beaucoup des choses! (artlog #3)

my friends and fellow world citizens—

il y a beaucoup .. but really beaucoup to cover in this posting! too much garret apartment hunting has made this kippy into a lazy lass when it comes to le plume. allora, let us begin.

1. uncle vanya at soho rep

i took in chekhov’s uncle vanya, in a new translation by annie baker, directed by the halcyon (wink!) sam gold, at soho rep early last week. what a production. while i was wearing a rather tarty get up, it was a great relief to discover i had my tunisian scarf/blanket/towel in my midst. what a useful tool such a swath of cloth can be. since the production is an intimate affair, i was interested in flashing neither actors nor audience members! i swaddled myself, leaned back and took in the story. and what a tale it is!

chekhov sure knew how to write ‘em. and. ms baker seems like a perfect companion to this tragician and comic-ician’s work. the close-up staging, despite one audience member’s lack of yoga practice and a sleeping foot, worked quite perfectly, especially given the fine actors who played upon the off white carpet..

that michael shannon…hubba hubbah! he could be my doctor any day. is he married? not to mention that makes-me-dizzy maria dizzia. what a star. ooh and sonya—poor sonya!—played with an understated gentle purity by the fine merritt weaver. i wonder if the character/actress is a cancer on the zodiac? for she had the fine and tender devotion of one. the other players were all quite remarkable as well. paul thureen and matt maher what verve. those songs! that reed birney could rock himself into oblivion on a ratty arm chair any day and i’d be all the luckier to watch. hmph!

dr. i need a physical!

another etoille of the evening, pour moi, was of course the inimitable mr. hilton als. if the new yorker is my lodestar, then hilton is my pilot. he presented an essay on chekhov in the over-heated theatre post-show and a rapt audience sat cross-legged and on the edge of risers listening to him opine, recall and synthesize ideas. the unlikely personal tale of racist ruffians on a train twirled back to chekhov’s dispassionate eye for observation in a most unusual and potent manner. and the final image hilton described of people walking about a train station in the midst of his own quotidian tragedy will stay with me for some time yet. i cannot wait to read mr. als’s review of the baked gold vanya. let’s have a latte soon, hilt!

est ce que tu prends un cafe avec moi?

2. ntusa’s the golden veil at the kitchen

a whippersnapper i’m in cahoots with already conducted an interview with the playwright, normandy raven sherwood, here so i will offer only what it was that i saw. another day of house hunting had left this kippy depleted, so it was with some rejuvenating zest and vigor when i ran into friends outside of the kitchen.

this west side venue is one of my faves. though it is always more of schlep to get to than it should be (damned 10th ave!) the space is indeed quite nice and some of the coolness of the meatpacking and highline districts (impossibly) rubs off on the theatre.

plus, i love the press tickets they give me.

the hip folk with asymmetrical haircuts were gathered outside on the breezy almost-summer evening. catching up, sizing up and posturing abounded. a new york scene to behold, love and loathe all at once! making my way into the theatre, i was struck by the swirling fog smoke and decorous—not to mention decorative!—curtains that hung in late 1800s style. “i love it already,” i stage whispered to a companion.

i cannot tell much of the tale beyond that it was about a young shepherdess and her lover—played with hilarious lank by ean sheehy. maggie robinson took turns as a narrate-ress, reading with olde english abandon from a book and even taking a turn conducting a silent fruit puppet theatre play. this was a story told from many points of view and my point of view was that it was a fine spectacle of a most original nature calling into examination the “simple” past with tongues firmly in cheek. stupid—but genie—staging gags abounded. my favorite included tree branches held by actors which part for one character and then suddenly impede another (the long drink of water sheehy). this antic had me slapping my knee! the final stage picture with ribbons was arresting. the music, done by jesse hawley, was quite something as well—simple eerie harmonies and melodies floated in the air and—like the fog—entranced those who bore witness.

i will say i was a bit disappointed the musicians were not in costume. the stage hands, one of whom bore a striking resemblance to ms. sherwood—wink!—,were dressed in fitting edward gorey attire and garb, so why not les musiciennes?? a tiny detail to be sorted  when this piece bows again on what i’m sure will be the international touring circuit. 2014 zagreb!

croatia’s capital

3. something by you nakai and no collective

my friends, have you ever received an email from “you?” it is a most confucius-inducing  thing to see in one’s inbox. “did I send myself something?” you wonder. then you remember: “you isn’t me, or you, but a person named ‘you!’” (who’s on first??)

anyhoo (and who) .. ((not to mention how now brown cow…!)) .. my amante had convinced me to attend a showing of no collective and participate with him as some kind of volunteer. there were a number of emails sent with directions about how to greet the audience. naturellement, i didn’t read any of these. this kippy is too busy attending an office mondays through fridays and keeping up with personal correspondences to be bothered with such details!

i arrived at the incubator arts project—that building which boasts the most specific of smells—with my chicken enchiladas from san loco. mmm i’m loco for san loco. you (the person, not you the reader, mind you!) was holding court with a number of female volunteers. my man was no where to be seen. “you will have a conversation with the audience on a telephone and relay the information to your friends,” you told everyone. “you have to guess what is going on inside the theatre but at no point are you to improvise. please, don’t try to be funny.” i knew this direction would be most difficile for my beloved, who has been known to hijack performances—not to mention seders—on occasion!

you intoned at length going over a myriad of rules and regulations about how the performance would proceed. i was confucious to the extreme and salivated over my enchiladas. finally i could concentrate no more, plopped myself on a bench wielding fork and knife and dug in.

the resulting performance was a most strange one, wherein audience members were led into the theatre and seated by the “volunteers,” of which i was one. we folded up all the empty chairs and tucked them away. then, the volunteers exited the theatre and made phone calls to two of the audience members. (were these audiences plants? one cannot know.) we asked them a series of questions to find out what was happening inside, what kind of music was being played, etc.) then we entered, silenced the noise making instruments and switch boards and bowed. when some audience members left the volunteers replaced them, and more phone calls ensued. all the while two young boys (9-year-olds dressed as techies) marched around the theatre sushshing and hushing anyone on a phone or futzing with an instrument/switch board. the result created a kind of zany concept performance which devolved into an increasingly pointless anarchic event. perhaps it would have been more fun had i felt in on the joke or had a wall of fatigue not struck me down.

my main food group

4. what i wish i’d seen: pig pile and will eno’s title and deed

in my salad days of high school my amici and i would sojourn in cape cod. on these revelrous—and highly tame, not to mention nerdy—excursions we’d call out “pig pile!” and topple atop one of our unsuspecting friends. it was always a glorious belly laugh of a time that produced strong feelings of kinship and camaraderie. another pig pile is afoot of late, helmed by ms. sibyl kempson. i’ve had the good fortune of tooting about with ms. kempson and she is a playwright (and performer) to behold. the pig pile brings together such fine austin talents as jenny larson, rubber repertory folk and composer graham reynolds. had I not been ‘neath a golden veil, i’d have surely scooted north to new dramatists to catch the latest iteration in which I am told todd london himself performed! i look forward to catching pig pile’s full iteration at austin’s fusebox festival in the years to come.

also i am very sad i missed will eno’s title and deed. sigh, harrumph and quel dommage. with any luck, will and i will play tennis soon enough and over some small ball or a good old fashioned rally, he’ll tell me how it went.

only the best playwrights play tennis

c’est tout..ciao for now..!

ps go see space/space while you can.


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One Response to “beaucoup des choses! (artlog #3)”

  1. you in japan / we all look like jerks (artlog #9) « Kippywinston's Weblog Says:

    […] there’s never a moment to bucharest … ! i heard recently that my pal you nakai (see beaucoup des choses artlog #3) will be premiering with no collective concertos no.4 at the national museum of modern art in tokyo […]

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