OFF-BROADWAY

        

    THE ROUNDABOUT THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS

          TOM STOPPARD’S INDIAN INK


Last night I was fortunate enough to be in the audience OF THE OFF-BOADWAY PLAY INDIAN INK by Tom Stoppard. Tom Stoppard IS a leading British playwright of the twentieth century. His now running two-act play Indian Ink (1994) is based on his earlier radio play In the Native State and was first performed in London in 1995.


Indian Ink takes place in two different locations and time periods: India in 1930, during the struggle for national independence from British colonial rule, and England in the mid-1980s. The action shifts back and forth between these two settings without major set changes or clearly indicated transitions.


The action in India concerns Flora Crewe, a British poetess, whose portrait is being painted by an amateur Indian artist. The action in England concerns the efforts of a scholar of Flora Crewe's work to gather information for a biography. Flora's surviving younger sister, Mrs. Swan, is visited first by this English scholar, and then by the son of the Indian artist. The central enigma is the question of whether or not the Indian artist painted a nude portrait of Flora, and whether or not the two had an "erotic relationship."

This play is concerned primarily with the historical and cultural struggles in India to gain independence from British Imperial rule. Indian and English characters discuss their differing perspectives on the history and meaning of British colonization of India. The play addresses themes of Empire, cultural imperialism, and nationalism.

Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia and was taken to Singapore in infancy and then in 1946 to England. He was a freelance journalist in Bristol and then London. In 1966 the popularity of “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead” showed Stoppard’s highly intelligent and quizzical investigation of artistic convention and cultural assumptions characteristic not only in this play but most of his work. Between the players and the playwright I suggest That this short run production is a must see.


Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-

for-profit company,


India Ink has a limited run and a must see.

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser




UNCANNY VALLEY



As the curtain is pulled back on Uncanny Valley

we meet Julian. He’s quite lovely even though there is some parts of him that are left out. We will meet the whole of Julian though one body part at a time. And together with him Claire, a neurscientist, Who at 70 yeas old is half his age. Julian Is quite adapt at this constructing or birth.


First his head, then one arm, both arms and his torso, and finally his legs.We can see That Julian is a male, lifelike, and very Pleasant to look at. After a little quiet

Time Claire speaks and gives him directions,Open your eyes Julian, He opens his eyes, Blink Open your mouth wide, raise your eyebrows, smile, Turn left and right. He follows all the commands And seems to be having a good time. These

Commands continue and you can see he is learning To use the instructions with a definite

Understanding of what they mean. And then

He begins to speak and again you know he

understands.


There is more in the interaction with Claire as Julian takes on the life of a person who is dying.

I liked “Uuncanny  Valley” and as cautious as I am

About superlatives I think fantastic must be

applied to Uncanny Valley.You’ll think about it

Three hours after the curtain falls or maybe the

Day after. At the Contemporary American Theater

At 59 East 59th street. It has a limited run.


Written by Thomas Gibbons

Directed by Tom Dugdale

Claire – Barbara Kingsley

Julian – Alex Podulke


Review by Joyce Hauser



FORBIDDEN   BROADWAY


Forbidden Broadway is a marvelously unstable comedy, a tough, funny and sophisticated burlesque.  It’s a sick joke, but it’s also generous and romantic -- an erratic take–off of Broadway’s latest Productions. The play has so much spirit that you keep laughing – and without discomfort because all the targets should be laughed at. 


Creator and writer Gerard Alessandrini and his co-director Phillip George, who has contributed additional dialogue, brings us closer to reality in theater and brings theater arts closer to the truth.  The four performers Natalie Charlé Ellis, Jenny Lee Stern, Scott Richard Foster and Marcus Stevens fill the stage with their talent and keep the theater surgery with humor in startling and unpredictable ways almost with surreal innocence. In addition costume designer Phillip Heckman and wig designer Bobbie Clifton Zlotnik are excellent and the cast with their change of costumes is impressive.


From “Porgy and Bess” to Bernadette Peters and Judy Garland and Mathew Broderick in ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ gets equal time with Mandy Patinkin and Pattie LuPone for a slew of hilarious digs that really don’t exploit the players but pretty close to it.  And keeping the mocking up there is ‘Anything Goes, Into the Woods’, ‘Newsies’,  ‘Ghost’, ‘The Book of Mormon’, and ‘Annie’


Praise goes to David Caldwell for his music direction and the demanding task of keeping the choreographing perfect while he is at the piano. This uproariously funny production with its four talented players will put a smile on your face. Suggestion: See this new “Forbidden Broadway” for yourself. At the 47th Street Theatre, 304 West 47th Street. Phone: 212-239-6200.


Reviewed by Joyce Hauser



IN THE SUMMER PAVILION


Each year true treasures spring from the International Fringe Festival – and we owe 2011 a hand for giving us In The Summer Pavilion, playing at 59E59 Theater. The premise of this 75 minute production by Paul David Young seems simple enough: three Princeton University students are catapulted 7 years into the future, and witness various versions of themselves and their lives. The play is packed with free-wheeling sensuality as it pulls you into seductive illusions—most of which highlight the power of today and its impact on various tomorrows.


Ryan Barry, Rachel Mewbron and Meena Dimian - Photo by Gerry Goodstein


With more than a touch of hedonistic impulse, the three cast members, Ryan Barry, Meena Dimian and Rachel Mewbron, keep an almost banal story-line spell-binding. Their friendships are alive, rambunctious and woven with bisexuality and ease. The numerous scenarios of how their futures might meld together or break apart is not only plausible, but eerie and thought-provoking. The lighting (Kia Rogers), sound effects (Julian Evans), and brief monologue (Ryan Barry) aimed at the audience, work on just about every level to coerce the audience to feel rather than merely understand the play’s core meaning.


As the light hits you, signaling the end of the production, it’s as if you’ve just exited a ride through the Fun House tunnel—filled with intrigue over what a future just might hold—and how the hub and peripheral pieces of our own lives might dissolve, or solidify into significance. In The Summer Pavilion does not tease or trick, it’s predictable-- and ironically that is just what the production asks you to question in your own lives. Time given to this work is well spent.

Tickets: $18.00 (59E59 MEMBERS $12.60) Box Office: 212.279.4200


Reviewed by Karen White




 

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