Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Theater :: The Rover

The New York Classical Theater must be the city's best kept secret. They do FREE stagings all over Manhattan during warmer months of the year. The 12th season has been opened with the Restoration comedy "The Rover" by Aphra Behn inside the World Financial Center complex. The spectacle is called "panoramic theater": the location becomes the stage set, and the audience follows actors from spot to spot every 5-10 minutes.

"There's no sinner like a young saint."

I've attended "The Rover" twice, and did some reportage drawings. I was really impressed with the cast and the powerful performance. Last year's "Hamlet" and "Richard III" set the expectations very high. "The Rover" was delightful, fun and funny, from the plot and language to vibrant costumes and musical arrangement. It's a story of love, lust and jealousy.

Couldn't help but favor one character: Angellica Bianca, the courtesan "who never loved before". Her evil laugh was hair-raising. Here she is, striking a pose.

 The rover Willmore tells her:  
"Though I admire you strangely for your beauty, Yet I condemn your mind."

There is a parallel between the courtesan, Angellica Bianca, and the playwright, Aphra Behn: not only do they share the same initials, but also, according to Aphra, both "playwright and prostitute are entertainers of men."



The School for Husbands by Moliere
Central Park (at West 103rd & Central Park West)
Thursday through Sunday, June 2 - 26 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Drawing Music :: Ecstatic Music Festival : Judd Greenstein & Olga Bell

"Heritage":  Composer Judd Greenstein performing Sh'lomo. 
drawn on paper + iPhone

Another beautiful Ecstatic Music Festival event!  This time, it was the festival's curator himself who was on stage. Judd Greenstein, an immensely talented New York-born-and-raised composer, presented 4 movements from Sh'lomo. The work tells the story of King Solomon and the Jewish people. Judd Greenstein brings his heritage and the wisdom of ancestors to modern life through shimmering voices of singers and his pulsating music. Truly ecstatic. 
I left humming the last musical phrase from Sh'lomo.  Turned out, I was not the only one...

Stage full of musicians.  Judd Greenstein's Sh'lomo. 
drawn on paper + iPhone

Singers from "Roomful of Teeth" performing Sh'lomo's 1st movement "These are the Sons of Israel". 
drawn on paper + iPhone

Composer Judd Greenstein performing Sh'lomo. 
drawn on paper + iPhone

Judd Greenstein shared the stage with Olga Bell, a Moscow-born/Alaskan-raised/New York-based musician and composer. Olga presented an ambitious piece in 7 movements that told the story of Russia's frontier lands. It is titled Krai and is sung in Russian. Similar to Judd Greenstein, Olga draws on her heritage, folk fables and even an ancient Orthodox prayer. 

Musician and composer Olga Bell (left) performing Krai. 
drawn on paper + iPhone