Archive for Dixon Place

Bindle, Bramble, Baby, Bumpus

Posted in Acrobats and Daredevils, Circus, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS, Vaudephones with tags , , on March 4, 2014 by travsd

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We stopped by Dixon Place last night to tape a couple of Vaudephones with company members of Bindlestiff Family Cirkus during the exciting preparatory moments before their monthly open mike showcase. Be sure to catch their 20th anniversary mainstage cabaret show at the Brooklyn Lyceum March 13-16!

keith

adam

Last Night’s “Chorus Girls” Opening

Posted in Contemporary Variety, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, ME, Music, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS, VISUAL ART, Women with tags , , on February 6, 2014 by travsd
The Calm before the Storm

The Calm before the Storm

Much joyous celebration, crazy talent and carousing with friends at the opening of Carolyn Raship’s “Chorus Girls” exhibition at Dixon Place last night. Not only are Carolyn’s works amazing to look at all of a piece in a public setting, but so many good friends came out to see what was, act for act, one of the most pleasant nights of musical entertainment I’ve ever enjoyed.

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The artist's forehead in foreground. I was so busy capturing the show I forgot to snap the woman of the hour. I hope someone did and can send one our way!

The artist’s forehead in foreground. I was so busy capturing the show that apart from this I forgot to snap the woman of the hour!

I take rotten pictures, everyone looks like I have the palsy and I swear my hand wasn’t even shaking. Maybe the accuracy of my camera is catching planetary wobble? At any rate, I’ve supplemented my own with ones from friends who were there. (And if you were there and took some, we’d be grateful if you could share!)

The show was hosted by the astounding force of nature Killy Mockstar Dwyer who also performed her funny ribald songs. I learn something about working a crowd every time I watch her

The show was hosted by the astounding force of nature Killy Mockstar Dwyer who also performed her funny ribald songs. I learn something about working a crowd every time I watch her

Charming Disaster

Charming Disaster

Sarah Engelke, temporarily (I think) calling themselves "The Bonnets"

Sarah Engelke and Jamie Zillitto, temporarily (I think) calling themselves “The Bonnets”

Anna Copacabanna. Photo by Michele Carlo. Michele has a steadier hand than me -- you'll know it when she smacks ya one in the mouth!

Anna Copacabanna. Photo by Michele Carlo. Michele has a steadier hand than me — you’ll know it when she smacks ya one in the mouth!

The artist speaks about her work and the ladies who inspired it. Photo by Michele Carlo

The artist speaks about her work and the ladies who inspired it. Photo by Michele Carlo

And Jody Christopherson and friend came and performed too! (Didn’t get a photo)

Even if you missed the opening you still have plenty of opportunity to see Carolyn’s work — it’s up at Dixon Place through February 22.

“The Penalty” Opens Tomorrow

Posted in Indie Theatre, Movies, PLUGS, Silent Film with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by travsd

2013_PenaltyBanner

Here’s an extremely interesting project opening tomorrow night, written by Clay McCleod Chapman; based on the Lon Chaney film and the novel on which that was based, and starring a cast that includes people with disabilities. Details are below.

Special Preview Night! Thursday, June 13th at 7:30pm
$10 (general admission)

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS,
JUNE 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29 at 7:30pm

Written by CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN

Directed by KRIS THOR
Music and Lyrics by ROBERT M. JOHANSON CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN
Starring: Gregg Mozgala, Sarah Buffamanti & Phillip Taratula 
Commissioned by DIXON PLACE & THE APOTHETAE

TICKETS: 
$15 (advance), $18 (door), $12 (stu / sen) or TDF

Buy Your Tickets on Ovation!

What would you sacrifice to be made whole?

New York City. 1920. A legless beggar pleads with the oncoming foot-traffic for spare change. Barely a nickel comes his way. But what these pedestrians don’t know is—this deformed derelict at their heels is none other than Blizzard, kingpin to the seedy underbelly of the Lower East Side. With an army of dancing girls at his beck and call, Blizzard is hell-bent on executing his master plan: Get his revenge against the prominent doctor who left him in this condition—and against the city that could’ve cared less. 3 People. 4 Legs. 1 Game of Revenge.

The Penalty features an ensemble cast, integrated with able-bodied and actors with disabilities with songs by composer Robert M. Johanson (Nature Theatre Of Oklahoma’s Life and Times Episodes 1-4). The Penalty is inspired by the novel of the same name by Gouverneur Morris, and its film adaptation, starring Lon Chaney, written by Charles Kenyon and directed by Wallace Worsley.

More info here: http://www.theapothetae.org/

Victoria Libertore: No Need for Seduction

Posted in CRITICISM/ REVIEWS, Drag and/or LGBT, Indie Theatre, Women with tags , , on May 12, 2013 by travsd

NoNeedForSeduction-Victoria Libertore  - PhotogJimMoore-1[1]

By the way, that photo above is by Jim R. Moore

I hope I’m not dating myself for loving Victoria Libertore’s work as much as I do and for the reasons I do. When I first came to this city, her brand of autobiographical solo work was branded “performance art”. I haven’t heard the term in a long time, mostly because everyone has come to acknowledge that it is what sensible heads always said it was — theatre. But yes, it has aspects of other art forms and other methods of discourse. Autobiography is certainly a non-fiction form; but so is biography, and biographical plays get done all the time. And Vic’s work (much like the late Spalding Gray’s) could also sit comfortably on a shelf containing “humor” alongside more literary figures from Mark Twain to Sarah Vowell, although her work often takes turns for the darker.

Whatever it is, it reminds me of the late 80s, when a lot of such work was being done. At the time I thought I hated it but now I realize I only hated most of it because I hate most of everything, as is the lot of the critical personality. I certainly didn’t hate masters like Spalding Gray or Karen Finley, for example. And then I begin to see a good rationale for calling it performance art. The material being presented to the audience is the artist herself. Not just her story, but her totality: her personality, her body, her intelligence, her charm. The experience sinks or swims on whether you like or care for the person standing right in front of you on stage. That’s something you’re born with, like a fingerprint, or a part in the hair. The line between self-indulgence and generosity has to do with a value judgment on the audience’s part as to whether you the performance artist are giving us your life…or you are stealing an hour or two of ours. And unless you are absolutely fascinating in every respect, the latter has always got to be the case.

Fortunately, Libertore is fascinating in every respect. Walking in, the Duchess and I were like, “This’ll probably be about an hour long”. Going home, we noticed the show had lasted nearly two. Not only didn’t I notice or mind, but was sad to see it end. One can watch Libertore and watch her and watch her. Not because she is attractive to look at (which she undoubtedly is) but because she behaves with the class and gravity and self-assurance of a stage veteran. She already seems like a giant to me, though I get the sense that she is also at the beginning stages of a journey that will make her even more of one. (Her audience is now almost entirely LGBT, and that mostly — like her — L. As someone who is none of those things, I think the power of her work is universal and she can pack in people of every orientation, who will be addicted once they discover her).

The present piece No Need for Seduction is centered around a marriage proposal on a vacation with her lover to Bali, and all the issues it dredges up: commitment, loyalty, honesty, guilt, doubt, fear. Hoo boy, it really should be required viewing for the red state people who seem to have such a deep hatred for something they clearly know nothing about. One of them (sadly, inevitably) is the artist’s father, who has that and a few worse sins to atone for, even within his own scheme of the world’s moral architecture.

One of the countless reasons the journey Vic takes us on is so watchable is that she is so tough and strong and funny. When hitting inevitable rough patches in her story, she never begs for sympathy. In the worst performance art I used to see back in the day, the artist would pump up crocodile tears and bawl on cue night after night about their own misfortunes. It turned my stomach, but it always seemed to work on the rabble around me in the audience. Vic, by contrast, involuntarily broke into tears a couple of times on opening night — and then employed a little humorous and original strategy she’d clearly devised to steer herself out of the predicament. The woman’s eye is on the ball. Her objective is to tell an important, moving and entertaining story. It is not to cry. Furthermore, she is the last thing from a Saint and is adamant about telling us so in her self-deprecating way. (Such people, in my view, stand a much better chance of becoming one).

The piece is very well written, structurally tying together many disparate elements (sex, phobias, death) in a way that is not forced but organic and really works. And the fabric that overlays that skeleton, full of vivid and juicy detail, is so enjoyable you don’t want it to stop. Like the gregarious storyteller that she is, Vic goes on many digressions, but (and I paid careful attention) they were always germane, always led back to the theme. In fact, everything reflected back to the point, including the little Kali face Vic makes when she enters the stage, which at first just seems like she’s just sticking out her tongue. (So kudos too to director/ dramaturg Leigh Fondakowski).

Lastly, to return to my opening sentence, about dating myself. I can’t believe I hear myself saying this (as I increasingly do) but it’s awfully nice to see some work for a change that’s mature, that’s about something, that’s by and for adults. It’s really nice (depressingly refreshing, in fact) to spend two hours in the company of someone who thinks and feels and cares for essences as much as much as forms. It is the ability to do so that explains the play’s title. But you’ll have to see the show to truly understand. I advise you to do so. It’s at Dixon Place through May 25. Tickets and info are here.

And here’s a cool video interview with Victoria and Vaudevisuals’ Jim Moore right here: https://vimeo.com/65926332

Last Night’s Event

Posted in BOOKS & AUTHORS, Hollywood (History), Movies, Silent Film, SOCIAL EVENTS with tags , on April 11, 2013 by travsd

DP talk

Thanks to one and all who came out to Dixon Place for our Chain of Fools launch event. I was so grateful to all those who braved the rains to come out.

It proved to be a veritable who’s who of today’s silent comedy community and their supporters! (Some day that’ll mean something). Why, there were Ben Model and Steve Massa of the Silent Clowns Film SeriesMichael Haar of East Village Radio’s Ragged Phonograph Program…friend Chris Robinson (a curator for Telluride and Turner Classic Movie film festivals)…Jim Moore of vaudevisuals.comChristopher Michael of newslapstick.com (all the way from England)… commedia dell’arte professor  Stanley Allen Sherman… clown Jeff SealDavid Carlyon (author of Dan Rice: The Most famous Man You’ve Never Heard Of)…comedian Bob GreenbergHope Cartelli of Piper Mckenzie Productions, along with her sister-in-law Parisian chanteuse Angela Lewonczyk,Martin and Rochelle Denton of nytheatre.comGavin Starr Kendall of the Bad Film Festival… Adam McGovern of comiccritique.com, hilobrow.com, artist Yoichiro Yoda, et al, and a whole mess of theatrical friends like Edward Einhorn of UTC #61 and his fiance Connie Wu… Gaby Schaffer and Nick Fracaro Lorinne Lampert and Francis Heaney… Catherine Porter of DP and PWP, and others including many civilians.

And of course the indispensable Duchess, who was riding high on a day that included news about a new gallery show of her work and a new production of one of her plays. She obliged us by taking these swell snaps of the event. And, look! It has the same color scheme and lighting as Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy!

Host Makes Face. Schaffer to the right

Host Makes Face. Schaffer to the right

with Ben Model

with Ben Model

Haar and Host in Hats

Haar and Host in Hats

Cartelli, Starr Kendall, Lewonzyck

Cartelli, Starr Kendall, Lewonzyck

stanley etc

Michael and guest, Heaney, Sherman, Lampert

Chain of Fools Launch Event and Early Press

Posted in BOOKS & AUTHORS, Clown, Comedy, ME, Movies, My Shows, PLUGS, Silent Film, SOCIAL EVENTS with tags , , on April 8, 2013 by travsd
Please Join Us For the FREE Chain of Fools Launch Event
Wednesday, April 10, 7:30-9:30 pm
in the Dixon Place Lounge
Trav S.D. launches his new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube
with a FREE screening of new, original silent comedies made by himself (with Hilary Chaplain),
Piper McKenzie Productions (Hope Cartelli & Jeff Lewonczyk),
Jeff Seal, Jim Moore, and
(all the way from England) Christopher Michael, et al!
Film screening to be followed by a book signing and celebration!
Dixon Place is at 161A Chrystie Street (go here for directions and additional info)
IN THE PRESS: 
* Please go here for an excellent interview about the origins of the book on Cultureradar with Michael Criscuolo
* Please go here for our first rave, by Scott Stiffler in the Community Media family of papers
* And here for a swell plug by Martin Denton at nytheatre.com
Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, by Trav S.D. is now available to order through Bear Manor Media (BearManorMedia.com).
About the book: Chain of Fools traces the art of slapstick comedy from its pre-cinema origins in the ancient pantomime through its silent movie heyday in the teens and twenties, then on to talkies, television, and the internet. Author Trav S.D. mixes a wicked wit, a scholar’s curiosity, and a keen critical appreciation for laugh-makers through the ages, from classical clowns like Joseph Grimaldi to comedy kings like Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton…to more recent figures, from Red Skelton, Sid Caesar and Ernie Kovacs to Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell…all the way down to the teenagers on YouTube whose backyard antics bring us full circle to slapstick’s beginnings. This valentine to the great clowns contains enough insights and surprises to open the eyes of even life-long comedy fans.
About the Author:  Writer and performer Trav S.D. is best known for his 2005 book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. He has contributed to the New York Times, American Theater, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, The New York Sun, Reason, and many other publications. A frequent radio guest and public speaker, his voice has been heard on the Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC), The Sound of Young America (NPR), The Joey Reynolds Show (WOR), Cat Radio Café (WBAI), the Halli Casser-Jayne Show and a dozen others throughout the country . Since 2008, he has also written the popular arts and culture blog Travalanche(travsd.wordpress.com).
To learn about this or other BearManor Media titles, please visit their website at http://t.ymlp349.net/jjeapawyhbarauumavauqey/click.php. Soon to be available also through Ingram and amazon.com as well.

A NY Christmas Panto

Posted in HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS, MEMORIALS & PARADES, Indie Theatre, PLUGS with tags , on December 21, 2012 by travsd

 

DICKWHITTINGTONweb

Dixon Place presents

DICK WHITTINGTON:
An Xmas Panto for NYC

FRIDAYS, DECEMBER 21 & 28 AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 AT 7PM
SATURDAY DECEMBER 29 AT 3PM

Written by JENNY GREEN MARY MCLAUGHLIN
Composed by WILLIAM TN HALL & TERESA LOTZ
Lyrics by KEVIN HAMMONDS, MARY MCLAUGHLIN & JENNY GREEN

Directed by JENNY LEE MITCHELL & KATHERINE O’SULLIVAN
Musical Direction by MICHAEL HOPEWELL
Choreographed by MITCHELL WAYNE
Costume Design by JENNY GREEN
Set Design by JOHN PEERY & CORNELIA JENSEN
Lighting Design by KIA ROGERS
Sound Design by ALDO PEREZ
Projection Design by LUCIA J LEE
Videographer: JIYE KIM
Wardrobe Mistress BILLIE AKEN-TYERS
Stage Manager BEKKAH ROSENBERG
Assistant Stage Manager VANESSA VILLALOBOS
Marketing Assistant LAYSHA DURAN
Press Representative LANIE ZIPOY
Produced by The OPTimistiks
Executive Producers ART BOUNDARIES UNLIMITED

TICKETS: 
Advanced purchase:
\$16 general admission, $15 groups (8 or more), $12 stu / sen
At the door: 
$18 general admission, $15 stu / sen

Buy Your Tickets on Ovation!

PLEASE NOTE: advance tickets must be picked up 10 minutes before the listed show time to be guaranteed a seat.

Madrat Merdock/Hooray Henry – JAMES PARKS
Dick Whittington – AIMEE WHELAN
Alice – ANWEN DARCY
Mayor Gloomburg – WILL SHAW
Lady GooGoo – MATTHEW BORROSO
Sara Pain – JENNY D GREEN
Eugenie – ASHLEIGH AWUSIE
Beatrice – CLAUDIA MORCROFT
Ratatouie – CAROL SIRUGO
Ratatat – JOHN DISCIASCO
Ratfink – ELLA MISCHE
Ratiquah: MATTHEW DONNELL*
Entourage – LAYSHA DURAN

 Panto is an historic staple of British popular theatre that has never successfully crossed the Pond. It is family-orientated satire using certain stock characters and traditions (including cross-dressing, interactivity and music) to retell a fable in a more recognizable setting. The OPTimistiks are bringing this culturally & socially harmonizing feature of the British stage to New York, with a contemporary rendition of Dick Whittington; here a poor, upstate boy follows his star to NYC where he crosses paths with the scheming Sara Pain and bungling Mayor Gloomberg in a quest for success on Simon Trouser’s P-Factor Talent Contest.theoptimistiks.org

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