Bless this Confess-ion

INOLA ON THE AISLE @ MITF: FALL
Jewel Box Theatre @ Workshop Theatre Company
312 West 36th Street, 4nd Floor, New York, NY
On Friday, November 06, 2015

confess“The Confession” by Mary S. Ryzuk, directed by Mary S. Ryzuk; and starring Richard Maloy and Jeffrey Foote.

The stage setting gives the audience a confirmation that it is in a church environment. There is a well-decorated table with a candle stick and a chalice that sit on it. The performance begins when a priest enters the stage and he kneels down in front of the table. Suddenly, Arnie runs into the church. He startles the priest, and the priest picks up a baseball bat to defend himself. Arnie explains the purpose for his intrusion to the priest. He confesses that he had a vision that he’s going to die at midnight. The priest instructs him to go to the hospital.

Arnie responds to the priest that you can’t fool fate. He gives the priest a summation of his vision. The priest is not too happy to hear most of what Arnie has to say to him. However, Arnie continues to tell the priest that he was pushed around by others since his childhood; and even God is pushing him around now. The priest listens to Arnie as he continues to enlighten him about the type of guy he has been throughout his life. Arnie states to the priest that he became an educated man, and he acquired degrees in order to avoid living in poverty. He expounds further how he did everything against what other people had to say about him not being able to do. Arnie explains that criticism from others became his source of energy and determination.

The priest listens attentively to Arnie for a while before he asks him about the time of night. The audience laughs after the priest’s response. The priest informs him that he’s not Westminster Abbey or the Big Ben. For those people who may not know, he’s referring to the big clock in London, England. Arnie needs to see a clock or watch in order for him to check the time of night.

The priest finds out from the man that he is afraid of the dark, and he tries to instruct Arnie as to the procedures before a confession is heard by him or another priest. The priest says to the man that a few Hail Marys’ and some other words are appropriate before his confession. This is new to Arnie because he is not familiar with the Catholic doctrine. The man tries to tell the priest about a classmate of his during his earlier years in school, and how this guy used confession in order to gain absolution although he was a very bad youth. The priest tries to find out more information about Arnie, and he tells him about his experiences in a church. Arnie states that his mother was a very religious woman, and while he was in church with her, he hid behind the church’s organ and he damaged his ear drum. Arnie enlightens the priest that he was very much ashamed of his mother’s behavior in the church.

The man sits on the chair and he realizes that his watch was in his pocket. The priest finds his watch, too; and he looks at the time. The thought of death still looms in the mind of Arnie and he gets up off the chair. The priest takes a seat and he drinks from the chalice. At that moment, the audience perceives that the priest deserves a drink. He has his own problems, too. Arnie talks about how passive his father was in life, and how he always wanted out of every situation by grinding down on his teeth. Arnie’s father accepted his fate in life, and he accepted what and how other people viewed him without fighting back. Arnie informs the priest of his family background, and he mentions the punishment his father received at the hands of his mother. Perhaps his father was a battered spouse.

The priest and Arnie get into a very philosophical conversation. The priest tells him not to worry, and he defines what worrying means. Arnie claims that he was penalized for his good work at times, and he confesses all about his ability to lie on a regular basis. Now, the priest allows him to unburden himself; and he reveals his short comings without reservations. The priest gets Arnie to confess the number of times when he lied. Arnie tells the priest about his love life, too. He lets the priest know how he used to enjoy his one-night stands with women. There were no strings attached in his behavior with women. The priest allows Arnie to realize his full potential in thoughts, and he explains, breaks it down, to him how to live through the analogies of life. The priest reminds him that he needs to put some color into his life, and he reminds him that death is life and life is death. The priest encourages Arnie to go on living.

The writer’s message in this performance reaches the audience to its core. Arnie’s encounter with the priest allows him to turn his life around for the best. The priest assists Arnie to exercise his faith in humanity. Save a life today! Arnie has to live his life on the next level. I will surely recommend this play to theatre goers.

BROKEN … and healing

INOLA ON THE AISLE @ The First Annual MITF: FALL
Jewel Box Theatre @ Workshop Theatre Company
312 West 36th Street, 4nd Floor, New York, NY
On Wednesday, November 04, 2015

broken2 “Broken” by George Cameron Grant, directed by Joy Kelly; and starring Kaili Y. Turner.

At first, the empty stage enables the audience to speculate in its mind what it is going to see or hear. Moments later, a woman, Claire, runs on the stage and she says, “It’s not fair!” “You vanished but my imagination….” She wears a light jacket and a T-short with the word, Broken, on the front of it.

Claire opens up to the audience with deep emotions about the man with stinky-smelling toes, who is no longer in her life. She misses the smell of his stinky toes, the taste of his lips, and the color of his eyes. She infers that she can see him in her mind’s eye, and she felt safe around him when he was alive. She shouts! “You made me feel whole, safe.” She walks around on the stage and says, “Now, all I feel is broken.”

Claire takes off her shoes, sneakers and socks; and she kneels on the floor. Later, she reminisce about her life as a child, and she describes her experience in the bathroom where she closes her eyes. She gets into a magical life, wishing she is somebody else; but not herself. The audience takes in her every word intensely as she continues to reveal how she finally had the courage to question herself. Who am I? Am I black or white? She recounts that her mother’s face dropped before she responded to her questions. Her mother said to her that God doesn’t make ugly things, but people make good things ugly. In addition, she describes the leaving of her father from this world. He died years earlier! Her belief in this magic changed when she had to wear a uniform and being driven in a van to school.

Claire tells the audience that she was assured by her mother that it was time for her to go to school, in the world. She realized that the other children were different, and she wanted to go back home with her mother. She never saw her mother again. Claire’s mother was killed and she was left alone in this world. She lets the audience into her world about the lost she felt when she was a young girl before she talks about how she met the man who was in her life. He died on September 11, 2001.

Like most people do, Claire was minding her own business in a business establishment listening to jazz music. She saw the vision of this person she met in an over-stretch T-shirt. She observed the stranger’s steps, and all the while she was wondering what would happen if those fingers were to examine her. Longing to be noticed and longing to be observed, the man comes over to her cocoon. After giving him a once over, she gets into a conversation with him. They bonded with each other, and he gave her a necklace. He draped it around her neck, and she informs the audience about his comment. He tells her that the necklace was meant for her.

The man encouraged Claire to leave the restaurant. He said to her, “Let’s get out of here and go down to the… for ice cream.” Claire doesn’t like ice cream, and the man wanted to know why she doesn’t like it. She tells the audience that he gave her the opportunity to tell him her reason by offering to drive her to the beach. She never went to the beach before. The audience awaits Claire’s explanation about her trip with the man on their way to the beach. She talks about their first-time encounter until their last on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. He was hell bent on seeking a better job on that fatal day. His appointment was at 8:00 am, and she was afraid that he will get the job.

After the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings, Claire left the apartment in search of the car, and she found it although she left the keys at home. She tells the audience that she climbed into the back seek of the car, and someone took her out of the car. She was taken to a dusty room, and she knew that they were talking about her. Later on, Claire tried her best to cope with the loss of this man. She informs the audience about her whereabouts and the things she did in order to reconcile with her hurt and emptiness inside. The beach was a place of solace for her where she holds up the necklace that was given to her by the man.

The writer’s gets his message across to the audience. This one-woman show, “Broken” surely allows the audience to feel the hurt of a real person whose significant other died on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. There are more stories out there to be told, and I will recommend this performance to theatre goers on a regular basis. The healing process is a long and time-consuming one for too many people whose love ones died on this date. The American History and the World History have changed the way in which businesses are conducted around the world. There is no turning back!

FISHBOWL: Quite a catch

INOLA ON THE AISLE @ The First Annual MITF: FALL
Jewel Box Theatre @ Workshop Theatre Company
312West 36th Street, 4nd Floor, New York, NY
On Tuesday, November 03, 2015

fishbow “Fishbowl” by Ashley Nicole Audette, directed by Ashley Nicole Audette; starring Chris Charles, Leigh Corner, Matthew Mauer, Emily Seymour, and Melissa Porcano.

The performance begins with two women on stage, and the audience realizes quickly that their trip is one of grief through a tragedy. The women are Caroline, the movie star and Autumn, her friend and assistant who carters to her every need. A guy enters the stage and he gets into an argument with his sister. It’s not a happy family reunion. Their sibling Amy died from a drug-related death, and the brother, Christian, accuses her of assisting in their sister’s death. All of them left the stage.

The doorbell rings. Someone is at the door. Caroline’s old flame enters. Autumn greets him at the door. He’s there to pay his respect to the family, and he wants to rekindle his relationship with his ex-lover. He wants to kill two birds with one stone, if he gets the opportunity. Caroline’s and Christian’s mother, Mrs. Lucas, enters and leave the stage quickly. Her presence generates an interest in the audience’s mind. However, Caroline’s former lover wants answers from Caroline, and she doesn’t intend to comply; but he is persistent in his line of questioning. Both of them reminisce briefly about their childhoods and the problems they experienced together. She recalls having a broken leg at the age of thirteen after he calls her by her pet name. Caroline doesn’t appreciate being called CeCe. She reminds him that her name is Caroline Lucas. Caroline’s ex-lover misses her and he wants to talk with her.

Soon after, Caroline brings him up to speed about her career, and she informs him that she is an actress with obligation. Making movies and other opportunities are the only things on Caroline’s radar. She’s not interest in a relationship! This doesn’t deter the guy from wanting to be with her.

Christian wants to make up with Autumn. They were an item in the past. She is reluctant to believe him. He uses some very smooth lines, dialogue, to entice her into believing what he is saying. “You were, you’re the perfect woman for me.” How many women out there would love to hear words like these? Both of them dated other people, but the audience thinks that the death of his sister, Amy, brings home a reality check for Christian. Both Christian and Autumn are still in pain through their failed relationship, and they leave the stage.

The audience gets a view of Mrs. Lucas as she passes through. Next, Caroline enters and she leaves within two minutes on stage. However, there are some awkward moments on stage. The Lucas’ household is a keg of dynamite getting ready to explore. Caroline talks about her mother’s drinking, and she gets the feedback of a life time. As the saying goes, “Those who live in glass houses must not throw stones.”

Caroline’s mom, Mrs. Lucas, wants her bottle of alcohol, and it’s nowhere to be found. She comments that Caroline likes to play games with other people. Caroline’s past comes to light in her face. She gets a reminder of what she said when she handed over a plate of drugs, and she said that they must pick their poison. Her deceased sister, Amy, was one of the recipients of that plate of drugs; and she was never able to shake the strong hold that illegal drugs have on some people.

Caroline’s ex-boyfriend tries to cheer her up. She reminds him of a valuable lesson in life, and she states that their love wasn’t enough to save their relationship. Caroline tries to avoid the real confrontation with the guy, her ex-boyfriend. She gives him a lying excuses and she kisses him. Autumn takes care of Caroline and the activities in the Lucas’ household continue to be eventful.

Autumn and Mrs. Lucas share a bonding moment together. Mrs. Lucas offers her a small bottle of liquor. Mrs. Lucas tells her to be there for her children. They exchange pleasantries between them. Autumn gives the liquor back to Mrs. Lucas.

Caroline seems remorseful to the audience over her sister’s death. Her ex-boyfriend tries to be strong for her. He tells her that her sister is dead because she made a bad choice. Caroline was able to stop taking drugs, but Amy continued to take drugs until her untimely death. Caroline lies on the floor and her ex-boyfriend lies next to her. Autumn sees them on the floor, and Caroline apologizes to her. She tells Caroline that she needs to find her brother, Christian. Caroline tells her ex-boyfriend to look for him.

Mrs. Lucas brings a bottle of liquor to the stage, and she praises Autumn to Caroline for taking her advice to go to California with her. Bits and pieces of information begin to flow from Mrs. Lucas’ mouth before Caroline’s ex returns to the Lucas’ home. It is told that Christian misses his own sister’s funeral. Caroline ex-boyfriend tells her that Christian and Autumn have a thing for each other. Caroline becomes apprehensive about this titbit of information. In her mind, she can lose her brother and her best friend if they get together.

Eventually, Christian shows up at the Lucas’ home. Autumn is on stage with a book in her hand, and Christian enters and he demands to have a meaningful conversation with Autumn. He explains himself to her, and his words sent her back in time. Autumn remembers everything. She tells Christian that she was pregnant and he wanted her to abort the baby. Christian is dumbfounded by Autumn’s news. He is furious with his sister for lying to Autumn and manipulating her into aborting their baby.

Within seconds, Caroline and her ex-boyfriend walk on stage. The audience realizes that she didn’t want her brother and Autumn to be together as a couple. Autumn tries to hit Caroline, and she has to defend her actions to everyone. Mrs. Lucas tells everyone that Caroline is a leach, and how she uses people. She is a great manipulator! Her deception catches up with her, and everyone present after the bombshell leave the premises except Caroline and Mrs. Lucas. Christian and Autumn get together as a couple. In their case, it is better to be late than never.

Mrs. Lucas and Caroline spend some quality time together. Mrs. Lucas and her daughter bond over a drink, and she talks candidly about her short comings as a mother. Her short comings has helped Caroline to become the manipulator as she has been throughout her life. Caroline’s ex returns to the Lucas’ home because he wants to share his life with Caroline. She is shocked by his return, and she decides to make a go at their relationship. Before she leaves, she severs the dysfunctional bond between her and her mother. A few chosen words were said between both women, and Mrs. Lucas leaves the stage with her bottle.

The writer’s message to the audience gives credence to the word dysfunctional in the family dynamics. This is a very important play for theatre goers to see and enjoy at the same time. There is a lesson to be learned in our society that our sins can surely live on after us. In addition, one cannot reinvent the wheel and try to change his or her DNA. It is like saying that a leopard has to change his spots. Just be the best person you can be within the boundaries of truth. Running from oneself, can only lead to heartache and a sense of falsehood. It is best to be in your own fishbowl with clear water. Being transparent and predictable can’t be that bad!

A howling good time

INOLA ON THE AISLE @ THE KRAINE THEATER
SCREAM QUEENS AND CRAZED FIENDS
The Kraine Theatre
85 East 4th Street, New York, NY
On Thursday, October 29, 2015

scream

The performance of the evening was “Scream Queens and Crazed Friends” by Mohammed Saad Ali, Gina Femia, Michael Hagins, Rachel Music, Michael C. O’Day, Maximillian Gill, Ramona Pula, Christopher Sirota, Eric C. Webb; directed by Michael Calciano, Kiebpoli Calnek, David Charles, Adriana Colon, Onyi Okoli, Andrew Rothkin, Melissa Skirboll, Samantha Elizabeth Turlington; and players JJ Bozeman, Eric Dexter Brown, Michael Calciano, Joe Conway, Ashlee Danielle, Dionna Eshleman, Kate Fallon, Amanda Garcia, Wesley Goodrich, London Griffith, Emily Hecht, Gladys Hendricks, Jesse Rose Krebs, Charlie Leeder, Dakota Lustick, Nitin Madan, Sue Ellen Mandell, Steven Martin, Saka Minisquero, Rachel Music, Shaun S. Orbin, Samantha Randolph, Stephanie Schwartz, Jazmin Williams, and Janelle Zapata.

The stage setting with the props and live music complement the two acts with individual scenes within each act. The performance begins with the five original actors on stage and the live band playing appropriate music. The actors give the audience a preview of the upcoming scene in August, 1973, outside the Antlers Hotel in Kingsland, Texas. The transformation of the set reminds the audience of the title, In the Name of the Camera; and three actors accomplish the task of reenacting to the moment in time.

The actors introduce the next scene and they give their preview of what’s to come as a teaser to the audience, and the audience hears trumpets sounding over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 30, 1979. The sound of the trumpets creates panic in the community. Two ladies convey the message of the scene, and one of them gets her throat cut before the culmination of the segment.

In the Stalker Nun scene, the audience gets a good laugh at the priest’s and the nun’s dialogues in hell. It’s a midnight in 1970 in the Sacred Heart Graveyard. The nun confronts the priest for his immoral behavior when he was alive, and she is hell bent on revenge, giving him a beat down, for turning out some teen-age girls into sexual undertakings with prominent men in the community. The priest claims the girls corrupted him. The nun continues to beat the priest!

The other two scenes in Act I portray two different years in the 1970s, a summer in 1976, New York City with the title of, And This Is What the Devil Said; and on January 22, 1973, The French Quarter, in New Orleans interprets House of Satan Spawn. These two scenes differ in staging, but the audience enjoys every minute of the dramatization for each scene. The original actors give a summation of each scene before the other actors perform their routines that engage the audience before the intermission with their energetic performance.

After the intermission, the performance of Act II begins with a night in 1976, a Zombie Outbreak Survivor Camp. The actors give a synopsis of the scene, Bite Curious; and the actors’ performance thrill the audience with three women and one man on stage. One of the actors, an older woman, brandishes a gun in her hand. Her handling of it demonstrates to the audience a certain sense of reality in her performance. She fires the gun to prove her character’s point of view. In addition, the talk about cannibalism shocks the audience as to the taste of human flesh.

The Questioning, this scene generates laughter with the audience. The time is May of 1970, in Kent, Ohio. Two law enforcement officers investigate a college protest that ends tragically wrong, and one man is questioned. Before the scene ends, the nature of the investigation changes drastically. The witness is hostile to the line of questioning by the officers, and his vocabulary is that of a sailor on a pirate ship. Before the scene ends, the officers turn on each other.

The actors give a synopsis of the scene. It is early evening in 1974, Melissa and Amy’s college apartment in upstate New York. Tania is a segment with intrigue. The audience sees a woman as she runs into the apartment. The audience assumes that she is being chased by someone. The telephone rings. The young woman answers. Next, she calls 9-1-1. As the performance continues, the woman takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride with suspense from the ringing of the telephone and her answering. The caller asks for Tania. There is a knock at the door. Someone leaves a box outside the apartment. She opens the door cautiously and brings the box into the apartment. There are items in the box to change her appearance, and she takes out each item. The woman puts on the wig and the dress and she ponders for a moment. Someone comes to the door, and she takes a knife with her to investigate. The person becomes a victim of a stab wound.

The audience gets the usual introduction from the actors about the impending scene, “The Date” in 1978, at Michelle’s home in the suburbs. Two actors are on stage. Michelle wears a very revealing attire. Her date sits on the floor in a large plastic bag. He pleads for his life, and demented Michelle torments him mercilessly. The scene reminds the audience of the movie Misery, and it gasps for air as Michelle taunts him.

One of the most exciting scenes in Act II happens on a night in 1973, outside a small town graveyard, with the title of the Beast of Both Worlds. The actors give their synopsis of the impending act. The audience sees two young people as they contemplate about taking a shortcut, walking through a cemetery. This bad decision causes both of them harm in the end. During their walk, they encounter a blood-sucking vampire and a flesh-eating werewolf in the cemetery. The young woman sees the truth about her friend because he tries to save his own skin. Even the vampire and the werewolf negotiate between themselves about who is going to get the male or the female for food.

The original actors entertain the audience with their performance that permeates good cheer for a Halloween-oriented show. After, all of the other actors return to the stage and face the audience one last time. The audience gets its monies worth from an outstanding presentation that reminds it of the frailties of life.

There have been so many messages in the entire two acts. The audience is able to learn from some of these examples presented to it. This is a performance that I will surely recommend to theatre goers in the future because Halloween only comes around once a year.

Indianopolisalyssa 1985: a happy marriage

INOLA ON THE AISLE @ MITF: FALL
Jewel Box Theatre @ Workshop Theatre Company
312 West 36th Street, 4nd Floor, New York, NY
On Monday, November 02, 2015

indianapolis “Indianopolisalyssa 1985 Is Getting Married” by Beth Hyland and Gracie Gardner, directed by Kate Moore Heaney, musical director Alex Ratner; and starring Zina Ellis and Gracie Gardner.

The stage setting complements the musical comedy. The audience sees the first actress, Alyssa, when she enters the stage and she goes to her computer in a wedding dress. She complains about her life living with her live-in boyfriend, Todd. She refers to the TV show Mad Man in her dialogue. She vents on the computer, the message board of a wedding website, about her life and the wedding dress.

Another female, Courtney, enters the stage and she begins to share her experience on the message board of a wedding website. She plays her guitar. On the other end of the stage, Alyssa plays her guitar and she sings along with Courtney. They repeat their refrain, “Let’s make our own pack.” It’s a girl power experience!

Alyssa lives with her boyfriend, she’s shacking up with him; and she wants to be married to him. He’s not speaking her language where marriage is concerned. Courtney tries to put Alyssa in the same boat with her, and she refuses to accept the stereo type or box. Both of them have different circumstances to worry about on the message board. Courtney wants to rush into motherhood, and Alyssa plays her piano and she sings. Her songs touch on her boyfriend’s talking about having a wife. She refers to sexism as bad! Her boyfriend, Todd, gets angry when she talks about some women and their physiques. Courtney sings that she doesn’t feel discriminated against.

Alyssa talks about Todd’s pad lock on his private stuff. She mentions her picking of the lock, and her searching of the contents. She sees a ring! She hopes the ring is in the house for her. Next, she plays music on a smaller guitar; and she sings, too. Courtney joins Alyssa in the singing. She sings and plays her guitar. In her song, Courtney makes reference of Cinderella and other Disney characters. At the end, she concedes that we, women, don’t get it exactly right!

There is another question that allows Alyssa to talk about herself. She states that she isn’t a high maintenance woman. She tells the audience about her sitting on the couch with Todd and looking at a TV show, The Bachelor. Todd’s disposition towards the show and his choice of non-traditional places to buy a ring forces her to cry for a substantial period of time. Todd is a cheapskate, and he doesn’t like to splurge on his live-in girlfriend, Alyssa. She dresses to make a statement that she is his property. However, she makes an important point. She tells Courtney that an engagement means different things to different people. She has to know!

Alyssa rants on the Message Board with a Bridal magazine in her hand. Courtney demonstrates her histrionics and she refers to the TV show, Third Rock. She reflects on the words Alyssa communicates to her on the message board. She thinks about her life and how the repression of her emotions hinders her in many ways. Courtney questions herself about her sexual orientation. She speaks openly about her deeds and naming a few of them to the audience. She heightens the audience imagination when she talks about her use of different prescription drugs prescribed to her by her physician. She speaks about her so-called boyfriend, Jeremey. His encouragement or the lack of it, sends her into the paths of pills-pushing doctors who supplied quick fixes for people with emotional problems.

Alyssa gives Courtney some sound advice about relationship between couples. She needs to sample the grapes before she buys them. Another female with relationship problems will surely appreciate someone saying to him or her that he or she needs to initiate a demonstration drive on a BMW. This is not just restricted to one type of cars. There are other models or types of cars that can be taken into consideration before a purchase. It’s expedient to test drive the vehicle. One can’t afford not to test drive whatever vehicle of choice a young woman may select. The purchase of a car is a metaphor for marriage or a long-term and meaningful relationship between two people.

In this society, each person wants to know what he or she gets out of every relationship. Yet, restrictions in society and religious issues have created stigmas for people concerning carnal activities. The ladies inform the audience with music and singing. Alyssa plays the piano and Courtney sings about wanting to have sex in a very suggestive manner. She wants to explore the man’s body. The audience looks on with great appreciation for what is being said about being sensual in a mature manner.

Alyssa talks about sex to her message board compadre in her ear. The audience is unable to hear what is being said to Courtney. It can only surmise the details of this conversation; and the listener takes up a pack of Oreo cookies and she open it. She eats one of the cookies. She reacts to what she hears with a comment for the audience to understand. Her counterpart encounters a disgusted sexual act with her live-in lover, Todd. She suggests to the audience that the man she wants to marry is gross. At one point, Alyssa leaves the stage.

Rhetorically speaking, Courtney admits to her counterpart that she lost her virginity to one Jeremey. He broke up with her soon after their one-time encounter! Perhaps she did not listen to the warning of her mother, if advice was given to her. Other close relatives and friends usually give advice, pep talk, to girls about men. If a woman gives in to a man’s sexual advances, to have sexual intercourse with him, there is never a guarantee that he is going to stay with her. Courtney lets the audience know in song. She sings to the audience that she never wants to see a penis again, and she may be attracted to women. The lady returns to the stage to voice her opinion to the audience.

Alyssa lets the cat out of the bag, she talks about her life. She informs the audience that Todd took back the ring after she told him about his gross and sexual act. In Todd’s mind, Alyssa has to deal with him as is. He’s who he is, but she lets the audience know in song that she is a queen. She repeats the refrain! Take it back! Take it back! Take it back! Why this young woman should subjects herself to be used up by such a slime bucket by the name of Todd. In the audience’s mind, Todd doesn’t deserve the young lady! Alyssa deserves better!

The writers surely get their message across to the audience. It is not wise for young women to play house with men without being in a committed relationship or married to the man. A man may never buy the cow if he can get the milk for free. In these times, financial factors may force couples to live together in order to pay the rent for an apartment. The writers want the audience to realize that having a sexual relationship with someone doesn’t guarantee that person staying with you. It’s best to stay away from getting involved sexually with the opposite sex too quickly. It doesn’t worth it to test the goods or what other terms are used to bring home the point to young people.

I recommend this musical comedy to theatre goers. It will be a great performance for young men and women to see in order for them to form their own opinions about living together, shacking up, or having sexual relationship with people you don’t really care about. Sexual relationship was intended to be a special thing between two people. Now, it has become an assembly-line performance among people.

WHY WATER FALLS, a winner at 13th Street Playhouse

By Inola M. McGuire

The performance of the evening is “Why Water Falls” by Leigh Curran, directed by Mary Pat Gleason; and starring Leigh Curran.

The stage setting with the props complements the one-woman show. The audience sees the performer as she sits on the chair and begins her performance. She writes on the notepad and she throws a few pieces of paper on the floor before she introduces the audience into the world of Leigh Curran in the year of 1964. Her mentioning of this particular year allows the audience to reflect on its own life in that year. Ms. Curran takes the audience back in the time to the back-alley abortion days in America.

Leigh Curran-Why Water Falls5

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

All along, there are two characters in her head who are trying their best to be recognized on paper; and there is Jessica, the producer, who hopes to get Leigh to write something meaningful to present to her. However, Ray, the 17-year old farm-girl character, wants her story to be told. Her friend Stevie, a 20-year old, who lives in New York City life story is very much different to her friend’s Ray. Ms. Curran ponders over a few catch phrases, for example; “Why water falls?” “Why lemons are sour?” These could be hers or the thoughts of her characters, but these phrases were food for thought on the part of the audience.

As her performance moves forward, Leigh places a small plate next to a bottle. It is a Haitian sequin bottle, Danbala, dealing with the spirit of love. The audience gets an education on the reference of the bottle and what it represents. One has to present an offering next to the bottle; and Ms. Curran shows the audience how it is done through her demonstration.

Leigh continues to entertain and inform the audience as she reflects on the story she needs to write about Ray and Stevie; and the life she had lived between 1964 and 1986. Her marriage ended in 1986. Within this time, she spoke about a second abortion in June 1978. By this time in the US, the Rowe v. Wade, 410 U.S., 113 (1973), the landmark decision on abortion by the United States Supreme Court had already passed; and she went to an abortion clinic to have had the procedure done. She was able to pick up the pieces after her abortion with the man in her life for many years. However; her marriage didn’t survive because of a few factors beyond her control.

The turning point in Leigh’s life came when she was invited to become a part of the 52nd Street Project. During this time in her life, she begins to recognize an urge to make it up in life for her two pregnancies. She reached out to her friend, Jessica. She was able to be a part of how to write plays and grand writing opportunities. She was able to change the course of her life through her work with children. Leigh was able to examine her life and the decisions she had made prior to her new life. In her monologue, the audience recognizes the changes in her perception of life.

Leigh gives the audience a glimpse of her transformation from being afraid to become someone who has developed a welcoming spirit for life. In 1992, her efforts brought characters to life through the Virginia Avenue Arts. She informs the audience as to the specific tools that she used to assist the children with their writing. Conflict is always present in a story. It is up to the writer to make it as hard as possible between or among characters to get what they want. In reality, it is the same for the performer and the audience.

In the process, Leigh thinks about Ray’s faith. There is more to the story of Ray and Stevie. In Leigh’s case, Margaret moves in with her; and she brings a family with her that becomes Leigh’s extended family. Leigh’s participation in the care of Margaret’s grandchild has brought joy into her life. The experience of motherhood has changed the color of Leigh’s heart from dark to crimson red.

The writer and performer is able to get her message across to the audience. In many cases, some women have chosen their careers over motherhood. In view of Leigh’s case, the joys of motherhood reaches her at a ripe age of 70. Perhaps she missed out on having a life of bliss with the concept of motherhood in the 1960s and 1970s, but she gets the opportunity to reconcile with what could have been for her as a younger woman. I surely recommend this performance to all.

A Spanish Harlem Story

Inola M. McGuire at the American Theatre of Actors

The performance of the evening is “A Spanish Harlem Story” by Steve Silver, directed by Laurie Rae Waugh; and starring Rooki Tiwari, Larry Fleischman, Steve Silver, Ken Coughlin, and Eliana González.

image8 The stage setting complements all of the scenes in the play and the ethnicities of the characters. There are Cuban, a Puerto Rican, and an Italian flags flying high on the walls. The audience recognizes the flags. The Cuban and the Puerto Rican flags hang close to each other, and these flags have almost the same shades red, white and blue colors. However, the Cuban flag has five horizontal bands of blue alternate with white with a red chevron based on the hoist side, bearing a white, five-pointed star in the center. The Puerto Rican flag on the other hand has five horizontal bands of red, top and bottom, and alternating with white; a blue triangle based on the hoist side, bearing a white, five-pointed star in the center. The Italian flag has tricolor of green, white and red of equal sizes; and the green is at the hoist side. The other items in the stage setting clearly represent a Spanish community.

The play begins with a woman, Rosaria, sweeping her living room floor and speaking to herself, the audience. She reminisces about the awful day of September 11, 2001 when she lost her daughter, Mercedes. Earlier that day on September 11, Mercedes dropped off her daughter, Maria, at her parents’ home in Spanish Harlem before she headed downtown to her job at World Trade Center. Manny and Rosaria were having breakfast with Maria when the entire scene unfolds on the television. Mercedes perished on that day like so many others after the building collapsed.

Rosaria picks up the pieces for her granddaughter’s sake. She does it Puerto Rican style. The audience hears music; and Rosaria and her husband, Manny begin to dance to the beat of the music. Manny and Rosaria communicate with each other. Manny breaks the news that his partner-in-crime is back in the neighborhood. This revelation changes the mood in the living room. Rosaria tries to convince her husband, Manny that his childhood friend is bad news through the rehashing of the numerous murders perpetrated by him in the community.

Mikey visits the couple and he goes into memory lane with the tale of his maiden journey into a life of crime. Rosaria gets an ear full of her husband’s and his best friend first stint in jail after being arrested in Brooklyn. Rosaria listens attentively to her husband and Mikey. The guys indulge in their juvenile-delinquent conversation. Mikey drops a bomb on Manny. He tells him he plans to get marry to his lawyer who kept him out of jail in California. Her name is Juanita Goldman. She has Spanish and Jewish backgrounds. Rosaria excuses herself and she leaves the room. The guys continue with their conversation. Mickey tries to entice Manny with a few hair-brain schemes. He tells Manny about his prospective drug dealings with a Dominican crew, and he gives Manny a gun to hold for him.

Manny is unable to say no to Mikey. Both of them encounter Uncle Tony at the Social Club. Uncle Tony tells them his views about “El Barrio.” He has disdain for certain people in the community, and he speaks openly about his disgust. Uncle Tony thinks about Manny and Mikey as his sons. He refers to Manny as “rice and beans” and he calls Mikey his nephew. Uncle Tony shares his philosophical opinion about America. He states, “America’s not a country! It’s a business.” He highlights that 9/11 changes everything in his world, and he reminisces about the good old days and the child-molester priest in the community. Both uncle and nephew share other stories about brutal murders with Manny and the audience. The next group on Uncle Tony’s radar is the Dominicans. He thinks this group has more balls than brain.

Uncle Tony continues with his barrage of cautionary tales, and he reminds his nephew, Mikey that he has diarrhea of the mouth. Mikey gets a beat down from his uncle. Uncle Tony searches Manny before he continues with his lecture about his line of business. Uncle Tony tells Manny and Mikey about her personal problems, and how he was able to resolve this problem. One benefactor of Uncle Tony’s illegal enterprise wants to receive money without getting his hands dirty.

CAM02347 Manny falls asleep in his living room and he dreams about his daughter Mercedes. She talks with her father about the quality time she spent with him. She reminds Manny about the scams and shake downs in the community. Manny’s daughter wants the best for her father. She reminds him of bad company, using drugs, and the pitfalls of life. However, she praises Manny for the special attention, his full attention that money can’t buy. Her experience of the free concert in the part resonates in her voice. Mercedes reminds her father of his honest-to-goodness heart; and she encourages him to look deep within himself to find that place. She encourages him to follow his heart and he must do the right thing.

CAM02357 Manny gets a reminder that Uncle Tony killed more people than cancer. Larceny permeates in his heart. Manny professes that nothing is going on out of the ordinary; but Rosaria knows that Mikey and his uncle are up to no good with their criminal minds. Manny wants a one-shot deal. It’s not a trip to the welfare office trying to get help in order to pay up his back rent. This deal is all about making fast money selling or distributing drugs and destroying the neighborhood. Manny wants a one-shot deal from a drug-related transaction between the Dominicans and Uncle Tony’s crew. There is a considerable amount of risk involved if Manny decides to follow through on his zeal for the green.

CAM02349 Rosaria tells Manny about her sacrifice to the family and what all she has done for him. She reminds him about his love and care during her time of grief during and after 9/11. She wants him to pick his family over Mikey’s hair-brain schemes. She wants him to think about their granddaughter. He gets another opportunity to do things right this time around. She gives him an ultimatum if he doesn’t say no to Mikey, the criminal. Rosaria wants her loving husband back. She wants him to stay away from his friend, Mikey because he is bad news. Whenever Mikey is around bad things do happen to good people.

Manny tells Mikey about his decision not to get involved with the criminal activity, and Mikey tries to berate poor Manny about his not being able to leave the community because he can’t afford the trappings of life. Manny describes his experience of feeling helpless after the 9/11 attack. Mikey is not interested in Manny’s explanation. He wants to get his way, and Manny holds his ground. Manny’s leaving the dark side for good; and Mikey tries to reminisce about their childhood days as a way to manipulate Manny back into a life of crime.

Manny and Mikey try to become very sentimental with each other with quotes from Gandhi and Hemingway. Mikey brings on his bombardment of words with all his influence without avail from Manny, and he demands his weapon, the gun. By now, Rosaria realizes that Mikey wants her husband to self-destruct with a few consequences that fit the life of a criminal. Manny will either end up behind bars, dead or alone if he decides on helping or working with Mikey. Rosaria slaps Mikey. Mikey, like the common criminal he is, wants to retaliate; and Manny defends his wife’s honor. By the time the dust settles, Mikey lies on the floor mortally wounded. The couple panics for a brief moment. It is either Uncle Tony or the police. Manny and Rosaria have to make a decision quickly. Time is not a luxury for them.

The audience sees Uncle Tony, Manny and Rosaria in a deep conversation over the death of Mikey. Mikey’s death becomes costly for Manny and Rosaria. As the saying goes, you can’t go home again. Manny seeks help from his uncle to pacify Uncle Tony. Rosaria tell the audience that Uncle Tony’s reign of terror for 40 years in Spanish Harlem ended with a barrage of bullets. She and Manny pick up the pieces with their granddaughter, Maria; and they move to Puerto Rico. They put September 11, 2001 behind them. Manny speaks to the audience about his tranquil life on the beach with the woman he loves and his granddaughter.

CAM02356 The writer gets his message across loud and clear. A Spanish Harlem Story is a real American story of immigrants and their families, criminals, and the other factors that make the area so special. For those people who may be interested in knowing the boundaries of this community, here they are: 96th Street to the south, 5th Avenue to the west, the East River to the east and the Harlem River to the north. In addition, Spanish Harlem is also known as East Harlem and El Barrio, which means the ghetto in Spanish. I recommend theatre goers and non-theatre goers alike to see this play. The play has all of the intrigue of life in New York City, but the audience has to be mindful of the epicenter that creates such a rich and wonderful story to share with the world.

A vibrant youthful cast adds its names to the Scottish Tragedy.

Review by Amy M. Frateo

James Jennings and his brainchild, the American Theatre of Actors have long been contributors to presenting the classics – especially the Bard – in NYC. His latest offering is a powerful – almost animistic – production of Macbeth.

mac6 - Copy (2)

The women in flowing robes, the men barely swathed at all, Jennings and Jane Culley, his co-director, present to us a raw depiction of the warlords of the time period when the actual “Macbeth” may have reigned. High-energy and youthful unbridled passion, plus and unique staging for classic passages gave this production ironic innovation – ironic in that going back to its basics made it seem new.

GThomas Leverton gives us a Macbeth that is both savage warrior and scared child. Bounding across the stage stopping himself in his own tracks at grim realizations, Leverton never let his character get bogged down or declamatory but infused each passage with his engrossing electricity. Jessica Jennings’ mesmerizing Lady M gives us the same dichotomy with her “fairest in the land” looks hiding a vicious soul. Her affected vocal pattern added an eerie tone implying that there are more witches on the stage than we know. She seemed to channel Tamora from Titus Andronicus in some ways. This was exemplified by her famed letter soliloquy ending in a blood ritual. Both leads’ command of the language was admirable and their high-energy pace made a great connection between classic language and raw emotion. Speaking of the witches, it was risky having them so stereotypical but there, again, the manic pace made us follow right along. An effect of having them present at all ghostly moments was effective and should have been taken further.

I5

A standout among the ensemble of savages was Andrew Goebel (as Ross). His superior elocution and strong presence provided excellent commentary and anchored the production well.

Jennings & Culley’s staging was panoramic – using every inch of a very vast stage including precarious scaffolding and aisles whose wood flooring made the marching of the soldiers that much more heart-quickening.
IH

Costumes – at times – seemed a little unclear, but the general appearance was effective. The absence of music – clearly a choice – added to the realism but some moments of sound would have been effective.

The American Theatre of Actors turns 40 this year – and a hearty congratulations. With cost and competition in NYC as savage as Scotland during King Duncan’s reign, most theatres turn tail and run. Not James Jennings. He continues to provide a fortress for the theatrical warriors arriving in NYC every day. Hats off to him and his team. How does he do it? Maybe he has the Weird Sisters on his board of directors.

Powerful Play with Music at the 13th Street Rep

Inola M. MCGuire reviews
New York Theatre Intensive’s production of
BETWEEN PRETTY PLACES
At
13th Street Repertory Company
50 West 13th Street, New York, NY
On Thursday, September 17th, 2015

The performance of the evening is “Between Pretty Places, A Musical Ghost Story” by Susan Merson, directed by John Hadden; starring Philip Callen, Julie Fitzpatrick, Jemma Kosanke, Ellen Parker, and Heather Lupton Rasche; dedicated to Teghan.

BPP_0026_3 BPP_0021_8 BPP_0010_19 BPP_0009_20 BPP_0007_22 BPP_0004_25

The performance begins with live music by the piano player. The audience sees Diane, the mother of Cherylynn and the grandmother of Kyla, when she enters the stage. She sits on the floor with her head on a stool and she falls asleep. In the meantime, her daughter in ghost form parades around on an elevated contraption. The granddaughter, Kyla enters and sees her grandmother on the floor. It is a premonition of some sort for Diane; she has to get over her grief for another real situation that is brewing along her path.

The death of Diane’s daughter by hanging two years earlier creates a vacuum in her heart, and she has to face her fears before it is too late. However, Diane’s granddaughter needs a home; for her father wants to shift his parental responsibility that leaves her in a quandary. Diane feels like a failure. She thinks she could have done a better job with her daughter, Cherylynn, as a mother. Cherylynn had a mind of her own; and she left her parental home at a tender age of 14. Her Waterloo was Gregory, Kyla’s father.

In the meantime, Diane’s husband, Lyle, enjoys the empty-nest atmosphere with his wife. He is obliged to make love to his wife anywhere or anytime in the comfort of their home. Things are about to change when Gregory decides to become a correction officer in a prison. Gregory’s caring for his daughter feels like a monkey on his back. He is passing his daughter, who represents a problem in his mind, off to her maternal grandparents. Lyle doesn’t want any part of fatherhood at this stage in his life. Life is good between him and Diane, and he wants to maintain his status. The audience sees both of them singing on stage and enjoying each other’s company.

The ghost of Cherylynn is still earth bound, and her daughter acknowledges her presence. Both Diane and Lyle try not to acknowledge their daughter’s presence. Diane wants a job. She goes to the library and she encounters home-wrecker Marge; and she shares her concerns with her concerning Kyla. Afterward, Marge meets Lyle and she informs him about Diane’s job-search endeavor. Lyle goes home and Diane tells him about her plans to become Kyla’s guardian. He’s furious and he leaves his home to defuse his frustration.

Low and behold, Lyle ends up at the bar where Madge, the Jezebel, decides to offer him the moon and the stars. A promise is the comfort to a fool! Both of them enjoy a dance together; and the audience sees him as he contemplates his next move. Diane faces the challenges of motherhood and being the matriarch of her family. Cherylynn’s earth-bound spirit, the ghost, wants to take her daughter with her, and Diane has to do her best to keep Kyla safe with love and compassion.

Diane advises Cherylynn’s ghost to leave Kyla alone, for she needs to go over to the beyond. Her lingering spirit needs to cross over from this realm. Each member of the family has its own lingering spirit. The audience witnesses three generations of women at the same place under the tree. Diane gets an opportunity to make things right the second time around. Lyle gets an opportunity to voice his fears to Diane; yet he gives his definitions seduction. He shows his granddaughter a brief act of kindness, yet Lyle wants to jump ship and takes Madge up on her offer for her supposedly empty-nest home.

The writer gets her message across to the audience because she takes a real-life experience and weaves it into a well-written play. In Lyle’s case, he is ready to abandon his granddaughter with the promise of a home without children with Madge. This is a tale to encourage young women to stay at home with their parents and get their education. We all have to recognize that liberation without preparation is a very dangerous thing. It is a performance that is worthy of seeing, and I surely recommend it to theatre goers and non-theatre goers.

Part Two of SPL’s Double Feature

INOLA M. McGuire reviews
John Chatterton’s Short Play Lab
At
Davenport Theatre, Black Box
244 West 54th Street, New York, NY
On Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Program B

(1)

The first performance of the evening is “On Pace” by Ray Nelson, directed by Blayze Teicher; and starring Richard Clodfelter, Paula Gates, and Jonathan Lee-Rey.

The audience gets a glimpse of a middle-age man doing his routine as a runner to get back in shape and in control of his life. He begins this tedious task before his wife gets out of bed. She is curious about what he is up to in the morning. The wife tries to stay in shape with the aid of a young neighbor. The husband lies on the ground in an effort to hide the true reason for his being up so early. The wife and young neighbor fuss with the husband to lie still. They want to call an ambulance for him. He wants no part of their suggestion.

The issue of food comes up and the husband informs his wife of her culinary skills that need improvement, and he reminds her that they are the last of the white people on the block. To add more fire to the fury, the husband informs the audience of all of his dislikes and he lets his wife understands that, as a couple, they have been running their whole lives.

The writer gets his message across to the audience. Things are never what they appear to be with a couple. There could be hidden grudges and other resentments that destroy the love and harmony in a marriage. As the saying in the good book says, “don’t make the left knows what the right knows.” In the husband’s case, he did not want his wife to know that he was in competition with her plain and simple.

(2)

The second performance of the evening is “Kinsey” by Jessica Moss, directed by Jessica Moss; and starring Jessica Moss.

This one-woman show gives the audience a clear view into the life of a 14 year-old Kinsey who had a crap of a time adjusting to her teenage years. She has a sense of intuition that allows her to foresee things. In Kinsey’s situation, her father dies and she gets instruction from her mother to go upstairs and see her dead father.

In addition to acting out as a rite of passage as a teenager, Kinsey cheats on her Spanish test. She is bullied at school and she is unsuccessful in making friends, too. When she is told about her father’s death, she didn’t show any emotion; and her action bothered her mother.

The writer get her message across to the audience. Being a teenager is a rough rite of passage for some girls, and through frustration; some of the girls act out as a way to seek attention from friends and love ones. It is very important to have open communication with girls who may be destined to get into trouble deliberately. Teenage girls like Kinsey need as much love and understanding from their family and friends.

(3)

The third performance of the evening is “Ashes” by Leonard D. Goodisman, directed by Katherine Wilkins; and starring Sophia Mahmoud and Rishi Mukherjee.

The audience sees a grieving mother and an angry partner arguing with each other in an apartment. The mother wants to make amends with her supposedly deceased son’s lover. During their interaction, the revelation of the mother’s behavior towards her son when she found out about his sexual orientation was disastrous. She abandoned him plain and simple. Now, she wants to blame his lover, partner, for his demise.

The partner wants her out of the apartment. She repeats her refrain, “I want my Bobby back!” The lover throws in a few jabs of his own with numerous acquisitions to send the mother flying. She tries to bribe him. The partner wants time to think about the condition of the bribe. Both of them should share his memory with tranquility. She lets her son’s partner know that not all mothers want to hear or know that their sons are guy. She demands her son’s ashes. However, the partner informs her that her son’s not dead; but he is close to death’s door. Bobby’s still hanging on!

The message that this writer shares with the audience teaches tolerance and understanding for all. Most mothers do not want to know that their sons do not fit into the norms of society because they expect to become grandparents. On the other hand, men have gotten the green light to be themselves in today’s society. Hiding your sexual orientation is a thing of the past. Mothers just have to learn to deal with the hand that they were dealt with in these times.

(4)

The fourth performance of the evening is “Woman Up” by Kelly Canavan, directed by Emily Canavan; starring Emily Canavan and Anika Harden.

The performance shows the audience two women on a trip. The driver appears to be a hysterical type who gazes away from the road. The passenger demonstrates a stern demeanor, and she wants the driver to pay attention to the road. The woman in the passenger’s seat continues to ask the driver the same question, “Are you okay?” Both of them are on two different planets; yet they are sitting beside each other.

woman The driver is a second away from a traffic accident, but she is able to hold her own. The passenger, her company, wants to cheer her up for a few seconds. It is a toxic trip all the way. Surprisingly, they get to their destination in one piece with a great shout, “we are here!”
The writer’s message shows the audience how two travelers can be very toxic for each other. Their disagreements and other factors serve as a catalyst for the things one doesn’t want to endure. The audience surely learn from the performance. It serves as a cautionary tale for those people who like to take road trips.

(5)

The fifth performance of the evening is “The Cellers” by EJ Sepp, directed by EJ Sepp; and starring Nicoletta DeRose and Mark Richard Goldman.

The audience sees a poster, “HappyPhone,” as the name of a business. Kent wants to get his cell phone to work but the employees at this establishment ignore him. An obnoxious female employee tries to chastise him, and she rudely tries to put words in his mouth. At least half a dozen times, the woman repeats that she is trying to help Kent without really trying to help him. Kent deserves better treatment, but he is in a Twilight Zone.

The writer gets his message across to the audience. What the audience witnesses on stage is not too far fetch from the conditions in the workplace when customers try to get good customer service. It is a common place occurrence that I have observed and other people have complained about on a few occasions.

(6)

The sixth performance of the evening is “Anna” by Susie Neilson, directed by Susie Neilson; and starring Alison Maddren and Benjamin Howe.

The performance begins with a woman sitting on the floor of the stage drinking wine from a bottle, a pizza box, her cell phone, a book, outfits and lipstick are all on the floor next to her. A voice over, then music, a man’s voice speaks, “Wanna Bet?”

Anna texting and receiving texts from her ex-boyfriend forces her to drink from the bottle. Also, he escalates his bombardment with calling, too. She tries to be strong! He insults her intelligence by professing his love for her. The audience views him as an over-bearing character with a cosmic connection to Anna.

The messages from the writer spells out the word caution to the audience. It is always a great idea to get to know a person before one gets too close to him or her. Stalkers are for real! Some of them are relentless, and the audience witnesses how relentless one can be in and out of their victims’ lives.

(7)

The seventh performance of the evening is “For the Love of Rosa” by R. G. Rader, directed by R. G. Rader; and staring Chanis Reyes and Jason G. Rader.

The audience sees two people trying to be friendly with each other on a certain level. The female objects to seeing Rosa. The male tries to persuade her to change her mind about Rosa. After a few moments, the conversation changes and the female speaks great things about Rosa. The couples speak about Rosa’s marriage and the type of relationship she had with her husband. In a split fraction of time, the couple decides to be there for Rosa.

The audience wonders why such a change in attitude for Rosa as it views the couple as older people. As the saying goes, “with age brings reason.” This is probably the position the audience takes about the couple with Rosa as its topic of discussion. At the funeral, the couple reiterate how funny Rosa was during her life time; for the people remember the little things that made her very special in the good old days. In the end, the couple wonders or thinks in its mind, “Don’t we all hate Rosa?”

The writer gets the message across to the audience in a profound way. In many instances, some people may dislike their close friends for specific reasons. On the other hand, a good-nature person’s ability to communicate with others may be construed as a negative instead of a positive trait among friends. It is always best to choose your battles wisely instead of trying to win the war. Some friends may just have a love and hate relationship with you because of your personality. Just tread lightly when it comes to friendships.

(8)

The eighth performance of the evening is “Invisible of the Sidewalk” by Ran Xia, directed by Mary St. Angelo; and staring Kara Hankard, Andrew Dunn, and Nichole Jorgensen.

The performance begins with a man and a woman on stage. The audience hears and sees the man as he makes noise. Another woman enters with lots of newspapers. By this time, it is not hard to surmise that these people are vying for space on the sidewalk. The discourse among the actors reveals the importance of getting the right spot on the sidewalk and the problem with overcrowding through homelessness.

The writer’s message speaks volume to the audience, and it hears and sees the ramification of homelessness in urban cities. New York City is one such place with a large population of poor and destitute people trying to survive on the sidewalks. Capitalism has no conscience for people without money and high-paying jobs. However, there need to be another approach to homelessness and the disenfranchisement of the masses in this society.

The Short Play Lab presented by John Chatterton deserves more recognition than it has gotten in the past. It is a great opportunity for playwrights to showcase their work through the auspices John’s dedication to the theatre.