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Liberation Iannillo


What's Up For Today?
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Photo Credit Paul Urban

Andrew Goffman's
The Accidental Pervert
Thursdays & Fridays at 7pm
February 2 - February 24th
The Triad Theater

Reviewed by Nichelle Stephens

On February 2, I attended the press preview of the The Accidental Pervert, a one man show starring Andrew Goffman and directed by Charles Messina. Before the show started, a mixtape of double entendres wafted through the speakers of the Triad Theater on the Upper West Side. Songs like "I Touch Myself", "Sexual Healing" and "Stroke Me" were three tunes that I tapped my feet to as I waited for the lights to dim.

The show is about a young man's addiction to porn, and his eventual maturation into a normal husband and father. In the first scene, Andrew is sitting in a recliner "spanking his monkey" to an old 70's skin flick. The problem with that is the play kinda goes soft quickly after that, but is sprinkled with a few moments of hilarity as Goffman realizes that porn is not a substitute for a real relationship. Furthermore, a young man's fantasies can change into dreams of being a loving husband and father.

No one under 17 will be admitted - Admission: $20 plus two-drink minimum ($15 students/seniors with valid ID at the door) To purchase tickets call 212-868-4444 or visit http://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showCode=ACC3
For more information visit www.theaccidentalpervert.com
Running time: 1 hour & 20 minutes.

The Triad Theater| 158 West 72nd Street
(Bbetween Broadway & Columbus Avenue in NYC)
Trains: 1,2,3,9, or C to 72nd Street


 



Matt Morillo’s
Angry Young Women in Low-rise Jeans with High Class Issues
Thursdays @ 7pm
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7pm & 9:30
January 19-February 25th (Extended)
The Duo Theatre

Starring: Jessica Durdock; Thomas J. Pilutik; Major Dodge; Devon Pipers; Jason Drumwright; Rachel Nau; Angelique Letizia; and Nicholas J. Coleman.

Reviewed by Shareshten Senior

Angry Young Women In Low-rise Jeans with High Class Issues is a must see for any Sex and the City fan. Matt Morillo writes, directs, and produces this series of skits which captures the unexplainable yet undeniable differences between men and women. After seeing this play the first thing on my mind was, “Wow, Morillo sure has been through some high class issues with women.” The play is so well written I could only assume that these situations were once his own.

Okay, so we all know Morillo has seen young women in low-cut jeans, but what are the high class issues? Well, he may have told one of the women he dated a few fantasies he had about her that she really didn't want to know. In one skit, Angelique Letizia plays Rebecca who is involved sexually with her new boyfriend who she has known for a whole weekend. Her boyfriend, Ronnie, is played by Nicholas J. Coleman. Rebecca is everything Ronnie could want in a woman: a huge sexual fantasy-fulfilling freak. However, she is also a woman, with all the contradictions that being a woman entails. She preaches to her younger cousin Sarah, played by Devon Pipars, that she should be happy and embrace the hot Lacrosse player who has the unfortunate habit of talking about her sexually with his boys. But in the end Rebecca becomes the same irrational woman that she was “preaching” against to Sarah. Ronnie is completely caught off guard and Mars and Venus continue orbiting.

Many women have had mood swings when they first get on "the pill." I was on it for two months and thought I was sure to murder some innocent civilian or child if I didn't get off it right away. In the next skit Morillo takes on the joys of being a boyfriend to a girl who has just started the pill. The poor unsuspecting boy who just wants to have unprotected sex, takes a few visits to hell instead. Jessica Durdock delivers an excellent performance as she plays Rachel, the emotionally volatile young woman who has just gone on the pill. Major Dodge plays Rachel's boyfriend who walks on egg shells to appease Rachel. He and his best-friend Joe are watching the Islanders Hockey game on a Tuesday night when Rachel arrives home to tear through one emotional trip after another.

Morillo also writes about the women he has taken advantage of. Okay, we all know they exist. Some claim to love sex as much as men and just want to sleep around and some use sex as a strategic way to climb the ladder of life. But some really do trust that the man they are sleeping with wants her soul when all he wants is just her-pants-on-the-floor. Rachel Nau plays Elissa, delivering a monologue which explained a lot to me about some of my girlfriends that I could never figure out in high school. She speaks of how great her father was to her and how much he loved her and therefore all men must be trust-worthy, right? Well, you can see where this goes. The moral of the story is: Fathers - be bad to your daughters!

The last skit was the most sophisticated and probably the only one from Morillo's professional life experience. Morillo has produced three short films, two features and he has written five screenplays. This last skit is based on a film producer who is known for producing unnecessary nude scenes (surely not Morillo, but perhaps someone he knew). Devon Pipars plays the lead character of this film. She has cold feet about exposing her breasts. So she proceeds to call in a friend for moral support, The cameraman Kristoff, played by Jason Dumwright, already has a fed-up-this-isn't-what-I-want- to-do-with-my-life-kind-of-attitude. The director/producer/writer Spencer, played by Thomas J. Pilutik, is just trying to keep the cameraman on the job, make Jennifer relax and take off her shirt (with the aid of some Jack Daniels), get her friend Katy to "shut-up" and also direct Barry, the male star of the film played again by Major Dodge, to crawl over the couch in just the “right” way. You cannot imagine the chaos this skit turns into; you have to see it.

All the skits form one hilarious eighty-five minute play. There is no intermission, but one is not needed. The casting was perfect. The actors fit the parts and their jeans. And as sure as I am a woman, I will be re-attending.

Lighting design is by Amith A. Chandrashaker. Set design is by Aaron Glazer.
For more information go to www.KADM.com

Tickets are $15. Box office SMARTTIX (212) 868-4444; www.smarttix.com

The Duo Theatre | 62 East Fourth Street
(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)






Sam Shepard‘s
Buried Child
Tuesday-Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
January 27 - February 12, 2006
The American Theatre of Actors

Reviewed by Melinda Maclean

The White Horse Theater Company is presenting a new production of Sam Shepard's 1979 Pulitzer Prize winning play Buried Child, in a limited engagement run. The production is helmed by Cyndy A. Marion, who has directed many other Shepard plays.

The play is set in an Illinois farmhouse during the early 1960's. The first scene
opens with Dodge, the down-trodden patriarch of the clan, watching TV, coughing and stealing swigs from a whiskey bottle which he keeps hidden beneath the sofa pillow away from his wife, Halie, whose shrill voice shoots down at him from an upstairs room, "What's it like down there? Dodge?" "Catastrophic." is his pronouncement and this sets the tone of the play. Claustrophibic, tortured, comic by turns, but tragic overall.

The play centers on one long night which eats into the next bitter morning - as
a long buried secret and the resentments and surpressed urges of each family member come into the light - partly brought out by Shelly who acts as a catalyst - forcing every sad and ugly kernel of truth to the surface. Tilden, the oldest son, has come back home from a long stay in New Mexico where he got into trouble and now acts detached from reality and child-like, bringing back armfuls of vegetables from the land in the back of the house where supposedly
nothing had been planted since 1935. Bradley, the younger son, an amputee who sawed his own leg off in an accident, acts insular and malicious when he visits the house, at one point clipping the hair off of his father's sleeping head, leaving Dodge almost bald with a bleeding scalp. Halie, the mother, a city-girl who never fully adjusted to country life, goes from flirting with Father Dewis who whisks her off for a whole night to morbidly memorializing her dead son, Ansel. And then there
is Vince, Tilden's son, who hasn't seen his family for five years. He arrives, in
good spirits, to see his family and try to reclaim his roots but is devastated when
his own family doesn't seem to recognize him. And there is his girlfriend Shelly
who is a spit-fire but is losing Vince to this strange family and has to fend for
herself and survive by her wits as she is drawn more and more into the very heart
of the secret which lies in the title of the play.

The play harks on themes of family, the struggle for dominance and identity, and blood ties, as Vince explains in one of the most beautiful parts of the play
how at one point he sees the faces of all of his forefathers reflected in his own in the rearview mirror of his car. The illusion of family is dissected layer by painful layer revealing a hollow core in which almost nobody is able to recognize the other or themselves. The characters hold onto and are mesmerized by objects which are recognizable symbols of power, fertility, or love, etc, (ie. Vince playing with Bradley's prosthetic leg, Shelly holding the carrots, Tilden holding Shelly's rabbit fur coat). But at some point the symbols become more real then characters who themselves become absurd abstractions.

This is not an easy play to watch. Shepard's words are mesmerizing and the direction creates an effect of total devastation with little possibility of escape or
hope. It is a strong production with strong and very committed performances by
all. The set design by Caroline Abella is sparse and simple, hi-lighting the bleak austerity of the situation and the landscape. You get a real sense of emotional claustrophobia sitting in the small theater watching the actors whose performances are shrill and seemingly over-the-top most of the time. Bill Rowley as Dodge gives off an air of comic frustraton and futility, with bursts of anger and pain wracking his body accentuated by spams of coughing. Karen Gibson as Halie gives a very stately performance as a bereaved mother, who still is in touch with the young girl inside of her. Tilden is played by Rod Sweitzer (co-founder of the White Horse Theater Company) in an eerie and touching performance. You want to reach out to him and lead him away from the scene. David Look gives a truly disturbing performance as Bradley, using his broken body as a measure of the long born pain inside of him, to wonderful effect. Ginger Kroll gives a stand-out performance, bringing light and truth to the role of Shelly. Her face is wonderful to watch - full of nuances and raw emotion. Vince is played by Chris Stetson who brings a bit of early Elvis swagger to the part and lots of great energy. And not to forget Father Dewis played by David Elyha who is very funny and has a great line, "I don't know what my position is. I just came in for some tea."

Tickets: $15. Call 212-868-4444 or visit http://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showCode=SAM8
For more information on the company visit http://www.whitehorsetheater.com

The American Theatre of Actors—Sargent Theatre | 314 West 54th Street
(between 8th & 9th Avenues)
Trains: C,E to 50 St., B,D to 7 Ave., N,R,Q,W to 57 St.




Ed Dixon's
Fanny Hill
Monday through Saturday at 8 PM
Wednesday & Saturday at 2:30 PM
Sunday at 3 PM
Closes March 26th.
Saint Peter’s Theatre


An old fashioned musical about the world’s oldest profession.

Featuring: Patti Allison; Nancy Anderson; David Cromwell; Michael J. Farina; Gina Ferral; Adam Monley; Emily Skinner; Christianne Tisdal; Tony Yazbeck.

The York Theater Company has done something remarkable – producing a "PG13- rated" musical based on the classic ribald novel, The Memoirs of Fanny Hill by John Cleland. The Memoirs were considered so scandalous when they were first published in 1748 they were banned, becoming a “Hey, Mister, want a dirty book” type of contraband.

Here is a quote from the press release: “FANNY HILL is the story of a beautiful but poor country girl who travels to London to make her fortune and ends up making a great deal more… the army, the navy and most of Parliament! In the face of big city trials and tribulations, our indefatigable heroine ends up giving new meaning to the expression “making it” when she becomes the foremost practitioner of the world’s oldest profession.

Ed Dixon’s Fanny Hill is a sunny upbeat all-American musical, the type of musical that is produced by theater groups throughout the United States. This production is blessed with an incredibly talented cast, with great performances by Nancy Anderson as Fanny, Tony Yazbeck as Charles (Fanny’s great love) and Patti Allison as Mrs. Brown (the proprietress of the house of ill repute). There is also an marvelous intricately designed multi-purpose set by set-designers Michael Bottari and Ronald Case. Bottari and Case also designed the gorgeous period costumes.

Musical Director Stan Tucker and Director James Brennan do a good job of bringing the musical through to its happy ending. Fanny Hill: a story about how attention to your bottom line can pay off in the end.

Tickets to Fanny Hill are $55 (from February 14 – March 26). Tickets can be purchased at www.SmartTix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444. STUDENT RUSH (WITHOUT THE RUSH!) - $20 (in advance with valid student ID). SENIOR RUSH TICKETS - $20 (available ½ hour before curtain, subject to availability) for more information, please visit www.fannyhillmusical.com or www.yorktheatre.org.

Saint Peter’s Church| Just east of Lexington Avenue on East 54th Street.
BY SUBWAY - E train to Lexington Avenue or 6 train to 51st Street






Frank J. Avella's
Greener
Tuesday-Saturday at 8PM
Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 3PM
Sunday Evenings at 7PM
February 14th-26th
Bank Street Theatre

Starring: Joe Pistone; Patrick Allen; Lisa Marie Gargione; Wind Klaison; Nicholas Lazzaro; Nick Mathews; Jennifer Nehila; and Justin D. Quackenbush. Set and lighting design Jody C. Ratti and original music by Joe Morse

Reviewed by Wendy R. Williams

There is just something about small town cemeteries; they are like parks with a little extra serving of nasty – a place to drink beer, smoke a little weed and do the dirty deed in relative privacy. And teenagers have always been attracted to cemeteries, even if they were not literate or ambitious enough to emulate Romeo and Juliet (two of the first cemetery groupies).

A New Jersey cemetery is the setting for Frank J. Avella’s new play, Greener. Here is a quote from the press release:”A supernatural thriller set entirely in a cemetery, Greener is about a group of friends who gather together on the eve of their 10-year high school reunion after one has committed suicide--an identical twin whose spirit is in a major state of unrest. Haunted by their own inner demons as well as actual apparitions and phantasms that abound around them, each of our friends must deal with certain chilling realities about their respective lives. And some must confront more other-worldly issues. GREENER explores death, suicide and the concept of the afterlife in provocative fashion, eschewing the traditional Judeo-Christian teachings and opting for more controversial hypotheses.”

It’s all there: good looking actors; tomb stones; ghosts; beer; pot; and nudity – a nice recipe for an alternative high school reunion. Avella even evokes the spirit of the now deceased Elizabeth Hartman, the actress who was nominated for an Oscar for A Patch of Blue. Elizabeth is the new muse for the character’s séance, a substitute for the now boring idea of using Natalie Wood. All of the actors have long monologues which tell the story of their lives. They were all friends and are still friend, but life changes and so have they.

And Greener, why Greener? Well, it seems that Greener was a young man who killed himself and his tombstone has been adopted as the setting for the séances and sexual adventures of this small group of friends. But as a fun twist it seems that Greener never knew the group in real life. So if he killed himself because he was lonely or never invited to participate in sexual escapades, his problems have definitely been solved in the afterlife.

Greener is an ensemble piece and all the actors gave great performance. And the setting, the lighting and the original music (Joe Morse) all add an eerie ambience to the play. Avella has definitely created a weird world populated by attractive, jaded character. But hey, the play is set in New Jersey – what do you expect? .

Tickets are $30-25. For tickets please call Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or via www.newcockpitensemble.com



Bank Street Theatre| 155 Bank Street
(between Washington and West Streets)
NYC. A, C, E or L to 14th And 8th Ave.





Daryl Lisa Fazio's
Greyhounds
15 Performances from February 1 - 19, 2006
Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row

Reviewed by Frank J. Avella

In Act One of Wickshaw Productions staging of Daryl Lisa Fazio’s play Greyhounds, two uniquely different women each eat a plastic-sealed pack of crackers--the kind you get with soup at a local diner.

Toby (Heather Massie), the street-smart, tomboyish spitfire devours her crackers like a ravenous wild animal with no regard for manners whatsoever. Mercy (Cheri Wicks), the seemingly proper and prim housewife, in contrast, carefully and daintily opens her packet and proceeds to dine on the contents as if each cracker was covered in caviar. (I’ve never quite seen saltines eaten so gracefully before.)

In the brief, but penetrating moment, the distinction between the two characters is obviously and deceptively made. It’s a perfect stage moment that gives the audience almost all they need to know about these gals--almost. (Class conflicts as well as more primal revelations come later).

Greyhounds is an actor’s showcase and this particular production is blessed with two very strong thespians who do not play their respective parts as much as embody them.

Cheri Wicks, in particular, delivers a piercing and honest performance filled with nuance and subtly. Each time she is given the opportunity to overplay her role, she wisely opts to simply be. Her Mercy is someone you find yourself wanting to get to know further after the lights dim.

Heather Massie’s part is flashier but her portrayal makes all the sense in the world once we learn about certain secrets from her past.

The play itself is a bit too slight, especially the meandering first act. But a gruesome discovery sets the stage for a revelatory and exciting second act. Fazio’s use of flashbacks provide a great touch and one wishes there were more of them. Jesse Jou deftly directs, but it’s Wicks and Massie who always keep things interesting, urgent and relevant.

Tickets: $ 20.00 General Admission, $ 12.00 Students / Seniors
Through Ticket Central: 212-279-4200 www.ticketcentral.com
www.greyhoundstheplay.com

The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row | 410 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
(Between 9th & 10th Avenues)



Armistead Johnson and Glenn Lawrence
Photo by Alex Norden

David Miguel Estrada’s
Stu’s Dead Dog
Thursday February 16th @ 9pm
Strawberry One-Act Theater Festival
Producer’s Club II

Reviewed by Wendy R. Williams

Starring: David Miguel Estrada; Michael Henry Harris; Armistead Johnson; and Glenn Lawrence

Stu’s Dead Dog is a slice-of-life (East Texas variety) play about….well about a dead dog. The play is set on the front porch of Bill, an old geezer played by the multi-talented David Miguel Estrada. The action begins when good-old-boy Stu, played by the always wonderful Armistead Johnson, comes running on stage frantically searching for his dog, Lady. It seems that unbeknownst to Stu, another backwoods lad, Dale (skillfully played by Glenn Lawrence), may have run over Lady and he isn’t too sorry. In fact, he’s kind of glad.

Well, there is some wisdom from Bill and his drinking buddy Joe, played by the talented Michael Henry Harris. And there is some carrying on and tussling between Stu and Dale as suspicions grow about what happened to that damn dog. But in the end, things sort of settle down and small town life goes on like it always does. It is pretty hot most of the time in East Texas, so it pays to be accomodating.

This play is fun. It was well written and well acted and it does not try to do too much; it is just a visit to East Texas with some good old boys, some dogs and some beer. What more could you ask for?

Stu’s Dead Dog is written and directed by David Miguel Estrada
. The Strawberry Festival's Finals are Friday, February 17th & Saturday, February 18th at 7pm & Sunday,& February 19th at 3pm. To purchase $15 tickets please call 646-623-3488 or log onto www.therianttheatre.com.


The Producer's Club II |616 Ninth Avenue
(bet. 43 & 44th)


 


 


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