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Performa 11, the biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, will be held in New York City from November 1–21, 2011. The three-week event will showcase new work by more than 100 of the most exciting artists working today, in an innovative program breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, graphic design, and the culinary arts.
Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 50 arts institutions and 25 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city, Performa 11 ignites New York City with energy and ideas, acting as a vital “think tank” linking minds across the five boroughs and bringing audiences together for brilliant new performances in all disciplines.
Read more: Performa 11 Opens
The 8th annual New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) 2011 is taking place September 26 - October 16, 2011 at several venues in Manhattan, New York City.
New York Musical Theatre Festival is the largest annual musical theatre event in America and is widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF provides a launching pad for the next generation of musicals and their creators to ensure the continued vitality of one of America's greatest art forms.
Only 30 new musicals are selected to perform during the three-week festival, so one can be sure they are among the very best. Some of them are:
Date of a LifetimeBook and Lyrics by Carl KissinMusic by Robert Baumgartner Jr.Directed by Jeremy DobrishWith Farah Alvin, Jamie LaVerdiereDuring a speed date, both parties fantasize about what life might be like with that person.
Read more: Curtain Goes Up Again for NY...
The 15th annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is being held September 2 - 17, 2011 at the Prince Music Theater, Independence Black Box, The Rotunda, and numerous other venues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe supports artists in a wide array of projects, performances and presentations in a something-for-everyone event.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is "a curated festival of the world’s most cutting-edge, high-quality performing arts groups," with more than 13 Live Arts shows being presented.
The Philly Fringe is "an unfiltered festival, where a platform is provided for new and established artists to present their work free of a selection process. For some it’s a once-a-year, or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a show; for professional companies, it can be an opportunity to try something new."
The event encourages artists to "give expression to and develop their talents and artistic visions in total artistic freedom without any curatorial barriers in bringing that work to an audience; to help artists become successful independent producers; and ensure the growth and continued health of the local and regional performing arts community." More than 200 shows are expected to perform.
This Event promises a lot, and definitely delivers. The range of unusual, off-beat and downright groundbreaking performance pieces is staggering.
The Live Arts Shows include:
The Fringe productions include such innovations as
In addition to a wealth of new and original material are works by such established playwrights as:
there are performances of such tried and true offerings as:
Other events include
The dazzling -- one could say exhausting -- array of performances cover so many mash-ups: dance with film, music with art, theater with acrobatics, tap dancing to heavy metal, and so many more. Two weeks is not enough.
For more information, go to www.livearts-fringe.org.
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly FringeSeptember 2 - 17, 2011
Prince Music TheaterIndependence Black Box 1412 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19110215-413-1318
The Wilma Theater265 S. Broad St.Philadelphia, PA 1910
Plays and Players Theater1714 Delancey PlacePhiladelphia, PA 19103-6715
Live Arts Studio919 N. 5th StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19123
Arts Bank at the University of the Arts601 S. Broad StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19147-1811
Emerald Street Park2317 Emerald StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19125
Philadelphia Museum of Art, east staircase26th & Franklin ParkwayPhiladelphia, PA 19101
The Shubin Theatre407 Bainbridge StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19147
Columbus MemorialSouth Columbus Boulevard at Dock StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19106
William Way Community Center1315 Spruce StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19107-5601
The Rotunda4014 Walnut StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19104-3514
Walnut Street Theatre-Studio 5825 Walnut StreetPhiladelphia, PA 1910
plus other venues in and around Philadelphia
Heartbreak HouseCandidaWritten by George Bernard Shaw
On the RocksA new version of Shaw's play by Michael Healey
My Fair LadyMusic, lyrics & book by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner based on Shaw's play Pygmalion
Since 1962, the annual Shaw Festival has consolidated its reputation as an unparalleled repertory company by presenting a dozen plays (and, more recently, musicals) by George Bernard Shaw, his contemporaries and others.
In picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of Canada's loveliest towns, the Shaw Festival is a premier summer theater destination. And its current season is crammed with must-see works, including a trio of Shaw comedies and a classic musical based on a Shaw play.
Heartbreak House, one of Shaw's supreme masterpieces, is a bitter, biting display of vitriol aimed at what the playwright perceived as Great Britain's stupidity during World War I. In his obvious allegory about ignorant, deadly behavior, Shaw creates an arresting comic drama about clueless characters who, tellingly, are reluctant to admit their own moral failings.
Christopher Newton's adroit staging brings out Shaw's keen senses of humor and irony. Thanks to the usual excellent Shaw Fest ensemble, led by Michael Ball as Captain Shotover and Benedict Campbell as Boss Mangan, Shaw's lacerating depiction of an empire in eclipse is vividly on display.
Too bad Leslie Frankish's visually ingenious but heavy-handed set pointlessly literalizes Shaw's description of the play's setting as a rotting ship. In Shaw's astonishing final act, Frankish's house "hull" makes Shaw's finely-tuned dialogue more explicitly metaphorical than deeply probing.
On the Rocks, Shaw's penultimate play, is an impenetrably dense anti-government screed with characters that are mere mouthpieces for the playwright's unapologetically leftist politics. Canadian playwright Michael Healey has streamlined the play to make the dialogue more straightforward and the motivations of the British prime minister, his associates and opponents more palatable.
While the story moves faster and more succinctly, I have doubts about flip-flopping the action so the second act becomes a flashback to what occurred previously, but I guess it's permissible to toy with lesser-known Shaw.
Joseph Ziegler's staging works well enough on Christina Poddubiuk's smart 10 Downing Street set, with the skillful comic cast giving its all to this clash between conservative capitalism and utopian socialism. It would be instructive if the Festival presented Shaw's original play, denseness and length be damned, but for now Healey's version will do.
Candida, Shaw's splendidly sophisticated chamber comedy about a minister and his wife whose relationship is complicated by the presence of an 18-year-old poet who adores her, is given an adequate if unilluminating revival by director Tadeusz Bradecki.
As Candida, Claire Jullien catches the subtle nuances of one of Shaw's most charming, independent and intelligent female characters, but she's the center of a lopsided trio. Wade Bogert-O'Brien overdoes the quirky teenage poet Marchbanks and Nigel Shawn Williams is a woefully unconvincing Reverend Morrell, whose speaking brilliance in the pulpit is at odds to his neediness at home.
An inspired musical choice this season, My Fair Lady is Lerner & Loewe's masterly adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion about Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her stern mentor, the arrogant linguist Henry Higgins. The staging by directors Molly Smith and Paul Sportelli is sometimes too frantic, as if they wanted to ensure their spectacle would fill the large Festival Theater stage.
But the show itself (with classic songs ranging from "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" to "The Rain in Spain" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face") is foolproof, and the leads are performed with animated gusto and strong, clear voices by terrific Deborah Hay and always astonishing Benedict Campbell (perhaps the most versatile of the Shaw's talented troupe). My Fair Lady remains as indisputably great as the plays by the Festival's namesake.
For those who want to take a piece of this memorable Festival home, the new coffee-table volume, The Shaw Festival: The First Fifty Years, is an indispensable trip down memory lane. Written by L.W. Conolly, the book recounts the Festival's humble origins as "Salute to Shaw" in 1962 right to the 4-stage, 12-production juggernaut it is now.
The photos of the eminent actors and actresses who have graced the Shaw's stages in the master's plays over the past half-century are worth the price of admission by themselves.
Shaw Festival10 Queens ParadeNiagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada905-468-2172shawfest.ca
Opened April 7, 2011; ends October 30, 2011
For more by Kevin Filipski, visit The Flip Side blog at http://flipsidereviews.blogspot.com
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