What If?

What If?
What If?- our Musical Concert series at La MaMa E.T.C. - www.BriannaLaRoccoPhotography.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Fiesta! Come have fun and support Mind the Art!

Come celebrate the success of our Mind the Art Anthology at La Mama! $15 gets you unlimited Mexican food from 8-11p and margaritas and sangria all night!

Where: CASA DE HARLEM- 312 W. 115th St #3 (B or C to 116th)
When: Friday, April 9th, 8p-2a
Who: You and all your friends!

Proceeds of this party will support future Mind the Art Entertainment endeavors, including our BROKEN CRAYONS free film viewing at Intersections International (this spring), our summer Fringe productions of BRUTALLY HONEST, SPELLBOUND and TIMING OF A DAY, our June DREAMS OF THE YOUTH Victim's Benefit and our fall Cherry Lane production of

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The cast of "Die"- backstage

An attractive bunch, to be sure. From L to R- Amanda Kay Schill (Kate), Justin Anselmi (Rob), Joe Kurtz (George) and Rob Moreira (Griselda)- Missing David Williams ( The Stage Manager)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

More reviews! This time, the critics weigh in on "Die"

Enjoy the review, below, from Ratt Fink Magazine (we know we did)!

Have you ever faced a difficult decision and wondered what it would be like to leave the solution to the fates? And I don’t mean the “sit around until things work themselves out” fates, although we’ve all done that too, but the “roll the dice and do whatever they say” fates. Joe Kurtz has, and wrote a play about it, clarifying once and for all the wonders of stress-free decision-making for the less adventurous humans. No balls? No problem! Just roll the die and do what it says - let the universe guide your way.

His play DIE, Directed by Christian De Gre, begins well enough for our guileless roommate duo George and Rob – sitting around a table in their nondescript city rental apartment playing Risk with George’s girlfriend. When she leaves him in a fit of neglected womanly rage, George decides to ask the fates of Risk to hand him a decision, assigning an action to each side. In a fit of ingenuity, Kurtz decided to let the audience cast the duo’s lot by rolling the die (seriously, guys, it feels a little like playing God). After an hour filled with awkward situations, dirty humor, pop culture references, crazy landlords, Risk-obsessed roommates and a stage manager resembling a talking Silent Bob, the small cast of six won me over. The possibilities are all but endless, and because the audience chooses the outcome of any given situation or scenario by rolling a die, there are many situations and endings you won’t see (but wish you had). Kurtz adapts a Chrono Trigger-esque technique of play-writing (I mean seriously, has ANYONE seen all the endings to that bloody game?), ensuring continuity by welcoming curious audience members back for an encore. Kurtz, next time use a Dungeons & Dragons die. It has more sides.

Without giving away too much more, I’d like to congratulate Rob (played by Justin Anselmi) and Griselda (played by Robb Moreira) for being the stars of the show. The $15 price ticket is worth it just to see Moreira in drag as a crazy Latina landlady and watch Anselmi’s stage antics as he trips around in Guitar Hero jammies and a military hat. The rest of the crew, George (played by Joe Kurtz), Kate (played by Amanda Kay Schill), Stage Manager (played by David Williams) and Police Voice (played by Joe Reese) maintain the misadventurous hilarity well.

The play is presented by Mind The Art Entertainment in a small experimental theater on E 4thStreet in Manhattan called “La Mama.” DIE is part of Mind the Art Anthology, a series of three performances encompassing musical theater, comedic looks at philosophy and political performance art, celebrating Ellen Stewart, the founder’s, 90thbirthday. DIE will be performed once again on Saturday, April 3rd at 10 P.M.

They like us, they really like us!

Enjoy the reviews below of "What IF?", One of our Anthology Shows at La Mama. Don't forget to buy your tickets for this weekend now! They're going fast!


Pataphysical Science

theater/pop culture

MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010

Musical Theater With A Twist

Here's a fun game to play with your musical theater nerd friends: Imagine your favorite shows set in different time periods or locations. For example, what if Fiddler on the Roof took place in a Cuban cigar lounge as opposed to a shtetl in Russia? This is the premise behind What If?, part of the Mind The Art Anthology at La MaMa.

What If?, which will play one more performance on April 2 at 10 p.m., is conceived and musically directed by Christian De Gre. The show is presented as a concert with De Gre explaining the concept before each song, performed by an alternating cast of 14, backed by an 8-piece band. I'd have loved to see some of these ideas fleshed out in longer scenes, but in its current state, it is a highly entertaining evening. Some of the numbers were set to a different genre of music, such as a heavy metal "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd." Some featured a new staging concept, such as Jason Robert Brown's "Stars and the Moon" sung by three couples. Others were mash-ups, the best of these being a hip-hop "Modern Major General" backed by snippets from songs about men being men ("C'est Moi," etc.). The highlight of the evening was the grand finale--"In The Heights" sung in the style of Boublil and Schonberg, who wrote Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. De Gre explained that they were going to take everything that made In The Heights revolutionary and take it away. On the one hand, its amusing to hear these songs in unexpected ways, but the larger implications give you something to think about after the show.


Monday, March 29, 2010

To Life

Friday night, I saw What If? at La MaMa, a show that takes musical theatre songs and reinterprets them. I'd never seen anything there before, which is weird because it's practically around the corner from where I went to grad school and I walked by there a zillion times, so right away I was excited to see the space. The show was in their smaller space, and I liked it a lot. It had this weird kind of part warehouse, part barn feel to it that I thought was really interesting, and it was kind of exciting to think about what kinds of shows would really work there.

…I just want to talk about how moving I found their version of "L'Chaim" from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, which was done in a slow, Cuban style. The arrangement I heard Friday night was amazing. They played it once through without vocals, then again with three singers, and listening to the song slowed down significantly--especially without vocals--allowed me to focus on the music in a way I never had before. I was surprised by how beautiful the melody became at that tempo; the song felt like a prayer, rather than a rousing celebration as it is originally....

Hearing the song in that style also created such a vivid scene for me. As much as I enjoyed the other reinterpretations, none of them conjured up a whole story the way this version of "L'Chaim" did for me. I felt like I understood the character singing and that I was there, in some kind of factory in Cuba, listening to someone trying to inspire a crowd by paying homage to God. It was honest and simple and beautiful, and I know I'll never hear that song the same way again.