Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Ides and Ideas of June

Thoroughly enjoyed Amy Marshall Dancers at Alvin Ailey Theater. Their new piece, Dvija, costumed by Norma Kamali was breathtaking. This handsome troupe, all decked out in golden costumes and gilded skin were mesmerizing as they performed Amy Marshalls' demanding choreography with style, precision and gusto.
The combination of classic dance and athletic movement makes a distinctive signature for Ms, Marshall - and a wonderful showcase for Chad Levy and the other dancers. What a troupe and what a treat. Catch them later this summer at other venues.
A few days later, a complete change of pace as I was part of an enthusiastic audience watching a staged reading of "The Shomer" by Bill Barnett. I thrilled t see Tovah Feldshuh at the top of her game. Having watched her develop from her earliest work at Stage West in Springfield, Ma, through her many incarnations on Broadway and off, I was so pleased with her steady progress and her age defying energy. Others in the cast all played well.
The play itself has tremendous potential but needs a firm hand to cut all the repetition and polish it into a stellar theatrical experience. The basis is there, the humor is there, the humanity is there, but it is buried in too much of the same blather. Someone smart can make this play zing its arrows at tradition and our outdated concepts of good and evil and guilt.
Following day - "Cradle And All" at Manhattan Theater Club where two actors played two different couples in Act one and Act two, and except for speaking too softly too often, did a fantastic job on both. Any parent or parentless couple will easily relate to the situations and if they don't laugh with sympathetic glee in act two they are lacking a funny bone. .

Attended the CLMP 100th anniversary of magazines reading at the 5th Avenue at 42nd St. Public library at which editors rather than authors read from their various publications. As a fellow writer and actor remarked, the editors did not always do the works they read justice. Still, it was interesting to see what the current literary presses consider the best poetry and stories and articles they have published. Almost all their poems were prose poems and read as pure prose by the editors. Sorry, I am a classicist in terms of verse. No meter, no poem.
I read War Horse. The original teen book - very creative and fascinating. Read What Alice Knew - in which the James family (Henry, William and bedridden sister Alice) were depicted as detectives in the Jack the Ripper debacle. Intriguing but not totally satisfying in the end.
Never having been a fan of the circus, I was not as enchanted with Water for Elephants as so many of my friends claimed to be. I enjoyed the spunky old man and many of the characters in the well written story but wan't fully engrossed until the denoument.
My Pixie Tales has garnered quite a few votes and over a dozen fabulous quotes on its global ebook awards page. Just hope it makes it to the finals! It was great joy last year winning a finalist INDIE award for the play anthology Short Plays to Long Remember.
Will be reading a story from Pixie Tales and from Elfin Tales, second book in the series at the Hell's Kitchen Arts Event on Saturday, June 25 at noon at Oasis, 52nd and 10th Ave. Intend to have a couple of audience kids come up with me to read along. Those I select will get to keep Pixie Tales copies. Unfortunately, Elfin Tales is not yet in print, although it is available to all readers through
Artist Maggie Cousins and I are working on Fairy Tales Too, the third in the series.
I have an entry that was accepted in the Dragon Naturally Speaking contest along with about 150 other entries. You can find it on line on the Dragon contest entry site.

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