Review: "At Black Lake" at the Tank

Review: "At Black Lake" at the Tank

Haunting questions about their childrens’ deaths. Nights of nostalgia melt into scalding accusations. Tension, both sexual and platonic, is rampant.

These are the circumstances for At Black Lake at The Tank – while not every question was answered, the production led the audience through an eerie and sensory experience to great success. 

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Review: The Tank presents “Butterflies”

Review: The Tank presents “Butterflies”

A poignant exploration of life, love, and loss, Emanuele Aldrovandi’s “Butterflies,” making its United States premiere currently at The Tank through June 8, unfolds over the next ninety minutes as a rollercoaster of blunt dialogue mashed with symbolic theatricality, a masterclass in heartbreaking coming of age vignettes.

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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: “Black Garden” at The Tank

Review: “Black Garden” at The Tank

“Black Garden” is a theatrical collage set in the warring nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan and tells us several stories involving people such as an Armenian woman struggling to recall a lost lover through amnesia, a man being imprisoned and accused of espionage, two corrupt political leaders, and diaspora Armenians on the search for love and struggling to understand who they are.

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Review: “The Russian and the Jew” at The Tank

 Review: “The Russian and the Jew” at The Tank

For some younger theatergoers, it could be easy to forget how during the dark days of the Cold War in the 1960s, many Soviet citizens feared the state tyranny and suppression of faith that existed in that era, and sought to escape to the United States in a manner that isn’t all too different from the refugees fleeing countries like Syria and Yemen today. What’s still easy for many people to forget today is that these migrants have deeply personal (and often tumultuous) stories that they are often taking with them. That’s exactly what “The Russian and the Jew”, the latest production to be showcased at The Tank, seems to be aiming to remind us.

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Review: “Rule of 7x7: All-Stars” at The Tank

Review: “Rule of 7x7: All-Stars” at The Tank

Whether you’re a writer, an actor, or a director, timed challenges in theatre can often be wildly crazy and highly energizing for all of the artists involved. For the audience members who are lucky enough to be around for the final result, it often leads to some of the most strangely entertaining nights of live theatre that you’re bound to enjoy. If there’s ever been such an excellent example I’ve seen recently of that, it’s the recent “All-Stars” round of the Rule of 7x7 series that runs throughout the year at The Tank.

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Review: “The Bridge” at The Tank

Review: “The Bridge” at The Tank

When it comes to conceptual dance and performance pieces, I am always a fan of work that adapts poetry. When it’s done right, it often can feel like some of the most incredibly beautiful works of performance that there is. So when I was invited to review Natalia Roberts’s dance show inspired by Shel Silverstein’s “The Bridge”, I was certainly intrigued. When I got to the theater, however, I quickly realized that the show wasn’t necessarily an adaptation, so much as it was a response.

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Review: “Independent Study” at The Tank

Review: “Independent Study” at The Tank

The feeling of betrayal is always one of the most sickening and disturbing feelings that someone can have. It’s only even worse, when it comes as a result of losing trust – as a result of learning facts about them not previously known – in a close mentor or teacher whom you once admired and thought you could look up to. It is exactly this type of relationship that is explored, in a very modern and relevant context, in Ben Gassman’s brilliant new play entitled Independent Study.

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Review: “When We Went Electronic” at The Tank

Review: “When We Went Electronic” at The Tank

After a long and busy night involving sex and intoxication, it might be easy to forget what happened, with memories getting blurred and distorted, leaving them to question how good or bad last night really was. In Caitlin Saylor Stephens’s new play at The Tank, we see this type of scenario play out in a highly absurdist fashion, as two American Apparel models question the reality of the events of what happened the previous night.

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Review: “The Amazing Story Machine” at The Tank

Review: “The Amazing Story Machine” at The Tank

Each year, the Jim Henson Foundation aims to keep their namesake’s legacy alive and well by granting an annual Family Grant to an organization creating innovative new examples of children’s storytelling through puppetry. One recent example is the latest production to be showcased at The Tank: “The Amazing Story Machine”, a new story that tells the story of how seven generations after the brothers Grimm changed children’s storytelling forever with their book of fairy tales, the cousins Grimm seek to do the same with their brand new invention…only for things to not go quite to their plan along the way.

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Review: “Ruffles” at The Tank

Review: “Ruffles” at The Tank

Since 2003, The Tank has earned a reputation as one of the leading venues in New York for presenting some of the most unique work, presented by artists who aren’t afraid to think outside the box. When I say this, this often includes works that take social and cultural issues that are prevalent in society, and thus covered frequently in the arts, but explores them in a way that is experimental and different from most mainstream contemporary works. That is especially true of Ruffles, the latest world premiere to find a home at this venue this month.

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Review: "Testimony" at The Tank NYC

Review: "Testimony" at The Tank NYC

Religion is a tough thing to talk about in the theatre. It’s a tough thing to talk about anywhere, but in a medium that literally traps people in a room and makes them observe a piece of someone else’s life, it’s even more difficult. Testimony takes any difficulty that one might find and replaces it with honesty, emotion, and a faith that anyone can relate to no matter their religious beliefs. 

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Review: “In the Penal Colony” at The Tank

Review: “In the Penal Colony” at The Tank

In recent years, an increasing trend I’ve noticed in independent theatre is one of artists taking the short stories of legendary writers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and adapting them for the stage, in the hopes of re-introducing these stories to new generations. Some of these adaptations have generally been more impressive than others. However, In the Penal Colony – based on the short story by Franz Kafka of the same name – certainly stands out, in that goes further than other such works, in terms of how creative they are with the way they depict the story.

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Review: “Death of a Bottle Girl” at The Tank

Review: “Death of a Bottle Girl” at The Tank

It’s basically an open secret that the NYC club scene can be a very gritty and intense world. It’s arguably like the rest of this city, in that it can be full of fun, but also full of danger and risk. If you’ve never been to a club like the one I’m describing, then perhaps the next closest thing to knowing what it’s like to be there, in the middle of the action, is seeing Death of a Bottle Girl, the brand new autobiographical solo show from Sydnee Washington.

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Review: “Serpent’s Tooth” at The Tank

Review: “Serpent’s Tooth” at The Tank

Most statistics show that the vast majority of marriages today end in divorce. While many kids with divorced parents ultimately grow up to become very happy and successful adults, the fact of the matter is that it still isn’t a pleasant experience, while growing up. So what do you do about it? Make a few jokes about it, of course! At least, that seems to be one of the lessons from Serpent’s Tooth, an event of various featured storytellers – revolving around the theme of memorable awkward events, when they were younger - on the last night of The Tank’s highly successful Speak Up, Rise Up festival.

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Review: “I’m Choking (and other excuses to leave a party)” at The Tank

Review: “I’m Choking (and other excuses to leave a party)” at The Tank

It’s a very familiar feeling, which I’m sure we’ve all had before: Whether it was a party, a wedding, a meeting, etc., we’ve all been to events before where we felt compelled to go to, but were desperate to find a way out of. Whatever the reason may be, from anxiety to awkwardness to simple boredom, we’ve all been there before. That much is clear, given the overwhelming reaction last week to I’m Choking (and other excuses to leave a party) by Josh Johnson, one of many outings recently presented at The Tank’s Speak Up, Rose Up storytelling festival.

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Review: “Don’t Reach in the Bag” at The Tank

Review: “Don’t Reach in the Bag” at The Tank

Porn.

Just the word alone invokes something dirty, kinky, and raunchy. Naturally, when hearing about a place such as a porn video store – back in the late-90s, when video stores were still a thing – one might think exactly how dirty could such a place potentially be, if they’ve never been inside one. Yet one new solo show which recently played at The Tank as part of the Speak Up, Rise Up festival this past week – Don’t Reach in the Bag – is here to show a more human side to the reality of what it’s like to work in such an environment.

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