Friday, February 16, 2007

Fundraiser - Just Say Nosedive

Nosedive Productions presents:

“Just Say Nosedive!”

Their Annual Peer Outreach Debauchery Fundraiser Show

Featuring Comedy, Music, Drinking and Can-Do Attitude

Saturday, February 24 at the EAT Studio Space on 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor (between 8th and 9th avenues)

Doors open at 10 p.m., show starts around 11 or so.

$20 at the door, all you can drink

Money for this fundraiser goes to their spring show, Suburban Peepshow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fundraiser - “My First Time” Benefit



“MY FIRST TIME” An All-Star Concert To Benefit Quality Services for the Autistic Community (QSAC)

Directed by
Musical Direction by


On Monday, February 26, producers Derek Collard and Gary Maffei are pleased to present “MY FIRST TIME,” an all-star Broadway concert to benefit Quality Services for the Autistic Community (QSAC). Directed by Igor Goldin (”A Ritual of Faith”) with musical direction by David Andrews Rogers, “MY FIRST TIME” will take place at New World Stages (340 West 50th St.) at 7 p.m.

Featuring performances by
Hunter Bell [title of show]
Susan Blackwell - [title of show]
Heath Calvert (Good Vibrations, The Children)
Matt Cavenaugh (Urban Cowboy, Grey Gardens)
Rick Crom (Urinetown, Footloose, The Goodbye Girl)
Jeffry Denman (The Producers, White Christmas)
Ed Dixon (Les Miserables, Under the Bridge)
Hunter Foster (Urinetown, Little Shop Of Horrors, The Producers)
Anita Gillette (Moonstruck, Carnival, Cabaret)
Terri Klausner (Evita, Sophisticated Ladies)
Stephanie Kurtzuba (The Boy From Oz, Mary Poppins)
Garrett Long (The Spitfire Grill, Seussical)
Megan Reinking - (Lestat, Dracula)
Asa Somers (Grey Gardens, Taboo)
John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Beauty and the Beast)
Mary Testa (On The Town, 42nd Street, Regrets Only)

The Concert will be opened by CW 11 News at 10 Anchor Jim Watkins and closed by students from Center Stage Players from the Center Stage Theatre Company in Westport, CT singing Seasons of Change from RENT joined by a possible surprise guest.

The concert features a variety of first-hand stories and songs from the performers’ own “first” experiences, such as the first show they were in, their first professional stage success or the first show or star that inspired them to follow their hearts to Broadway. Additional performers will be announced soon.

Director Igor Goldin received the 2006 Award for Excellence in Direction for his work on Common Grounds in the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Previously with NYMF he directed Joseph and David Zellnik’s World War II musical Yank! His Off-Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed New York premieres of A Ritual of Faith”(The Lion Theatre) and the musical The Snow Queen (The Triad).

Tickets for this one-night-only event can be reserved by calling QSAC directly at 212-244-5560 ext. 2035. Tickets are priced at $25, $45 and $65.

For further information on “MY FIRST TIME” and QSAC, please contact Derek Collard at or visit

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fundraiser - Love ‘n Courage Benefit



“‘Love and courage’ are what a playwright needs to thrive in this field, and ‘love and encourage’ is what Theater for the New City does!” - Crystal Field, Theatre for the New City Executive Artistic Director

Theater for the New City presents LOVE ‘N COURAGE, the 4th annual benefit for Theater for the New City’s Emerging Playwrights Program, it has been announced by Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director of Theater for the New City. Hosted by playwright and actor Charles Busch, and featuring Elaine Stritch, this year’s benefit takes place at the beautiful National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South), on Monday, February 12, with cocktails beginning at 6:30pm, followed by dinner and performances.

Emcee Charles Busch, writer and star of such plays as THE LADY IN QUESTION, RED SCARE ON SUNSET and VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM and author of the Tony Award-nominated play THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE, will host and sing.

Legendary Tony Award-winner Elaine Stritch will read a selection from a new play. Ms. Stritch is best-known for originating roles on Broadway in COMPANY, SAIL AWAY, GOLDILOCKS, and her Tony Award-winning solo play with music, ELAINE STRITCH AT LIBERTY.

Celebrated actors Tammy Grimes, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson are also scheduled to appear. Ben Harburg will perform the songs of his grandfather, legendary composer Yip Harburg (FINIAN’S RAINBOW, BLOOMER GIRL, and “The Wizard of Oz”).

Selected scenes from Theater for the New City’s current season will showcase the works of recently discovered artists, including the sexy ballet company The Love Show, who will perform an excerpt from their show NUTCRACKER: RATED R. The evening will also feature scenes from Laurel Hessing’s new musical THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF UNCLE WIGGILY: THE WINDBLOWN VISITORS with music by Arthur Abrams. LOVE ‘N COURAGE concludes with an open-mic piano bar and sing-a-long accompanied by Mr. Abrams.

Celebrating its 35th year, Theatre for the New City is a long-running bastion for new theatrical works. Often, talented emerging playwrights find themselves competing for funding with more established writers; Theater for the New City’s mission is to offer “love and encouragement” to these struggling artists with its Emerging Playwrights Program, established in 1971. O. Aldon James Jr., head of The National Arts Club, has taken an interest in Theater for the New City’s mission, and the organizations are working together to present this year’s incarnation of LOVE ‘N COURAGE.

“Emerging playwrights are writers of great promise who have yet to fulfill their artistic goals, but whose visions are high,” explains Ms. Field, whose Emerging Playwrights Program takes in fledgling and untried writers, offering a nurturing environment where new authors can flourish, and often realize their first fully produced work at Theater for the New City.
The Emerging Playwrights Program represents 60 percent of the nearly 40 new plays produced annually by Theater for the New City, giving playwrights a professional forum in which to experiment and develop as theater artists, and introducing fresh ideas and energy into the mainstream of American playwriting.

Through the Emerging Playwrights Program, up-and-coming writers meet and have access to experienced designers, directors and performers. The emerging playwright is surrounded by dedicated professionals in an atmosphere of high standards and supportive collaboration. Theater for the New City has an open-door policy towards new work — considering plays of any style, genre and political thrust — and reading every script submitted. The company also produces and commissions plays by some of the better-known American playwrights such as Maria Irene Fornes, Rosalyn Drexler, Sam Shepard, Ronald Tavel, Amlin Gray and Harry Kondoleon.

LOVE ‘N COURAGE is chaired by Betsy von Furstenberg, and the benefit committee includes F. Murray Abraham, Frank Biancamano, Jean Buchalter Vinie Burrows, Charles Busch, Martha Coigney, Myrna Duarte, Rina Elisha, Crystal Field, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Tammy Grimes, Phillip Hackett, Dina & Ernie Harburg, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Judd Hirsch, Anne Jackson, Uke Jackson, O. Aldon James, Joyce & Seward Johnson, Robert & Celia Kornfeld, Romulus Linney, Eduardo Machado, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Alberto Minero, Grace Paley, John Roberts, Tim Robbins, Gerald Rupp, Marian Seldes, Elaine Stritch, Jerry Tallmer, Mary Tierney, Jean-Claude Van Itallie, Glyn Vincent, Eli Wallach, and Jonathan Weber.

LOVE ‘N COURAGE, the 4th annual benefit for Theater for the New City’s Emerging Playwrights Program will be held at The National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South) on Monday, February 12; Cocktails begin at 6:30pm; dinner at 7:00pm, followed by performances at 8:00pm.

Tickets are $125. For reservations and additional information, please call 212-254-1109.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Interview with Chris Hampton of the WYSIWYG Talent Show

Stage Buzz Interview by Byrne Harrison

Chris Hampton is a blogger and co-creator of the WYSIWYG Talent Show, “a monthly showcase for the oft-overlooked genius of bloggers in or visiting New York City,” which kicks off its fourth season on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, at the Bowery Poetry Club.

BH: Since there are probably quite a few people out there who have no idea what the WYSIWYG Talent Show is, can you tell them how it all came to be?

CH: We’re an all-blogger reading/performance series and we do monthly shows at Bowery Poetry Club. We did our first show in February of ‘04. Andy Horwitz and I were at a party, swapping Valentine’s Day stories, which led to a couple of bad-sex-on-Valentine’s-Day stories, and we got to talking about how everyone has at least one bad sex story, and we started thinking it would make for a really funny show. So we decided to try it, and being bloggers ourselves we thought having all the performers be bloggers would be an interesting angle. The first show was such a big success that we decided to make it a monthly thing. It’s not about bad sex every time — it’s about all kinds of stuff — but we still do that every year as an anti-Valentine’s Day event because it’s just too much fun not to.

BH: So this month’s performance is your anti-Valentine’s Day show, ‘Worst. Sex. Ever. IV.’ Along with the annual gay pride show, this one always sells out. What can a first-time WYSIWYG audience member expect?

CH: Cocktails, lots of laughter and schadenfreude! Your own sex life will suddenly seem SO great by comparison.

BH: You’ve performed in several of the ‘Worst. Sex. Ever.’ shows. What dirty laundry have you aired in the past?

CH: At our very first show I told the story of how a past girlfriend once tried to surprise me with a sexy evening. Except she worked at this group home for developmentally disabled men, so she ended up sneaking me in there for the whole thing. Not very easy to get your groove on when there’s a guy pounding on the door yelling about how he pooped his pants.

BH: Unless that’s your thing, I guess, but let’s not go there. Can you give us a hint about what you’ll be doing for this year’s show?

CH: This year I’m going to be doing a roundup of all the bad sex I managed to have in 2006. I think I might do a PowerPoint presentation.

BH: Going back to the themes for a moment, WYSIWYG has covered everything from bad roommates to lousy jobs to high school trauma. Any topics that are especially near and dear to you?

CH: The bad roommates one was awesome, in part because of what I think may be my favorite line ever at a WYSIWYG show. One of the perfomers told us all about how his hellish roommate was once in the next room with a guest and he heard, through the wall: “Make a mess for daddy!”

Maybe you had to be there.

BH: Actually, I was. That image was seared into my brain.

CH: I have to say, though, that my favorites are the annual “Worst. Sex. Ever.” and “Extremely Gay Gayness” show. They’re just always hilarious.

BH: Now that WYSIWYG is entering its fourth year, I imagine you’ve seen a lot of talented people perform. Do you have any particular favorites?

CH: Hmm. Maybe Susie Felber’s story from a show about summer camp experiences. Her mother was one of those touchy-feely moms who think ALL children are special — so she innocently and cluelessly signed Susie up for a camp for “special” children. But it’s REALLY hard to pick just one!

BH: Fair enough. What do you think it takes to be a good WYSIWYG performer?

CH: I think you just have to have an interesting story to tell and an ability to put it out there in your own voice.

BH: Not always an easy task, I imagine. If someone wants to take the plunge and perform at WYSIWYG, what do they need to do?

CH: They have to have a blog, since that’s our whole schtick, and they can just visit our website and they’ll find all sorts of info about the show, including upcoming dates and contact information.

BH: What’s planned for the rest of the year?

CH: We’re experimenting with not doing themes each month. I’ve had a lot of people who would be great for the show but didn’t have stories or material that matched any of the upcoming themes, so we’re opening it up and making it something of a free-for-all. So far it’s been really fun!

WYSIWYG Talent Show: “Worst. Sex. Ever. IV.”
Wednesday, February 14th
8 p.m. (Doors open at 7:30)

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery at Bleecker

For advance tickets, click here.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Review - Apocalypse Neo (NY Neo Futurists and Horse Trade Theatre)

Stage Buzz Review by Byrne Harrison

Those people who’ve only experienced the NY Neo-Futurists through Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (TMLMTBGB), their late night show featuring thirty plays in sixty minutes, may legitimately wonder if the they can pull off a mainstage production featuring three longer plays and still maintain the same wild energy, innovative spirit, and anarchistic vibe. Good news . . . they can, and remarkably well, at that.

Apocalypse Neo, presented by the NY Neo-Futurists and Horse Trade Theatre and currently playing at the Kraine Theater, is a three-play Neo-Futurist look at the end of the world. It has everything that a TMLMTBGB audience has come to expect: actors playing themselves; confessions; revelations; music; rhythm; audience participation; props; humor; sympathy; pizza; time limits; and the occasional naughty bit. All this in a longer format that allows the audience to completely immerse itself in the plays, something that is harder to do in TMLMTBGB.

The first play, Crystal Skillman’s Revelations of a City of Us, imagines Clay Adams as the last man on Earth. Or rather, it imagines Clay imagining he’s the last man on Earth. The apocalypse hasn’t happened, but Clay is going to give it a dry run to make sure he’s prepared. Joined by the last women on Earth, Tara Perry, Lauren Kincheloe, Sharon Freedman, and Jenny Williams, Clay muses on the nature of the end of the world, survival, Neo-Futurism, pizza and zombies. Along the way the survivors discover that the end of the world may not be too different from the way it is now.

Justin Tolley’s play, In which the end of the world . . . , is the second of the evening, and the one most recognizable as the offspring of TMLMTBGB. It is set up as a debate between two teams: one arguing that the apocalypse will happen during our lifetime; the other arguing that it won’t. Each team gets to make an opening argument, rebuttal, cross-examination, and final concluding rebuttal. Each argument and rebuttal is, in and of itself, a separate play, chosen by the team from several possible plays prepared by the actors in the show. Like TMLMTBGB, no two audiences will see the exactly the same lineup. The evening I saw the show, it featured two particularly good pieces: Popcorn, a video montage showing the horrible things, real and imagined, that are ushering in the apocalypse; and There’s So Much To Do, a piece that is one of the most life-affirming things I’ve seen in a long time. At the end of all the arguments, moderator Rob Neill makes the audience choose which team wins, and in effect, whether we win or not.

The final play, Rob Neill’s Monkeyland II (anatk 21.10), is my favorite one in Apocalypse Neo, and unfortunately, the hardest to describe. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea; the play has a mythic, avant garde quality that people who prefer representational theatre may not appreciate. However, if you can approach the play with an open and accepting mind, and believe that a windup toy monkey can be a post-apocalyptic wandering hero, it is pretty amazing.

Apocalypse Neo has an extremely limited run - six performances ending Saturday, February 10th. Do yourself a favor; go to one of them before the show closes. And if you attend Friday or Saturday’s show, do yourself another favor; stick around and see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. You’ll be glad you did.

Revelations of a City of Us
Written by Crystal Skillman
Directed by Chris Dippel
Performed by Tara Perry, Lauren Kincheloe, Sharon Freedman, Jenny Williams, Clay Adams

In which the end of the world . . .
Created by Justin Tolley
Written and performed by Erica Livingston, Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Emma Gordon, Michael Davis, Jarrod Zayas, Justin Tolley, Rob Neill
Directed by Mark Armstrong

Monkeyland II (anatk 21.10)
Written by Rob Neill
Directed by Jacquelyn Landgraf
Performed by Eevin Hartsough, Ryan Good, Jorge Cordova, Leslie Korein

The Kraine Theater
85 East 4th Street

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through February 10th