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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

Entries in Playwright (12)

Saturday
Apr182015

Adam's Call: JANKA A-20398: I Say See It!

There is a powerful new Off-Broadway show happening in NYC at the June Havoc Theatre entitled JANKA: A-20398 written by playwright Oscar Speace and starring Janice Noga (Oscar's wife). Inspired by a 60-page letter Oscar's mom wrote after she was freed from the Nazi concentration camps, this show recounts Janka's liberation and time spent in the concentration camps.

Oscar didn't know much about his mom's time in the camps as Janka never spoke of it. This was a time in her life she wanted to forget. So, when the show opens, Janka asks the audience if she should tell her son her story and then says that she will first tell us and let us decide. So right from the start, the audience is sucked into this play. Oscar's writing style for this show is very cool in that it really is like sitting in Janka's living room listening to a story as opposed to a written script. While it's Oscar's words we are hearing, Janice Noga, should be commended for her terrific acting and making Janka so accessible to the audience.

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond ReillyJanice's performance was mesmerizing. From the moment she opened the show, Janice, I mean Janka, invited the audience into her life. Going between the present to her time just before going into the concentration camps to her time in the camps to her liberation, Janice easily guided the audience through the time period she was in. I will say I was most moved by Janice's performance when she was taking us through the concentration camps. There was a very vivid transformation in her character and it was quite moving. The horror she suffered, I still don't fully know how she made it through. How did she not speak of it? I guess it was just too painful. I often wonder if I would have what it takes to survive something like the Holocaust? If I made it out alive, would I be able to talk about it? I just don't know. But I am so glad Janka did survive and she did write this letter and that Oscar found it and made it into this show!

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond ReillyJANKA: A-20398 is so important to have on stage as we must NEVER FORGET what happened to the six million Jews who perrished in the Holocaust along with many other minorities the Nazis wanted to annihilate. This is not an easy show to sit through, but it is an important one, especially during this time of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Rememberance Day. 

This show is also important because it's so easy for a Holocaust or something like it to happen again, as we have seen with everything happening in the world. While most people will say I don't want to see a show like this, I say, see it! Challenge yourself and allow yourself to feel all the emotions this show brings up. We must not stop talking about the Holocaust as we must never let this happen again!

JANKA: A-20398 plays at The June Havoc Theatre in NYC (312 West 36th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) in New York City through May 2. Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Sep182014

Adam's Call: Barry Levey's Hoaxocaust: Can't stop thinking about this show

It's been well over 3 hours since I left Baruch College Performing Arts Center in NYC after seeing Barry Levey's, Hoaxocaust, as part of the 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series. Hoaxocaust is a compelling, thought-provoking, emotional, can't stop thinking about, how will I sleep tonight one-man show about those who deny that The Holocaust ever happened.

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust"I have not been so moved, riled up, and pushed forward with thoughts in a long time. Between my home life and my 7th/8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Laskey, I certainly grew up learning all about the horrors of The Holocaust and about the family members who were lost in it and those who survived. I mean, it was embedded in my brain that we must "never forget" and "we must keep talking about it so another Holocaust doesn't happen."

Even with this upbringing, the message of Barry's show seeped deep into my head. For the first time, I thought, could these deniers be right? Could it be possible that The Holocaust never happened? It astounded me that these thoughts were going through my head, but with what Barry presented, I could see how someone who's not as strong-willed as me could truly believe these deniers.

Dr. Ruth at a previous performance of "Hoaxocaust"It's terrifying to know that Holocaust deniers are out there, but it's even scarier to think that maybe one day their beliefs could become the norm. I mean, the survivors of The Holocaust are dying. The direct family members of the survivors are dying. If these family members don't pass along this history to future generations, who will be able to keep their legacy alive? I know there is plenty of documentation out there that The Holocaust happened, but with all the hate in the world and after seeing Barry's show, it does make me wonder, are there enough of us out there to make sure people know about The Holocaust? In the 1930s, no one thought The Holocaust would happen, but it did. We have succeeded in not letting another one happen, but who knows what the future will bring. Hate is everywhere and in some parts of the world (even right here in the United States of America), these Holocaust deniers are living, gaining members, and getting their message out there. If the ending of Barry's show is any indication of what we are dealing with, well, then you will see why I can't stop thinking about this show!

Barry Levey in 'Hoaxocaust"Barry has 2 performances left. This Sunday, September 21 at 3pm and Wednesday, September 24 at 7:30pm at Baruch's Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street). Click here for tickets!

 

Tuesday
Aug052014

Adam's Call: Billy Mitchell's Villain DeBlanks at 54 Below: 1000% pure fun and laughter

So last week I attended the second installment of Billy Mitchell's Villain: DeBlanks at 54 Below. I am not sure there is a noun, adjective, or verb strong enough to describe just how brilliant and fun this show is! Billy has written an amazing Whodunit murder mystery, leaving out just enough details for the audience to fill in the blanks. With a rotating cast of Broadway stars, Villain: DeBlanks is a mash-up evening of murder mystery meets Adult Mad Libs.

I have seen a few of Billy's original shows and this one is by far just 1000% pure fun and laughter! For an hour straight, I had a smile on my face and lots of noise coming out of my mouth from the huge amounts of laughter being spewed. 

July 31 cast of Billy Mitchell's "Villain DeBlanks," from left to right Adam Feldman, Hedda Lettuce, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jen Cody, Christine Pedi, and Hugh HysellThe particular cast I saw last week was Time Out New York's Adam Feldman, Drag legend Hedda Lettuce, and Broadway's Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jen Cody, Christine Pedi, Hugh Hysell, and host Heather Shisler. The level of talent on that stage was quite remarkable doubly so, considering the fact that the script wasn't even complete by showtime as the cast awaits for the audience participation. The way the cast tore into Billy's script and brought out the hysterics of an already funny script was unbelieveable! 

July 31 Cast of Billy Mitchell's "Villain DeBlanks" (minus Adam Feldman), from left to right, Heather Shisler, Hugh Hysell, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jen Cody, Christine Pedi, Billy Mitchell (writer), Hedda LettuceBilly is such a strong writer and really knows how to reel an audience in. As of now, there is one chance left to see this incredibly funny, audience driven, show. This Thursday, August 7, 11:30pm, 54 Below Billy Mitchell's Villain: DeBlanks. Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
May302013

Adam's Call: At Hand Theatre's I Wanna Destroy You: Hilariously Provocative

Cast of "I Wanna Destroy You", Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)At Hand Theatre company is going out with a bang as their final show, Joshua Conkel's I Wanna Destroy You, is hilariously provocative. I Wanna Destroy You takes the audience on a search for love, purpose, strength, and self-worth. When "Beau" is dumped by his lover on his 30th Birthday, the journey begins.

Anthony Johnston, Kieran Mulcare, and Geneva Carr, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)Joshua has written a play that made me laugh, think, and be entertained, which is the kind of show I enjoy most. Dan Horrigan has done a great job directing the play, while the cast of six bring this story to life! Geneva Carr, Jamie Jackson, Anthony Johnston, Preston Martin, Kieran Mulcare, and Kathy Searle all do an excellent job. Their comedic skills are on par while some (Kieran, Kathy, Preston, and Geneva) excelled to bigger heights. Everyone seemed to be in tune with their characters' personality and path, which helped make this story work.

Kathy Searle and Preston Martin, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)I Wanna Destroy You showed me that we are all on a path to desruction, some of us detonate, while others are able to put the fire out or at least keep it contained for longer. I have always enjoyed attending shows at At Hand Theatre company because they took risks on new playwrights, especially many new gay playwrights. I sure am going to miss this gem of a company, so here is hoping their hiatus is not a permanent one! With only 3 performances left, I suggest clicking here to get your tickets!

I Wanna Destroy You plays at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) through June 1!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Wednesday
May292013

Adam's Call: Charles Busch at 54 Below: Divine Tale

Charles Busch can do it all...acting, playwriting, screenwriting, and now cabaret star! Until tonight, I had never seen Charles Busch do a cabaret show, but I was thrilled to have this opportunity at 54 Below. If there is one thing Charles Busch knows how to do, it's entertain a crowd. And entertain he did!

Charles' show was a mixture of songs, homages to Hollywood starlets, personal stories, and lots and lots of laughter. Assisting Charles was Tom Judson, Musical Director and Pianist. They did a wonderful duet together of The Carpenters' "Close To You." Prior to that, Charles opened the show with a great original song about what he should sing. The song consisted of everything that makes Charles Busch who he is...humor, imitations, and creative writing. One of my favorite songs performed tonight was a great cover version of Gene Raskin's "Those Were The Days." I adore this song and was so happy to hear Charles sing it.

In between songs Charles delighted the crowd with readings from Conversations with Bette Davis and Conversations with Joan Crawford as well as Ask a Man: The Key To Feminity by Arlene Dahl as well as his own monologues performed as some of his favorite Hollywood starlets. Another great thing about Charles Busch's performance style is the way he maneuvers from original work to reading others work while making it his own. He had the audience in stitches the whole evening with his comedic genius!

The best part about Charles' cabaret show was when he performed the original skit that inspired his Tony Award nominated play The Tale of the Allergists Wife. I had seen the play on Broadway, so it was a real treat to see the actual piece that led to the full-fledged production.

Photo Credit: David A. LeeCharles has found a wonderful niche with his cabaret work. I think this is the perfect venture for him to take in between his theatre and film work. He knows how to work a crowd and just looks so happy to be performing. From songs to monologues to readings, Charles Busch definitely tells a Divine Tale up on that stage. The next time Charles is performing his cabaret act, treat yourself to this delightful, wonderful, and hilarious evening!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!