Archive for Dixon Place

Tomorrow at Dixon Place: A Great Free Opera

Posted in Classical, Indie Theatre, LEGIT, EXPERIMENTAL & MUSICAL THEATRE, Music, PLUGS with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by travsd


A couple of years ago we waxed enthusiastic about the samples we heard of The Hat, an opera-in-progress by Karen Siegel and Zsuzsanna Ardo at Opera on Tap’s New Brew series (same folks presenting our opera section tonight). Now Siegel and Ardo’s show is more topical than ever. It’s about the affair between a young Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger. It’s been both heartening and dismaying to know that sales of Ardent’s books have gone up the past few weeks (she’s the person who coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the rise of the Nazis). And Heidegger of course, though one of the most brilliant existentialist philosophers of the 20th century, actually became a Nazi apologist! The romance sounded do distant and faraway the last time I heard it. Now it’s hitting terrifyingly close to home.

They’re presenting the whole thing tomorrow night at Dixon Place in the Lounge — admission is free. An edifying way and place in which to spend a winter evening.

Trav S.D. and the Civil War at Dixon Place

Posted in ME, My Shows, PLUGS with tags , , on April 7, 2015 by travsd


Trav S.D. and Mountebanks present 

Fragments of  a House Divided

Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30pm

at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, NYC

April, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. To observe the occasion Trav S.D. will be presenting sections of his Civil War circus comedy A House Divided, written as companion piece to Kitsch (presented at Theater for the New City in 2009.) This unique variety presentation features clown bits, a “magic lantern slide show”, live music, farcical scenes from the play and circus and sideshow turns. In the cast:

Trav SD as circus showman Romulus Leguerre and his twin brother Remus, a committed Quaker!

Carolyn Raship (Illustrated Slides)

Dandy Darkly as your Gentleman Narrator!

Lewd Alfred Douglas as Castor and Pollux, two dashing and romantical young lads!

Jeff Seal performing a pantomime, twill make you laff til your sides ache!

Jenny Lee Mitchell as the divine Miss Greensleeves, love object and soprano

Jennifer Harder, blowing her bugle and essaying multiple parts!

Justin R. G. Holcomb as Major Anderson

Robert Pinnock as the deformed creature “Murk”

et al

with the haunting cello of Becca Bernard!

sideshow stunts by Cardone

and introducing..Góthic Hangman as “Abraham Lincoln”!

PLUS! “Belle of the South” — the entire missing Civil War section which was cut from our recent show Horseplay, or the Fickle Mistress

Stage Manager: Sarah Lahue

A House Divided was written on a MacDowell Fellowship.

Bindle, Bramble, Baby, Bumpus

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


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!



Last Night’s “Chorus Girls” Opening

Posted in Art Models/ Bathing Beauties/ Beauty Queens/ Burlesque Dancers/ Chorines/ Pin-Ups/ Sexpots/ Vamps, 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.


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.

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 (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,, 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)
* 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
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 (
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(
To learn about this or other BearManor Media titles, please visit their website at Soon to be available also through Ingram and as well.

Why I’ve Been Pinching Myself

Posted in Indie Theatre, ME, Melodrama and Master Thespians, PLUGS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by travsd

Drawing by Carolyn Raship

Wednesday night at Dixon Place, Theatre Askew will be presenting a workshop  production of a section of my play The Fickle Mistress, about the original “Naked Lady” Adah Isaacs Menken. I’ve known Askew’s director Tim Cusack since the Todo Con Nada days….I first saw him in Ian W. Hill’s production of Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, and later he played a villainous priest in my play Columbia the Germ of the Ocean at Chashama (2002). We have always bonded over our mutual admiration for the Theatre of the Ridiculous. I have much enjoyed (and written about) several of Askew’s productions:  I, Claudius (which I reviewed for Time Out New York); Busted (a.k.a A Night in the Tombs), which I wrote about in my Villager column; and Cornbury, reviewed right here. So this is the first mega-positive. It’s a wonderful feeling to be produced by a company whose work you so admire.

But that’s just the beginning! The cast includes Everett Quinton, heir apparent to Charles Ludlam, OBIE-award winner, and the performer of a scene-stealing turn in the Quentin Tarantino-Oliver Stone collaboration Natural Born Killers. Every so often during a rehearsal I look over and it sinks in that he’s actually doing my play. It is surreal indeed.

But wait, there’s more. Also in the cast is another  OBIE winner, actress Jan Leslie Harding (she won for her performance in Mac Wellman’s Sincerity Forever in 1990). Jan also starred in Julie Taymor’s Green Bird on Broadway and had a principal role in Hal Hartley’s 1997 movie Henry Fool . 

Jan also appeared in Ruth Margraff’s Red Frogs, directed by Elyse Singer. Elyse is someone else whose work I’ve admired for a long time, starting with her revival of Mae West’s play Sex in 1999 ( which I wrote about for American Theatre magazine. Go here for that artifact). And Elyse’s co-production of Beebo Brinker is the very first review I wrote for Travalanche, my second post ever. It is here.) In addition to being a terrific director, she’s also a scholar; her research on West and Eva Tanguay was hugely helpful to me on No Applause). So I’m beyond thrilled that she is bringing her prodigious talents to bear on the current play, and that she brought with her Chuck Montgomery (Chuck, like Jan not only appeared in Henry Fool but in several productions at the legendary Cucaracha theatre, of which you will find many fond memories here). I’ve never forgotten Chuck’s performance in Elyse’s production of Sex — not because he had any Hamlet moments, but because he has excellent stage presence, the kind of face and voice you associate with old-school Hollywood.

So what are we up to now? Five extremely classy artists. And we haven’t even gotten up to the star yet! Molly Pope is just that:  a bona fide star. Time Out New York loves her, calling her “a downtown retro-diva” and the “next best thing of 1963”. The Village Voice’s Michael Musto recently devoted a whole “Rising Star” column to her here. This is a lot of freight to lay on her but it really is like watching a young Streisand or Bette Midler: terrific acting and comic chops, and a big brassy Broadway voice (and rest assured we’ve got her singing a couple of songs — some of them  quite dirty). This is a big personality and we’re so fortunate to have her at this moment — in a few months we’ll probably have to book her through William Morris, if we can come up with the 5 gs!

Rounding out the cast is Karl O’Brien Williams, artistic director of the Caribbean performing arts organization Braata Productions and a drama professor at BMMC; and Natalie Paul, who just finished Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program. No slouches either!

To find out how you can see all these amazing people, go here!

And to hear me, Tim and Elyse speak talk about the production with’s Martin Denton go here. 

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