Review by Nick Radu: Broken Bone Bathtub

She’s naked. She’s in a bathtub. And she’s brilliant.

Siobhan O’Loughlin is the petite powerhouse in this one woman show, bringing humanity to more than just the surface of the water she sits in.

Per usual, Siobhan brings a group of people together, in an actual bathroom, where she sits in the tub and tells her story. On this occasion, host, Ron Brawer, Daytime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for Another World, allowed his Manhattan apartment to be the stage for this particular installment. His giant loft allowed for a larger audience to be present this time around and he provided Siobhan with more than just a conventional tub. Brought in by a friend from Wisconsin when Brawer moved in, was a large copper vat for making cheese!

Siobhan’s adorable face popped up from inside the tub as the literal shower curtain was pulled aside. The large copper basin sat underneath a shower head, which would leak droplets of water every now and then, causing Siobhan to react appropriately.

She told her story of riding her bike through the streets of New York one rainy night. An accident with another cyclist left her on the pavement with a broken hand and a broken spirit.

What was so great about this experience wasn’t just the cute face with the beautiful voice who told the story, or the incredible spirit who picked herself up and delivered a heartfelt depiction of life on life’s terms. What made this incredibly worthwhile was the literal shared experience the audience received.

Siobhan took us through the narrative, but paused at many intervals to ask opinions, thoughts and personal experiences from the friends who gathered around her and her tub. As we got to know her and what happened to her, we also got to know others and what they went through in similar experiences.

She even allowed one of the audience members to wash her back and her hair.

Stipped down to nothing, sitting in water, and allowing us to just be there with her while we let our own guard and defenses down was such a breath of fresh air from the usual theater formula.

In this day and age of social media, and keeping others at text or Facebook-length away, it was so refreshing to make a human connection. She made eye contact. She spoke to numerous audience members about their personal lives. She made you feel at home, at ease, and like a close friend you could open up to.

If you’re looking for something different, something fresh and something to tell a friend about, then check out Broken Bone Bathtub. This artist and this experience are worth it!

Tickets: Available at artful.ly for $35.00 each.

Website: brokenbonebathtub.com

Performances: Manhattan: Greenwich Village – Feb 24 & 25
Queens: Astoria – Feb 26

Now EXTENDED through March 31st.

Guest Blogger Nick Radu Reviews Bedroom Farce

Bedroom Farce

If you’re looking for a good time, a good show and a few good laughs you need only go as far as the bedroom; or three bedrooms, as it is in Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce. Under the creative and talented eye of director Andrew Block, the title and the performances do not disappoint when it comes to comedic farce.  The entire play takes place in three separate bedrooms, owned by three of the four couples in the play.  Ian McDonald did a spectacular job of creating the space, with three full beds, as well as walls and doors and other nooks and crannies to differentiate the playing spaces. But it’s Block’s clever blocking that keeps this play moving, and from becoming a giant mess of beds vs people.

Trevor and Susannah, played by Simon Pearl and Alexandra O’Daly, respectively, are a couple whose marriage is on the rocks, and everyone else knows about it.  These two actors have great chemistry as they battle it out in the most awkward of places; other people’s bedrooms.

Trevor’s parents, played by Viki Boyle and Mitch Giannunzio, give us a wonderful insight into married life during middle age.  They seem to have the experience and the answers, but we are privileged to watch these playful actors as their true colors come out when they’re forced to deal with unmentionable topics.

Nick, played by John Gazzale, makes us all cringe as the bed-ridden character agonizing over a slipped disc.  We have the joy of watching his wife, Jan, played by Mel House, deal with her husband’s pleasantries during this crazy romp.  The two have the best moment in the play as these great physical actors give the audience their money’s worth!

In fact, the entire cast has wonderful comedic timing, but the scene stealers are clearly Joscelyne Wilmouth, playing Kate, and Toby MacDonald, playing her husband, Malcolm. These two have it all: chemistry, timing, physicality, you name it.  MacDonald has such a great take-charge way about him, while still being adorably funny.  Wilmouth shows the most range as she interacts with the other characters and deals with her own bedroom shenanigans.

Stop down to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and catch one of the remaining performances of Bedroom Farce. You’re in for a treat!

VENUE:
Jones Auditorium
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
7 West 55th Street
(on the 3rd Floor)
PERFORMANCE DATES:
7 pm Saturday, April 16
2 pm Sunday, April 17
7 pm Tuesday, April 19
7 pm Wednesday, April 20
7 pm Thursday, April 21
7 pm Friday, April 22
7 pm Saturday, April 23
2 pm Sunday, April 24
Visit HERE for more info.

Review: The Extraordinary Fall of the Four-Legged Woman by Lily Ali-Oshatz

Capture“Freaks raised to nobility” sings M the Ringmaster. It’s the timeless tale of boy meets four-legged girl. However, who’s the freak?  Fans of Side Show and American Horror Story: Freak Show will love this a cappella musical. Based on the true story of Myrtle Corbin, played by Madeline Bugeau-Heartt, the musical is about a woman who was born a dipygus and has created a normal life within her circus family. Clinton Bicknell, played by Justy Kosek, is a magician who sees her act and falls in love. Corbin is torn between the only family she knows and the unknown represented by the young lover who is courting her.

Directed by Madeline Wall, the talented ensemble cast of six tell this simple story on a mostly bare stage.  A string of lights represent the circus tent and a handful of props are used to navigate scene changes and new locations. Running at 45 minutes, the show fits perfectly into the Frigid Festival’s schedule.  There are 4 performances left so definitely catch this unique and experimental piece of art.

The Kraine Theatre

85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

Feb. 20th     6:40pm

Feb. 22nd    8:50pm

Feb. 27th     1:40pm

Mar. 2nd      8:50pm

extraordinary.fall@gmail.com

Visit http://www.extraordinaryfall.com/ for more info.