PUPPET TITUS ANDRONICUS

The Puppet Shakespeare Players present
www.puppetshakespeare.org

PUPPET TITUS ANDRONICUS

Featuring
ADAM WEPPLER, SARAH VILLEGAS, CHRSTOPHER GEBAUER, ALEX OFFENKRANTZ
TOM FORAN, DREW TURKELSON, MINDY LEANSE, ROSS HAMMAN
ABBY JUDD, A.J. COTE, SHANE SNIDER, RYAN RINKEL

Directed by RYAN RINKEL
Producers: RYAN RINKEL, A.J.COTE, SHANE SNIDER
Produced by S.T.T. PRODUCTIONS
Stage Manager: LAUREL DETKIN
Assistant Stage Manager: ABBY JUDD
Lighting Design: LESLIE SMITH
Sound Design: JOHN HULL
Assistant Sound Designer: RYAN FADDEN
Set Design: HOLLY TROTTA & KEVIN O’CALLAGHAN
Costume Design: SUZETTE SNIDER
Assistant Costumer: SARAH VILLEGAS
Puppet Design: A.J. COTE
Puppet Fabrications: MINDY LEANSE & SARAH VILLEGAS
Puppet Shakespeare Singers: A.J. COTE, CHRIS CEBEAUER & SARAH VILLEGAS

The Beckett Theatre @ Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues)
(212) 239-6200 or www.telecharge.com
July 24 – August 17; Opening Night – 07/30/14

Ah, what to do with one of Shakespeare’s “worse” plays that must have some redeeming qualities since it’s still hanging around? Give it to a bunch of hairy puppets, throw in a few cans of Silly String, add a pop music background, and sit back for the time of your life. PUPPET TITUS ANDRONICUS, in the capable and irreverent hands of the Puppet Shakespeare Players, becomes a hilarious offering of plots and poetry, blood and betrayal, dismemberment and death, and colorful charming puppets. Asides and improvisation enhance the wacky wildness and involve the audience – these folks are very talented.

There’s an occasional nod to The Bard with a few of his lines delivered intact, but for the most part, PUPPET TITUS ANDRONICUS is a free-for-all rendition that sweeps you along in its raucous merriment and tragic events. Shakespeare has never been such fun!

- Laurie Lawson -

SNOW WHITE & THE BEAST

The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
presents

SNOW WHITE & THE BEAST

Written & Produced by MATHILDE DEHAYE
Directed by RENOLY SANTIAGO

July 23 - 25, 2014

The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
115 E. 15th Street, NYC

Set Designer LILIANA INES BARRERA
Costume Designer URSULA GARCIA TINOCO
Sound/Lighting Designer NICHOLAS THOMAS
Press Representative SCOTTI RHODES PUBLICITY

Cast

Lili - Mathilde Dehave
Vincent - Malik Ali
Harold - David Woodrow
Gregory - Andre Torquato
Jerry - Brad Bolle
George - Gary Tavitian
The Man - Mauricio Bustamante
Keira - Christine Paterno


SNOW WHITE & THE BEAST is a cautionary tale of life choices, love, abuse and addiction told through the stories of painter Lili and poet Vincent. After meeting in a bar in New York City, the two become virtually inseparable, slipping deep into drug addiction and the deception that comes with it.

The play introduces a lot of material, mainly told in flashback by bar owner, Harold, including Lili's abusive father and Vincent's second life in London, to act as biography to explain the characters as they have become, but almost every scene inevitably runs too long, and some do little to add to the impact of the play. Many of the scenes between Lili and Vincent feature the effects of their drug use, and while interesting exercises in character studies, repetitive glimpses of them in these altered states undermined the script. Shorter hints of their various faces - Vincent's undercurrent of rage turned to actual violence; Lili's defiance and determination in the face of abuse; their moments of infatuation and lust posing as love and romance - would have made the piece stronger.

The set design made good use of the stage, although some of the scene changes themselves were not as smooth as they could be. Props and costumes were on point too, allowing the art created by Lili and Vincent's poems to act almost as additional characters in the play with physical presence on the stage.

Mathilde Dehaye's SNOW WHITE & THE BEAST is the winner of the 2014 StrasbergWorks competition. It is a flawed work, but also one that shows the promise of better things to come from playwright/performer/producer Dehaye.

- Kessa De Santis -

NO STRINGS ATTACHED

NO STRINGS ATTACHED

Written by MANUEL IGREJAS
Directed by ROBERT TEAGUE

Featuring
CASEY BURDEN, AFRIM GJONBALAJ, & KEVIN PEREZ

Lighting & Sound: ELLEN ROSENBERG
Publicity: PROPAGANDA PR

Stage Left Studio
214 West 30th Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10011
www.StageLeftStudio.net
July 24 through August 16, 2014

NO STRINGS ATTACHED is a phrase that’s easy to say but hard to endure when it comes to love. Just ask Monty, a sweetheart of a guy who’s been in a romantic partnership with Luis for ten happy years. Monty is the sentimental one, wanting to get married on the beach, wearing a Vera Wang pantsuit. He works in publicity for a Styrofoam company, but dreams of writing a best-seller one day.

Luis is not sentimental. Nor is he employed. He decides to become a stand-up comic. Eye-roll from Monty. But he will be supportive of this goal, not matter how impractical and unachievable he considers it. That’s the power of love.

One evening they attend an art opening in Chelsea and are served drinks by the handsome Stefan. Electricity fills the air. Something about Stefan excites and delights Monty. He feels he knows Stefan from somewhere. Ah, yes. Porn films. Next Stefan encounters Luis, who exhibits the same symptoms as Monty, but for a very different and more destructive reason. Let the bad times roll.

This is a triangle, but hardly romantic in any positive sense. More a sexual triangle, strangely askew in its proportions. Luis dominates Stefan, Stefan dominates Monty, and Monty just tries to cope with his breaking heart. Three men, three different priorities: love, lust, and money. Perhaps another old saying will turn out to be true. Love conquers all?

-Karen D’Onofrio-

CLINTON

The New York Musical Theatre festival and Paul Hodge present

CLINTON
www.ClintonTheMusical.com

Book by PAUL HODGE & MICHAEL HODGE
Music & Lyrics by PAUL HODGE

Featuring
KARL KENZLER, DUKE LaFOON, ALET TAYLOR, TOM SOUHRADA, KEVEN ZAK
NATALIE GALLO, KARA GUY, and JOHN GREGORIO

Directed by ADAM ARIAN
Musical Direction by JAMES DOBINSON
Choreography by EMILY McNAMARA
Scenic Design: DAVID GALLO
Lighting Design: GREG MITCHELL
Costume Design: DAVID WOODARD
Sound Design: SHANNON SLATON

Orchestra
Musical Director/Keys 1: JAMES DOBINSON
Assistant Musical Director/Keys 2: ARI ROSSEN
Drums: YUICHI MIRAKAWA
Reeds: JASON CURRY

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues)
(212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org
7/18 @ 8 PM; 7/19 @ 9 PM; 7/20 @ 4 PM; 7/22 @ 9 PM; 7/25 @ 1 PM; 7/26 @ 5 PM

Michael and Paul Hodge’s CLINTON is a raucous, racy, and rollicking musical inhabited by some of the most unforgettable and unconventional characters ever to grace the American political stage. As if one wasn’t enough, there are two Clintons – serious statesman WJ (Karl Kenzler) and mischievous Billy C (Duke LaFoon) – and together they manage to stir up a great deal of trouble and fun. Alet Taylor is marvelous as Hillary. And they are joined by nemesis Newt Gingrich (Tom Souhrada), tenacious Kenneth Starr (the hilarious Kevin Zak), advisor Dick Morris (John Gregorio), Monica Lewinsky (Natalie Gallo) and of course Eleanor Roosevelt (Kara Guy). Together these folks resurrect fond memories – Newt’s Contract with America, Starr’s White Water/Monica Lewinsky investigations, and the shutdown of the government to name a few. Interweave these with a strip tease, a boxing match, the Macarena, and high-energy singing and dancing, and you can’t help but have a good ole time.

What’s truly entertaining is to reminisce of this momentous time in light of current-day events. Double entendres become triple entendres as the past and the present collide in hilarious fashion. What’s old is new again, and how fortunate are we that we not only got to live through the events but also experience it again through a delightful musical. CLINTON – may the name ring on into our future!

- Laurie Lawson -

FABLE

The New York Musical Theatre Festival
Christopher Mirto & Reed Ridgley present

FABLE

Book by H.S. KAUFMAN
Music & Lyrics by CHRISTOPHER ANSELMO

Featuring
JEFF BARONE, EDWARD WELLINGTON HARDY, DON LIEBER, MICHAEL LUWOYE, MADISON MICUCCI MARISSA O’DONNELL, GERIANNE PEREZ, RJ RAYBIN, DANROSALES, ALEX WALTON

Directed and Choreography by JEN WINEMAN
Musical Direction by KAREN DRYER
Orchestrations: ASHER DENBURG
Production Manager: SCOTT DELACRUZ
Associate Producer: JUSTIN PETERSON
Scenic Design: DEB O
Costume Design: ELIZABETH BARRETT GROTH
Lighting Design: ALAN C. EDWARDS
Sound Design: JESSICA PAZ
Casting: MICHAEL CASSARA, CSA
General Manager: REED RIDGLEY
Publicist: JUDY JACKSINA COMPANY
Stage Manager: KATY SWANN

Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues)
(212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org
7/22 @ 8 PM; 7/24 @ 1 PM; 7/24 @ 5 PM; 7/25 @ 1 PM; 7/26 @ 9 PM, 7/27 @ 1 PM; 7/27 @ 5 PM

Ah, youth. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. In H.S. Kaufman’s FABLE (music & lyrics by Christopher Anselmo), six friends get together on the eve of high school graduation to celebrate their last days of non-adulthood. Although there’s a party going on in the background, a tug of war between the angst of reality and the final grasp of fun is taking place in the foreground. As the friends grapple with first love, the quest for sex, getting into college, leaving home, starting a new life, saying goodbye, and relationships of all kinds, they realize that it is time to stop believing in fairytales and fables. This reality stuff is rough and trying to fit the mold can be difficult. But a funny thing happened on the way to growing up – they start to realize that it may be time to write their own fables.

Kaufman and Anselmo are the youngest artists ever to be invited to the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and it shows in the content of FABLE – the issues addressed are all “young.” Where youth takes a back seat is in the amazing talent that it took to put this musical together. Innovative songs, snappy music, compelling characters, and a rollicking story make you excited to see what they will come up with next. The talented cast breathe life into this ode to friendship, growing up, and forging your way. The result is an enjoyable theatrical presentation

- Laurie Lawson -

OPRAHFICATION

The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Adam Lowe Theatrical Present

OPRAHFICATION

Book and Lyrics by RACHEL DUNHAM
Music by SHANON D. WHITELOCK
Featuring RACHEL DUNHAM as Oprah
Directed by DIRK HOULT
Production Stage Manager: KELLY CAITLIN SULLIVAN
Musical Director: SHANON D. WHITELOCK
Lighting Design: ALEX BERLAGE, ROSS GRAHAM
Sound Design: SARAH J. TREVORROW
General manager: SHARON FALLON PRODUCTIONS, Sharon Fallon
Press Representative: JT-PR, Joe Trentacosta

Band Members
Keyboard 1 – SHANON D. WHITELOCK
Keyboard 2 – YUVAL SEMO
Lead Guitar – STEVE DAWSON
Bass Guitar – DANIEL ASHER
Drums – KEITH ABRAMS

Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues)
(212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org
07/17 @ 8 PM; 07/18 @5 PM; 07/19 @ 9 PM; 07/21 @ 5:30 PM; 07/24 @ 9 PM

It’s a Landmark Day – Oprah has returned to television to conduct The Ultimate Interview! This delightful musical was written and is performed by Rachel Dunham. The original score was written by Shanon D. Whitelock, and Dirk Hoult does the directing.
Dunham has the OPRAHFICATION down perfectly – the over-exuberant, sometimes obnoxious enthusiasm; the attempt at modesty that often falls short in light of the many accomplishments; the celebrity/diva status; and the down-hominess that makes us all love the richest woman in the world.

And the lady knows how to work a room. Holding center stage, she reminisces about her 25-year domination of day-time television, shares insights about some of her A-list guests, addresses personal aspects of her life, and sings and dances her talented heart out all the while. The songs range from saucy (“Who Do You Think You Are?”) and sassy (“Fat, Black & Woman”) to downright poignant and touching (“Dreams Do Come True,” “Then Came A Miracle”), and Dunham uses her powerful voice and personality to sell them all.

If you ever wondered what it was like to be in the audience of an Oprah show taping, it’s not too late. Catch OPRAHFICATION – it’s probably even more fun that the real thing. Dunham is stunning!

-Laurie Lawson -

THE BAUER SISTERS

The Producing Club
in association with
The 2014 Midtown International Theater Festival
presents

THE BAUER SISTERS

Written by JOHN DIRRIGL
Directed by TROY DIANA

Featuring
DEBORAH UNGER, JACQUELINE KROSCHELL, COLLEEN SMITH WALLNAU,
SUZANNE H. SMART, CATHERINE COBB RYAN, & MICHAEL GNAT

Assistant Director: INGA MOREN
Set Designer & Prop Master: NATALIE PECORA
Costume Design: KAREN EILBACHER
Lighting Design: SEAN BEACH
Sound Design: JASON DIANA
Dialect Coach: JULIE FOH

Dorothy Strelsin Theatre
At the Abingdon Theater Company
312 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
(866) 811-4111 or www.midtownfestival.org
July 14 through August 3, 2014

It’s war! “Florida is for old people” versus “the family homestead”. The Bauer sisters, Ingie and Rosie, energetically argue this issue while preparing for their ladies’ book club. Actually, Rosie is preparing. Ingie is out in space, dreaming of Florida while sitting in the backyard of their Connecticut farm. They are older women, widowed, German-born and proud of it. Ingie stays afloat on her cloud of dreams, as Rosie slices and dices vegetables while simultaneously trying to drag her sister back to planet earth. The farm is good enough for Rosie. It holds a lifetime of memories and keeps her happily busy. But Ingie has dreams, dahling. And they do not include digging in the dirt. Sand, maybe, but not dirt.

The rest of the girls arrive for the luncheon, but somehow the book is never discussed. They carry on about marriage, love, cooking, all the unsuitable old men in the neighborhood, gossip, and other vital concerns of elderly small-town ladies. The conversation never lags, and everyone offers everyone else unsolicited advice on every topic. One can’t find a first husband. The others don’t want a second husband. They all had married the man they loved, but who loved someone else. Such a mess.

Speaking of old men, here comes Louie. He forgot what day it is and dropped by for a beer. He’s sweet on Rosie. Rosie says have one beer, then leave. She is not pleased. She is one of those down-to-earth realists and cannot be sweet-talked. Yet Louie ends up with a second beer. Hmmm.
These ladies are so realistic, so funny, so lovable, it is beyond belief. No scenery-chewing, no over-the-top carrying on. The laughs, the sorrow, the emotion come from inside these actors and they are wonderful. Arguments turn to laughs back to arguments in a flawless stream. Every facial expression is to die for. Only Ingie gets to play it up a bit, since she’s a space-case. They portray with total authenticity the interplay of women who have known each other all their lives and seen each other through joy and sorrow.

While the play is generally upbeat and warmly funny, things get darkly serious toward the end. Sometimes when people talk, they say too much. Surprising, hurtful things. This is the moment when the truth shall set one of the ladies free to live a new life, free of guilt and regret and a sense of obligation. We want to shout “hurray”!

-Karen D’Onofrio-

PENTECOST

Potomac Theatre Project (PTP/NYC)
in association with Middlebury College
presents

PENTECOST

Written by DAVID EDGAR
Directed by CHERYL FARAONE

Featuring
ALEX DRAPER, JAKE SCHWARTZWALD, TOSCA GIUSTINI, JONATHAN TINDLE,
CHELSEA MALONE, LAWRENCE NATHANSON, CHRISTO GRABOWSKI,
NICHOLAS HEMERLING, MARTINA BONOLIS, MATT BALL, CAITLIN ROSE DUFFY, RISHABH KASHYAP, ERICA FURGIUELE, NINA SILVER, AUBREY DUBE, TOM BEYER, JOSEPH VARCA, MARI VIAL-GOLDEN, LILLI STEIN, & LILY BALSEN

Scenic Design: MARK EVANCHO
Lighting Design: HALLIE ZIESELMAN
Original Costume Design: JULE EMERSON
Co-Costume Design: ADRIENNE CARLILE
Sound Design: AUBREY DUBE
Press Representative: DAVID GIBBS/DARR Publicity

Atlantic Stage
330 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
(866) 811-4111 or www.PTPNYC.org
July 16 through August 10, 2014

David Edgar’s PENTECOST takes on Communism and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. A 13th century fresco has been rediscovered, bricked-over and forgotten in an abandoned church in an Eastern Bloc country. If it predates the frescoes of the Italian artist Giotto, it could rock the art world’s accepted notions about European art. An American art expert, an Italian art expert, and the local government are at odds over what to do with this find. They all are on alert for each others’ secret agendas and sneaky tricks.

The second half of the play becomes a sort of second play. A group of heavily armed refugees storm the church and barricade themselves inside with the art historians. The invaders’ focus is on poverty, displacement, homelessness, loss, resentment, and violence. They care nothing for “art”. They are seeking freedom and will fight to the death for it. The church is now their fortress. Fragile post-Gothic art and bombs do not mix well. The desperate, angry refugees don’t want an art history lesson. Until they realize they can use this painting as a bargaining chip. Neither side will relent. A violent conclusion is inevitable, the details of which cannot be foretold. The end will come when it comes, as it comes.

PTP/NYC’s mandate is to present thought-provoking work of contemporary and social relevance. This play was first presented in 1994, and reflects the issues of that time, including the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Sadly, today has the same issues, the same refugees, the same violence. The countries’ names may have changed, political parties have shifted, but it’s all about ancient grudges and an inhuman lust for revenge. The play is perhaps overly long and detailed both in the first and second halves. TMI, as they say. The bounty of historical data begins to overwhelm as the play goes on. But it is quality writing and quality acting that keeps the audience engaged until the final destructive moment.

-Karen D’Onofrio-

WORLD OF SINATRAS & EXQUISITE POTENTIAL

Project Rushmore Theatre Company Presents

WORLD OF SINATRAS
By SEAN O’CONNOR
Starring
JEFF RUBINO, DENNIS OSTERMAIER, DANIELLE DELGADO, SARAH ELMALEH, and JUSTIN CIMINO

And

EXQUISITE POTENTIAL
By STEPHEN KAPLAN

Starring
VINCE GATTON, RACHEL EVANS, MATT BIAGINI, BOB ADER, AIDEN McCALL CHUMBLEY, and SOPHIE KNAPP

Director: SYDNIE GROSBERG RONGA
Technical Director: ZACH COOK
Set designer/Props: SAMANTHA GASS
Costume Designer: RYAN HANSON
Lighting Designer: LIONEL CHRISTION, MAX SCHAFFER
Sound Designer: ABI DEGAY
Graphic Designer: VICTOR BARBELLA
Production Stage Manager: JOSEPHINE ROSE RONGA
Artistic Director: ADRIENNE DOUCETTE
Stage Managers: CHRISTAL VASSILYADI, JOSEPHINE ROSE RONGA
Videographer: JUSTIN HARRIS

The ArcLight Theatre
152 West 71st Street (between Broadway & Columbus Avenue)
July 15 – August 3, 2014

Project Rushmore Theatre Company is committed to exploring the American Spirit and takes their inspiration from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930’s with a mission to create jobs in the performing arts. The two plays performing in repertory at the ArcLight Theatre from July 15 to August 3 are about families and relationships.

Sean O’Connor’s WORLD OF SINATRAS is narrated by Sam (Jeff Rubino), the product of Jack (Dennis Ostermaier) and Marie (Danielle Delgado) Murdoch. Theirs is a love story, marinated in alcohol and abuse, slowly going bad. Through music (the kind of music that had words and meanings) Sam relates the tug of war under which he develops, with Jack insisting that feelings are for sissies while Marie attempts to “slip a song into his soul.” This is an ambitious piece of work that chronicles 30 years of the life of a conflicted child who takes on the attributes of his parents as he ages. Although the performances by the entire cast are exquisite and the musical background enhances the story (amazing how a song can immediately break into your memory bank), WORLD OF SINATRAS is a bit too long and at times redundant. In trying to present a complete picture of Sam’s response to his family at different intervals of his life, repetition of the dysfunction is not needed. The reality is that alcoholism and abuse are destructive and dangerous no matter what age the viewer

Stephen Kaplan’s EXQUISITE POTENTIAL also deals with the complexity of familial relationships. All parents believe their children are special but Alan Zuckerman (Vince Gatton) thinks his son David is the Messiah. No kidding, he has documented “miracles” to back his belief, and he manages to convince his rabbi (Matt Biagini, Bob Ader). In addition to exploring the bonds between parents and children, Kaplan also delves into philosophical questions like “What is the definition of a Messiah?” and “What are the results of high expectations for your children?” Tempered with sophisticated humor and endearing characters, EXQUISITE POTENTIAL becomes a masterful theatrical presentation. Spanning the time period of 30 years, the actors take on the roles of both the parents and the siblings. Once again the cast is superb.

Project Rushmore Theatre Company has definitely accomplished their mission with both these offerings. You want to thank them for putting these talented actors on a stage and allowing them to breathe life into intriguing subject matters.

- Laurie Lawson -

GERTRUDE - THE CRY

Potomac Theatre Project (PTP/NYC)
in association with Middlebury College
presents

GERTRUDE -- THE CRY

Written by HOWARD BARKER
Directed by RICHARD ROMAGNOLI

Featuring
BILL ARMY, PAMELA J. GRAY, ROBERT EMMET LUNNEY, ALEX DRAPER,
DAVID BARLOW, KATHRYN KATES, & MEGHAN LEATHERS

Ensemble
JOELLE MENDOZA, AASHNA AGGARWAL, & JAKE SCHWARTZWALD

Scenic Design: MARK EVANCHO
Lighting Design: HALLIE ZIESELMAN
Costume Design: DANIELLE NIEVES
Sound Design: CORMAC BLUESTONE
Press Representative: DAVID GIBBS/DARR Publicity

Atlantic Stage
330 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
(866) 811-4111 or www.PTPNYC.org
July 15 through August 5, 2014

This play unfolds in and around Elsinore, in the present. Yes, the Elsinore of Hamlet. And yes, the Gertrude who was Hamlet’s mother. Playwright HOWARD BARKER has turned Shakespeare’s Hamlet on its head, then shaken and stirred, then put the blender on “whip”, letting the modernized characters take you to places you’ve never dreamt of, even in your wildest dreams. Gertrude is a sex-machine, and Claudius (brother of her murdered husband) is all over her like a rash. Everywhere, anywhere, it’s time for him to unbuckle and for her to hike up that mini-skirt. Even funerals are suitable venues for lust. Pretty exciting stuff.

Although in modern dress (and undress), the characters speak in classical tones reminiscent of Shakespeare’s cadences. Hamlet is already mad, in the British sense, and he is angry, in the American sense. Gertrude is cold and controlling which seems to excite men even more. Men, plural. She really has no limits when it comes to lust. It doesn’t hurt that she is quite beautiful as well.

Humor also floats through this tsunami of sex. Hamlet often seems a bit like Dagwood in his cluelessness and confusion. His grandmother disapproves of all these goings-on, but rolls with it. Shrug. She gets a few zingers in when she can.

HOWARD BARKER enjoys grabbing great texts of the past and turning them inside-out to investigate their underlying assumptions and comment on the social mores of the past and the present. With GERTRUDE he has created a real psycho-sexual masterpiece.

-Karen D’Onofrio-

THE THREE IRISH WIDOWS VERSUS THE REST OF THE WORLD

THE THREE IRISH WIDOWS
VERSUS THE REST OF THE WORLD


Written & Directed by ED MALONE

Featuring
FERGAL TITLEY

The Theatre Space
at Ryan’s Daughter

350 East 85th Street
New York, NY 10028
(646) 384-0009
June 19 through July 24, 2014

Oh, bad boy. ED MALONE has written a play about his ma, her sister, and her sister-in-law. He says the play will never be performed anywhere near County Cork, Ireland, where mother lives. One must assume she would be displeased or embarrassed or both, and take after him with that classic weapon of women, the wooden spoon. Or perhaps the broom. Because these three widows mourn their “losses” by declaring riotous independence. Make the sign of the cross, then start laughing.

The play begins in1984 Ireland, where postureless pre-yoga women are housebound housewives, bending over the stove and the laundry. They had radios and perhaps TV. And husbands. One a polite British man, one a big drinker, and one who is, simply, the boss, and makes sure his wife doesn’t forget it. Life in the good old days.

The drunkard goes first, car versus tree. The tree won. His widow, Margaret, expresses her grief by going on a spending spree. Time passes and eventually “the boss” develops cancer and goes to that great pub in the sky. The polite gentleman, the playwright’s father Phillip, is last to leave this world, in 2007. The ladies don’t waste a moment before they start living their new lives of freedom to the fullest.

Off to the hair salon, then to the travel agency. First stop, Spain. Amor! These women are taking it all the way, baby. They are not little old ladies on a coach tour. They are hitting the clubs, flirting and way, way beyond. Then to New York, somewhere called Queens, where Nulla’s son Ed is working on Broadway…handing out leaflets. Widowed Brenda hits on a New York taxi driver, which turns out to be a bad idea. But these women don’t know the meaning of defeat. Next stop, India. Because Oprah liked it there.

FERGAL TITLEY plays 34 characters in this one-hour riot. By the end his shirt is soaked in sweat but his energy never lags. The venue, upstairs at Ryan’s Daughter, is a pleasant open space with slim windows, sunlight, a full bar, and upholstered couches and wing-chairs. The play is a dynamic whirlwind trip seen through the Irish eyes of the writer and performed by a classic Irish storyteller in the best tradition. A great way to forget your troubles. The non-stop narration doesn’t leave one second for your mind to wander. It’s irresistible total-immersion fun that takes you up, up, and away and keeps you there long after you leave the theater.

-Karen D’Onofrio-