I Cover The Automat

First Irish continued, by way of Belinda McKeon…
September 24, 2010, 1:27 am
Filed under: Observations

Tonight, at long last, I was able to get sprung from work in time to make the 7pm curtain at PS 122 for Graham & Frost, a highly charged one-act by Belinda McKeon.

It’s an admirable undertaking — one that reminds you of the possibility of discovering something new. To be completely honest, I’m hard-pressed to remember anything I’ve seen downstairs at PS 122 in recent seasons that has demonstrated the same resonance or promise. A taut play with a spot-on cast, G&F draws you into a heightened setting that is simultaneously plausible and expertly controlled, with a persistent inflection drawn from the air of inherent menace.

The poetry rests in McKeon’s ability to resist the low-hanging fruit of predictable stage action and instead focus on the complexity and nuance of character. In return, three memorable dramatic figures follow you home, with each of them remaining well beyond the running time of the play.

Perhaps the super-harvest moon has aligned a harmonic convergence whereby PS 122 and the Project Cube have become interlocked, as the same vibrant energy radiating on the Dublin Fringe these past weeks has a strong echo ringing out on E. 9th Street. NYC is all the luckier for this cosmic coincidence.


Is the pint glass half empty?
September 21, 2010, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Announcements, Blather, Observations
Well, it’s been a busy few weeks, punctuated by a quick run upstate where I spent Yom Kippur organizing tax documents that are sorely overdue for our accountant. But the mental fast has been broken, and it’s all 1st Irish theater shows all of the time.

Lalor Roddy as Lev in Kabosh's production 'This Is What We Sang'. Photo Aidan Monaghan

Last night was a visiting production for the North: the extraordinary site-specific company, Kabosh, presenting their new production, This is What We Sang, at the Synagogue for the Arts in Lower Manhattan. It’s a remarkable piece of work with an exceptional cast, and you would be well served to get out and see it this week or next. Speaking of well-served, I certainly was following the show and reception, spending a wonderful night catching up with my good friend Lalor Roddy along with the rest of the cast and Kabosh crowd.
For those wonks among my readers (you know who you are), you might be particularly interested in the NYPL’s panel discussion with the company next Tuesday evening at 6pm (NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center), and equally in this Saturday’s 1st Irish Theater Symposium, featuring the likes of Garry Hynes, Prof. John P. Harrington, Belinda McKeon, and ME! I’m moderating the morning panel, before heading over to the Public for the first NYC performance of Elevator Repair Service’s GATZ.
But I digress from 1st Irish. There’s a lot to discover on the program, and some of the shows are wrapping up soon (and some you’re going to need to scrap to get a ticket). There’s been a lot of ink spilt commending Wife to James Whelan at The Mint and Frank McCourt’s The Irish… and How They Got That Way at the Irish Rep, so you’ve got no one but yourself to blame if you miss out on those. For those looking for a more intimate studio theater experience, you’re coming up on the final few performances of The Map of Lost Things downstairs at PS 122, and a pair of plays at Manhattan Theater Source, with the rollicking Ardnaglass on the Air now following the finely tuned production of Dermot Bolger’s The Holy Ground (insider tip: do both on the same night, and duck into Rabbit in the Moon between shows).
Beyond that, I fear you missed the chance to see Three Irish Widows vs. The Rest of the World at the Stage Left Studio. Take heart, however; you’ve got plenty of additional options as the month winds down: I’m on my way now to see Hue & Cry, and then Thursday it will be The Flea for The Prophet of Monto and PS 122 for the well-publicized Graham & Frost, with Guy Walks into a Bar (in a bar), Rat in the Skull, and a staged reading of Beowulf to follow. Once I’ve had a chance seen a few more of these, I’ll report back via the interweb. But between now and then, feel free to corner me over a pint — 1st Irish has taken over the Scratcher for its festival club, and, boy, do I love the Scratcher.

Building bridges
May 10, 2010, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Observations

via Brownstoner

I was quite pleased to discover by way of Brownstoner that the latest CB2 meeting included presentation of updated plans for connecting the languishing Squib Park in the North Heights to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park below. Let’s hope the City takeover of BBP will fast-track the renovation and construction of the bridge.

But Scotty’s only seen the sights a boy can see from Brooklyn Heights…
May 19, 2009, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Observations
Now with trees!

Spectacular evening tonight. Here's the latest on our new neighborhood park... Trees have arrived!