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

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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

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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.

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.

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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.

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

A Cultural “Pub Crawl”

Posted in Asian, CRITICISM/ REVIEWS, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Indie Theatre, SOCIAL EVENTS with tags , , , , , on March 28, 2011 by travsd

The Countess and I had an edifiying Sunday afternoon following our matinee performance of the Tent Show Tetragrammaton. First we zipped down to Dixon Place for the World Theatre Day Celebration. This worthy annual event is organized by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), a project of the United Nations, and the Theatre Communications Group. We hung out with our pals Catherine Porter, Barry Rowell and Ralph Lewis of the Peculiar Works Project, and did our part for world peace by drinking glassfuls of red wine. (Wine and theatre  are old Greek traditions, springing from the head of a single  God. Unfortunately, war is also another Greek tradition, but at least it gets a separate God.) At any rate, to prove it really happened, here are some rather poor photographs:

Dixon Place Founder Ellie Covan welcomes the assembled.

 

Nicky Paraiso, curator of the Club at La MaMa, presents a proclamation

Amanda Feldman, general manager of the Lark Play Development Center, part of the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition

After we had our fill of international brotherhood, we took back to the frigid February streets (too bad it’s late March). Up the street (Chrystie Street, to be specific), we stopped into the Hendershot Gallery, where they just happened to be opening their new exhibition “Keep Out You Thieving Bastards”.  The show is composed of work by Minnesota-area artists, including photographers, painters, sculptors, installation artists, video artists etc etc. The biggest impressions on me were made by the photographers, notably Chris Larson’s series of eerie interiors of an abandoned house, inexplicably filled with ice — The Day After Tomorrow?

 

Chris Larson, Deep North (Bed) 2008 C-print mounted on aludibond 35 x 35 inches

I also enjoyed the work of Alec Soth, to wit:

 

Alec Soth, Jimmie’s Apartment, Memphis, Tennessee 2002 C-print 40 x 50 inches

More info on the exhibition is here.

Next we hied us up to St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery for the opening night of Vampire Cowboys new show The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, as part of the Incubator Arts series.

Playwright Qui Nguyen is of course best known as an architect of superlative entertainments, chocolate ice cream-like head rushes of pure pleasure mixing comical fight sequences, genre parody, stereotype deconstruction and broad cultural satire. Lost in the shuffle of the success he’s enjoyed during the past several years is his origins as a more conventional, “earnest” playwright. His early play “Trial by Water” (though published and much produced) was nonetheless lambasted by critics in spite of his worthy intentions and the unimpeachable importance of the subject matter (the horrible ordeal experienced by several members of his family as they attempted to escape from Vietnam). In The Inexplicable Redemption, he revisits this material through the lens of where he’s at today both as a man and as an artist. A crazy-quilt collage more formally playful than perhaps anything he’s done, it confronts not only these real events, but also  the formal and moral struggles of playwriting.

The truth is, the Off-Off Broadway, “indie” theatre community, supposed last bastion of all that is pure in the realm of theatrical art, turns out at bottom to be just as commercial, mindless and superficial as Broadway, Hollywood and Madison Avenue. One gets all the positive reinforcement in the world for giving audiences metaphorical lap dances — for NOT challenging them, for merely entertaining them. To ask an audience to expand, learn, or grow the fuck up oddly tends to be interpreted as ineptitude…as though those aesthetic choices were some accidental failure in the construction of the jolly entertainment machine, instead of an intentional invitation to the audience to waken their sleeping hearts and brains. And this is the attitude nowadays not only of audiences and producers, but of the great majority of “critics”. I’ll be ranting a lot more on this subject in the days to follow, because I’m constantly on the horns of the same dilemma that Qui is talking about — as most of us in the end are, whether we choose to grapple with it or not. Should I say little or nothing with my work, and be popular? Or should I use this talent and this instrument to say something that really matters to me? My personal meal ticket and bete noir is vaudeville; I got a taste of Qui’s version in the lobby at St. Marks after the show:

NERVOUS, SWEATING SCHMUCK, TO HIS DATE:  Heh heh, most of his shows aren’t like this, they’re more like that opening scene. [The opening scene is an exhilarating Vampire Cowboys set piece of rice-hat-wearing Vietnamese shooting each other with machine guns, set to the Rolling Stones “Paint It, Black.”]

SCHMUCK SUBTEXT: I’m so sorry I brought you to this show that accidentally made you think!

I guess you can see what side I come down on in this war. This is likely to remain my favorite Qui Nguyen play — until he writes a better one.  It is personal, painful and risky, and in my book that’s always the type of work most worthy of support. And if this is already turning you off, (motherfuckers!), rest easy. Qui and director Robert Ross Parker do a bang up job of filling his main character’s journey with the usual mix of whiz-bang stagecraft, cool music and effects, martial arts, hysterical one liners and even a couple of original old school raps. Qui”s found a way to draw from both sides of his extremely inventive mind — and I hope he continues to pursue this “third path”. Because what he learns during this voyage of exploration will be of value to all of us.

To find out how to get tickets go here.

 

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