Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide Day 6: Drama!, and not on 42nd Street

From the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club production of Irina Brooks' "Shakespeare’s Sister (or La Vie Matérielle)," Yibin Li on violin, Nicole Ansari, Joan Juliet Buck as Marguerite Duras, Winsome Brown as Virginia Woolf and British singer/songwriter Sadie Jemmett. Photo by Emily Bollard.

HEAD’S UP: Where did the year go? Already? Yes, the Yuletide Season is in swing. And, yes, once again you are bewitched, bothered and bewildered. What to get auntie, grandpa, madea, nana, papa … little Virginia? Don’t get yourself into a lather when the elves at VEVLYN’S PEN are on the case. Continuing every other day or so through 24 Dec., we will introduce one or a series of products, items and brands that we believe is worthy of consideration as a holiday gift(s).


them to the theater! Sound like a daunting (and pricey) proposition? Not to worry, there’s a solution for that.

Theater (and dance) happens all over New York City, some of it far from 42nd Street. Lovely as a spectacle mounted on a Broadway stage can be, there's drama and magic to be seen elsewhere, too.

Put a promise of fun and adventure in someone’s stocking. Explore what off off Broadway has to offer. Expand your theatrical universe.

The Axis Theatre Company players in a scene from "Last Man Club." Photo by Dixie Sheridan.

The short runs that are typical of these shows take some planning, but there are so many destinations off the beaten path. Following is a partial list of some to partake of in the coming year:

*Introduce youngsters to theater with the “Just Kidding!” series at Symphony Space.
*At the Wild Project the performance collective has productions for all ages. The Wild Project is a production company and venue for contemporary theater, film and visual art. It is dedicated to finding innovative ways to help the world and for individuals to help each other.

*La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), the grandmother of "off off," has been around since the 1960s when it was founded by Ellen Stewart. Avant garde generally doesn't happen on the Great White Way quite like it does in this downtown space.
*Look to the Axis Theatre Company, housed in what was once Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, for total immersion in a theatrical event.

*Canal Park Playhouse is on a hiatus, but when it returns it may entertain you with shows like "A Christmas Carol,” "On The Line” or "Perfect Catch,” some for mature audiences; others for the whole family. Located in a landmarked canal house in the far, far West Village, the space has charm and a small restaurant for brunch.

*The Neo-Futurists have been performing "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind” for a very long time as a compendium of 30 plays in 60 minutes. Past productions have featured the scholarly and hilarious "The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill: Vol. 1 Early Plays/Lost Plays.”

The Neo-Futurists in "The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill: Vol. 1 Early Plays/Lost Plays." Photo by Anton Nickel.

*Another rowdy group, The Amoralists Theatre Company, presents plays of moral indifference. These players do not judge, while they explore the complexity of human conditions.

Dance - from modern to balletic - shows up in some alternative venues, too, with alternatives to high prices. (Worth checking out, though, is New York City Ballet’s [NYCB] $29 orchestra seats for big-top dance exhibitions. ( In the same elegant David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center as NYCB, Paul Taylor Dance Company also offers some bargain seating.(

Meanwhile, a couple of examples of the “off off" dance experiences:
* The Bardos Ballet Theater presented its mix of classical movement and fresh narrative in three New York City parks last season. Something to look forward to when the weather turns warm again. (See video above).

*Choreographer Mary Ann Wall's RedWall Dance Theatre relies on gesture and dance movements to illustrate the rich emotions of everyday life. RedWall has performed in more than 50 venues in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. (See video above).

What are you waiting for?! Write your own ticket (and theirs) for a year's worth of drama (and dance)!

Visit to learn more about the Bardos Ballet.
Visit to learn more about Red Wall Dance Theatre.
Visit to learn more about off-off Broadway shows.
Visit the following Web sites to learn more about the aforementioned theatrical companies:

No comments :

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
VEVLYN'S PEN: The Wright take on life by Vevlyn Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License .
Based on a work at .
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at .