Fringe Recap: Alex Mahgoub & Baba and St. Francis

BabaI wasn’t planning to do a recap but since we are smack in the middle of the run and Lucky Chick and My Ass (in the world) are totally kicking asses with sold out shows, I figured hey, why not?

I didn’t get to see as many shows as I wanted but the ones I have seen have been super awesome. I’ll start with Baba.

One of my favorite sayings is that it all comes out in the light. That popped in my head as I read Brene Brown’s quote in the program. In a nutshell, owning our story is hard but not as difficult as running from it. Then the lights come up on Alex Mahgoub and we are instantly pulled into his story that most wouldn’t share because it’s painful. Mahgoub shares his story of growing up in Trenton, the son of self-made business man who emigrated to the states from Egypt. Mahgoub’s father is a tough man who started in a bagel shop and ends up owning several real estate properties and businesses. He was murdered when Alex was nine years old.

The one man performance is more storytelling rather than a performance. I appreciated that because this is a harrowing, moving, touching story of what could be living in the shadow of his father but breaking through the breakdown. And it is FUNNY.  Even as he moves through the characters, Mahgoub doesn’t forget about the audience who he has already let into the story at the top of the show.
TWO MORE SHOWS:
Thurs, Aug 27 @ 3:45PM
Sat, Aug 29 @ 7PM
Venue #04: Spectrum
121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor

BIAS ALERT. I went to grad school with playwright and actress Miranda Jonte, assistant director, Kerry Flanagan, and co-producer, Michael Bitalvo of St. Francis.

St. Francis is the patron saint of animals so if you are an animal lover, this is a heart wrenching tale of a young veterinarian fighting for them and herself. Under the flawless direction of Stephen Brotebeck, Jonte tightly written 75 minute play hits the audience in all the right places as she is pressured to find a new home for her animals before a corporation takes over; she is triggered by feelings when her old lover returns to town; she is the mentor of all mentors to her young assistant; and she tries to mend the pieces of her broken relationship with her dad.

Guest Blogger: Ian McDonald Travels the World with Jasmine Pittenger

unnamedIn My Ass (In The World) Jasmine Pittenger explores our cultural biases about body image through the lens of an international traveler, journeying to exotic, far-away lands where those biases are not only upended, but completely thrown away.  This is juxtaposed with the backdrop of violence in war-torn regions around the world, forcing us to ask ourselves “is the violence in the world the same as the violence we inflict upon our own bodies in order to fit some unattainable ideal?”

Performing as a cast of characters from around the world, Ms. Pittenger bares her soul in some wonderfully, and sometimes brutally, honest moments. From the wonder and adoration of Senegalese tribeswomen, to the predations of well-to-do South American teens, culminating in the dangers of being blonde and full-figured on the back streets of Afghanistan, Jasmine pulls no punches as she weaves her story supported by simple but elegant projections on the set behind her.

Coming in at just under 60 minutes the piece feels a bit short, as if there is more to this story that needs to be told and we are only hearing the beginning. That said, My Ass is a delightful hour of theatre and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a craving for kofta kebabs after seeing it.

Performance Schedule:

SUN 8/16 @ 8:00 – 9:00 – SOLD OUT
THU 8/20 @ 2:00 – 3:00
SUN 8/23 @ 6:00 – 7:00
THU 8/27 @ 9:00 – 10:00
FRI 8/28 @ 4:30 – 5:30
Venue #04: Spectrum at 121 Ludlow, Second Floor, NYC
For more information, visit http://www.myassintheworld.com.

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Sandhi Santini & Eartha – The Last Chanteuse

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)A dramatic solo performance work which highlights the lows, peaks and challenges endured by entertainer Eartha
Kitt during her journey from a South Carolina cotton plantation to international fame and stardom.

Born on Edisto, a remote barrier island situated between Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA, Sandhi Santini is a Gullah–a descendant of the storytelling griots of West Africa. A New York-based cabaret performer/playwright, she received her B.A. in Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications, Washington, DC. Subsequent studies were obtained in Human Rights from Columbia University’s Graduate School of International
and Public Affairs, NYC; The Playwriting Program at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre, NYC; and Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), NYC. She is a member of The Society For The Preservation of Theatrical History; an Associate member of The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW); Associate Artist of NY Live Arts Fiscal Sponsorship Program; and SAGAFTRA. Sandhi has performed as a cabaret singer throughout the USA, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa.

PERFORMANCE: August 25th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Deanna Hartog & A Flicker of Light

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)“A Flicker of Light”, Deanna Hartog’s debut stage play, portrays a man’s life just prior to his death. Based on true experiences, this story depicts the honest and emotional interactions between a father and son as they attempt to mend their broken relationship. The inspiration for this play first came to Deanna as she was flipping through an old photo album, and came across a photograph of her grandfather, who led a life of pure generosity and great success. However, his success also forced him to make compromises in his life, which inevitably impacted his relationships with his family and friends. Deanna’s passion for writing began as a young child writing fictional stories, and has now evolved into a passion for playwriting. In her spare time, Deanna’s love for theatre continues on the stage, performing in many local theatrical productions.

What is your hometown? Westport, Connecticut.

What was the last show that you worked on and where? I am currently performing in Irena’s Vow as Fanka Silberstein, which is being performed in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Why submit to a Festival like this? As a young and aspiring writer, it is so important to gain exposure to my writing and allow myself to make connections with both other writers and people in the business. My goal in participating in this festival is to build these relationships and allow my work to be seen. Plus, seeing my writing come to life on stage and hearing my words spoken aloud is something that every writer dreams of.

PERFORMANCE: August 25th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet David Hersh & Going UP?!

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)We all ride elevators. Some of us multiple times a day. And every time we get inside, trapped in the corner, or squished next to the huge-summer-sweaty-guy, our bubble space invaded, while listening to the Muzak drone on we think, even if it is just a flash through our minds we think, “Is this the time I’m going to get stuck?” And we scan the elevator to see who our fellow ragtag inmates will be. And we wonder if we might escape through the trapdoor in the ceiling. And we wonder if we have anything to eat because we missed breakfast. And we pray to God that we won’t have to pee. Or worse. And what about the overly pregnant woman by the buttons? Is she going to blow? Going Up?! is a musical comedy that plays on our collective thoughts and fears; a musical that takes place entirely within a seven by seven space

What is your hometown? I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My parents grew up in Worcester, MA and moved to Canada before I was born. I moved to the United States a year and half ago and I’ve been living in Brooklyn since.

What was the last show that you worked on and where?  I directed Death of the Dollar in last year’s New York New Works Festival. The show made it all the way to the finals. It was a great show with a talented cast and terrific music.

Why submit to a Festival like this? I’m thrilled that Going Up will be premiering at the Festival this year. The Festival is a fantastic opportunity for new works to be seen by prominent producers. I had an amazing experience last year. Gene Fisch and the entire Festival crew were welcoming and supportive. I also got to see many of the shows which were all entertaining. Some of them were quite inspiring and I appreciated the hard work and talent that went into their productions.

PERFORMANCE: August 25th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Joe Minchik & With This Ring

Since announcing the debut of his first one-act play, “With This Ring” Joe Minchik has overwhelmingly been asked one question: “Does this mean you are FINALLY proposing to your girlfriend?!” Minchik can’t refute the uncanny resemblance he shares with the play’s main character, Josh Kavanagh, (played by Minchik), a New York City dwelling 29-year old, who after five years of dating his girlfriend, Harper Boston (played by Sarah Burkhalter), attempts to pop the question.

Where is your hometown? Westminster, MD

What was the last show that you worked on and where? I’ve been acting and improvising in NYC since 2008. “With This Ring” is the first play I’ve written.

Why submit to a festival like this? I submitted to the NYNW festival to have a unique opportunity at developing a new piece of writing and the chance to network with industry professionals.

PERFORMANCE: August 25th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet CT Marie and Ideal Lights

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)CT Marie is thrilled to be part of this year’s NYNW Theatre Festival. Originally from New York City, she is well acquainted with the NYC theater scene. Just this past January, she produced, wrote, and starred in “A(MUSE)” that was presented by The Venus/Adonis Theatre Festival at The Robert Moss Theater. As a young and active new voice, CT Marie is proud to produce “Ideal Lights” in a festival that honors and provides significant exposure for emerging playwrights.

PERFORMANCE: August 24th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Mitchell Van Landingham & Acrophobia

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)Mitchell VanLandingham was born near Fresno, California, and moved to New York City in 2013 after his undergraduate studies at UC Davis. While in the city, he wore many hats: from telemarketer to legal secretary — all before finally beginning his studies as a law student at UC Hastings in San Francisco in fall 2015. Traveling between his family on the West Coast and his work on the East Coast, he took on another position: fearful flyer. Despite having racked up over 30,000 air miles in eighteen months, he is still a white-knuckler at every takeoff. After one flight too many, he turned his crippling fear of flying into Acrophobia, a three-character comedy about irrational fears, the kindness of strangers, and how much we need (or don’t need) each other. Acrophobia was first produced in 2015 by Gotham Dance Theater at The Tank NYC. For the NYNW Theatre Festival, Acrophobia features Malia Therese Abayon, Tyler Crozier, and Stefin Woolever, and the original staging was reconstructed by eminent choreographer and Gotham Dance Theater co-founder Marc Andrew Nuñez.

What is your hometown? Visalia, California

What was the last show that you worked on and where? Ophelia, a play I wrote, performed in June 2015 by Gotham Dance Theater at Joria Productions/West Side Dance Project

Why submit to a Festival like this? This is such a great opportunity not only to get exposure, but also to learn from such esteemed professionals in the industry.

PERFORMANCE: August 19th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Claire Zajdel and Mother Maggie

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)Where is your hometown? Lisle, Illinois

What was the last show that you worked on and where? I produced Talk Radio with NYU’s Backstage Theatre Company.

Why submit to a festival like this? NYNW is an exciting opportunity for young playwrights like myself because it brings together the opportunity to produce an unseen work with the chance to meet working Broadway producers and directors.

PERFORMANCE: August 19th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Anthony Marinnelli & Another Famous Dead Artist

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)The play features Rick Schneider as an artist who is in the midst of a creative meltdown when his longtime protégée/muse (Amanda Greer) reveals she is leaving him…for another woman (Lucy Dolly Caires). The play deals with many issues that creative people often face, from the fear of not being good enough, to the nature of beauty and how to capture it.

In 2014, his one-act play, Acoustic Space, won the Strawberry Festival’s Best Play Award and he was nominated for Best Director. The film version screened in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and received an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition. He is the writer/director/editor of short films Night, Joey’s Gonna Kill Me, Lunch Time and Subway (which aired multiple times on PBS’ Reel13). Another short he directed, Walt Whitman Never Paid For It, written by Angelo Berkowitz, won the Audience Choice Award at the Richmond International Film Festival (March, 2014) and was also featured in the Williamsburg and Big Apple Film Festivals. He began directing for the stage with an original play by author, Sharbari Ahmed, entitled Raisins Not Virgins, followed by Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love and Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (both of which he also produced).
Other directorial projects include a staged reading of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, an industry reading for his feature film script, Eventually Yours, and a five week run of Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam at the Center Playhouse in Freehold, NJ. Upcoming projects include another play, Books, Beds and Baths, a web series, Simple Things, and Neil Simon’s Chapter Two for Center Playhouse in 2016.
Anthony is also a full-time editor who has worked on commercials appearing during the Super Bowl as well as an award-winning documentary with Alicia Keys (“Alicia in Africa”). In 2001 he was nominated for an AICE award for his work on NY Dept. of Tourism’s, “New Day,” which was the first “I Love NY” commercial after the Sept. 11th attacks.
He lives in Manalapan, New Jersey with his wife and three children.”
PERFORMANCE: August 27th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/