Review: “The Floor is Lava” at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club

Review: “The Floor is Lava” at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club

As we get closer to the point where Millennials and Generation Z makes up a solid majority of the voting age population, there has been an increased desire not just for younger people to see perspectives like their own represented in the world of theatre and film, but also for content that helps Baby Boomers and Generation X better understand the unique struggles that today’s young adults – born in the 1980s and 1990s – continue to face in life. Judging by the way it’s been advertised, it’s clear that the main goal of The Floor is Lava is to become the latest creative effort to try and fill that role

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Review: “Evil Clowns Have Feelings Too” at the Producer’s Club

Review: “Evil Clowns Have Feelings Too” at the Producer’s Club

Clowns!

Some people find them entertaining, or at the very least amusing. Others might find them creepy, perhaps to the point where they appear in their nightmares. For a select few, it may be a combination of all of the above. In IRTE’s latest show – which, as the title suggests, is all about evil clowns – that combination is exactly what is shown to theatergoers…although thankfully, it leans far more toward the silly and whimsical side of these characters.

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Review: “Washed in the Blood” at the NuBox Theatre

Review: “Washed in the Blood” at the NuBox Theatre

On October 1st, 2015, the students at Umpqua Community College in Oregon became among the many to have experienced the firsthand horror of gun violence in their school, as an armed shooter opened fire on them, immediately after asking each of them the question: “Do you believe in God?” To this day, questions remain over the shooter’s exact motives, and why he would ask his victims that question. However, in Washed in the Blood – Joshua Crone’s fictionalized depiction of these horrific events – we are offered an idea of what might have happened that led to such a tragic incident.

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Review: “The Ship Be Sinkin’” at the Producer’s Club

Review: “The Ship Be Sinkin’” at the Producer’s Club

For as long as can remember, Titanic has always been one of the cheesiest romance films – if not THE cheesiest – to have been released in my 26 years of life. So naturally, it has also consistently ranked up there as one of the easiest targets for parody by comedy writers, ever since its 1997 premiere. The fact that that’s still the case is proven yet again by the Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble’s latest outing at the Producer’s Club.

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Review: “The Art of Protest” at Articulate Theatre Company

Review: “The Art of Protest” at Articulate Theatre Company

If there’s any one word that describes the political climate that has defined this past decade, it has to be “protest”. From economic injustice and climate change to gun violence and racial discrimination, to name just a few, there have been countless social and political issues that have created a great of unrest among the people, in large part thanks to the inability – or in many cases, unwillingness – of our so-called leaders to do anything about it. That’s exactly the type of narrative that is captured in the fundraising performance presented this past week by Articulate Theatre Company.

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Review: 'Twelfth Night' at Alchemical Studios

Review: 'Twelfth Night' at Alchemical Studios

When it comes to adaptations of Shakespeare, of which there have been plenty over the years, there’s both the good and the bad. In some cases, however, as it is with most art, the way in which you judge the production might simply depend on your taste in theatre. Namely, it might depend on how much you love the playwright’s works already, prior to seeing the show. That is arguably the case with the latest indie theatre production of Twelfth Night, now running at Alchemical Studios.

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Review: “He’s Your Daddy” at Manhattan Repertory Theatre

Review: “He’s Your Daddy” at Manhattan Repertory Theatre

When it comes to writing material that is bound to appeal to large audiences, it’s hard to go wrong with writing a family comedy. Throw in enough awkward situations and raunchy humor, and the result is usually bound to be an experience that will leave you laughing out loud from beginning to end. Such is the case with He’s Your Daddy, the latest outing to be presented at Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

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Review: “June is the First Fall” at New Ohio Theatre

Review: “June is the First Fall” at New Ohio Theatre

There’s no shortage of new plays being written in 2019 that deal with LGBTQ issues, and the continued discrimination that many members of the LGBTQ community continue to face to this day. However, it’s not every day we see a play that explores the specific strain of homophobia that still runs strong among older generations in the Asian-American community. Yet June is the First Fall, now running at New Ohio Theatre, does an outstanding job at doing exactly that.

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Review: “Tammy’s Bachelorette” at the Producer’s Club

Review: “Tammy’s Bachelorette” at the Producer’s Club

With spring time creeping right around the corner, that means only one thing in the worlds of comedy and independent theatre: The return of the long-running Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble, with their latest season at the Producer’s Club in Hell’s Kitchen. Having managed to catch all four of their shows during their season last year, I recently had the chance to return and see their most recent outing, and their first of 2019.

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Review: “Moral Support” at Medicine Show Theatre

Review: “Moral Support” at Medicine Show Theatre

Alcoholism. Abuse. Divorce. Dysfunctional families.

 All of these are familiar themes in American drama. Rightly so, given how well they’ve proven to continuously resonate with audiences, to some extent or another. However, it’s not every day you come across a script that seamlessly weaves each of them together as well as Moral Support, which recently enjoyed a successful two-week run at the well-renowned Medicine Show Theatre.

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Review: “Toto Talks” at the Kraine Theater

Review: “Toto Talks” at the Kraine Theater

If there’s ever a such thing as a cliché, overdone type of fringe show, it would have to be this: A show that’s heavy on humor that relies too much of both innuendo and raunchy humor, as well as recycled stories and characters from within the public domain. If you’re a fan of both drag queens and The Wizard of Oz, then maybe you might enjoy spending an hour of your day watching one of this show’s last performances. Otherwise, you’re probably better off looking into one of the FRIGID Festival’s other offerings this year.

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Review: “Immigrants: We Are Them, They Are Us” at The Tank

Review: “Immigrants: We Are Them, They Are Us” at The Tank

Ever since the election of Donald Trump nearly three years, the topics of immigration and racism have come to the forefront on the national conversation, and have fueled many – in some cases uncomfortable, but consistently honest and necessary – discussions on these topics in the arts and the general public sphere. The latest example of such work was seen recently at The Tank, when the Asian-American Film Lab presented Cheryl L. Davis’s new play Immigrants: We Are Them, They Are Us for a brief limited engagement.

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Review: “MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus” at Kickstarter HQ

Review: “MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus” at Kickstarter HQ

On a snowy Tuesday night in Greenpoint, I found myself at the headquarters of Kickstarter. Objectively speaking, it’s hard not to describe this location as anything other than an unconventional location to present the world premiere a brand new short film production. However, MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus – the new art film presented recently presented by a group called “The Void” – is anything but a conventional film, or even a conventional work of art.

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Review: “Till We Meet Again” at the 14th Street Y

Review: “Till We Meet Again” at the 14th Street Y

When thinking about World War II, and the atrocities committed by the Axis Powers, it’s often easy to want to lionize the war heroes who fought to protect democracy from the tyrannically governments that wanted to annihilate freedom. Having said that, a lot has changed for the better since World War II, in terms of younger generations being more progressive on issue of race, culture and equal rights. Given the feelings some World War II veterans had, it’s easy to overlook the fact that these two feelings – the need to celebrate our veterans and to fight against the evils of racism – can actually conflict with one another, a fact that is explored in Glory Kadigan’s new play Till We Meet Again, now in its third week at the 14th Street Y.

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Review: “The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q” at the 14th Street Y

Review: “The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q” at the 14th Street Y

Toward the beginning of this year, I had the pleasure of seeing a sci-fi themed solo-show geared for young audiences about caring for the environment entitled “Constellarium”. It was just the latest outing from educational theatre company Rebel Playhouse, the brainchild of actor/producer Clara Kundin. Given , after receiving an invite to their latest production: The premiere of Ric Averill’s “The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q”. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

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Review: “Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942” at Theatre 80 St. Marks

Review: “Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942” at Theatre 80 St. Marks

The massive loss of life – especially when it’s as many of 492 people – is a horrifically sad incident, in and of itself. For the survivors and the people who remember, including those who didn’t survive completely unscathed, it leaves an emotional and psychological scar that their bound to carry for the rest of their life. That’s exactly the message which James Hansen Prince seems to be trying to show his audience in his period piece entitled “Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942” about a tragic real-life fire that occurred at a supper club in Boston in 1942.

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Review: “Selkie” at the Wild Project

Review: “Selkie” at the Wild Project

I honestly try not to be as colorful in my reviews that I write, as I normally would be in regular, everyday conversation. Having said that, I also owe the readers of OnStage Blog honesty, and thus, I feel obligated to say that while waiting to see the world premiere of Krista Knight’s new play “Selkie”, the only question I could think of, over and over, was…

“What the fuck is a Selkie?”

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Review: “As You Like It” at the Players Theatre

Review: “As You Like It” at the Players Theatre

Like all other revivals, productions of William Shakespeare’s large canon of plays tend to be a mixed bag. Some prove to be colorful and innovative takes on these classics, while others make you fall asleep, if not scratch your eyes out. This past weekend at the Players Theatre, I found myself viewing the worst of the worst in this category of productions, when director/producer Carrie Isaacman’s production of “As You Like It” made me wish I weren’t there as a reviewer, so I could feel like I didn’t have to stay in the theater from beginning to end.

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Review: “Shadows” at the Connelly Theatre

Review: “Shadows” at the Connelly Theatre

Dancing! Romance! Ghosts!

To some theatergoers, the above combination is certainly one that is bound to lead to a night of entertainment that they will love. I will confess, neither ghost stories nor romances are exactly the genres that excite me most, when heading out for a night of theatre. However, not even I can deny that the recent production of Shadows is one of the most impressive and sophisticated musicals to premiere in the NYC indie theatre scene within the past year or so.

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