The writer’s message surely resonates with the audience, for the most unlikely characters become more than friends for each other. There are lessons to be learned in the entire show. The character of Meryl finds her way without the aid of Kate. Neil realizes that he can’t eat his cake and have it, too. It is a must-see performance and I recommend it to theatre goers.
The reviewer’s point of view: The character of Kate represents the dog-eat-dog environment in the world of work. However, the audience can identify with the characters of Kyle and Dodo; for despite their generation gap, they brought out the best in each other. Dodo has experience and time on her side. Whereas, Kyle is the new kid on the block, and he is still rough around the edges. It is very important to give peace a chance in this world.