MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Off Broadway

LaBute New Theater Festival An Evening With Damaged People

LaBute New Theater Festival An Evening With Damaged People

The St. Louis Actors’ Studio’s (William Roth, Artistic Director) has brought The LaBute New Theater Festival to the Davenport Theatre, 354 West 45th Street. The festival is comprised of three premier one-acts by the Tony Award nominated playwright Neil LaBute. The first one act was The Fourth Reich was being given its New York Premiere. Directed by John Pierson, the show stared Eric Dean White (TV: “Chicago Fire,” “Blackbookberry”). Karl is a public speaker who states “Let be clear about one thing, Hitler lost.” “It’s the winners who get to write history, making Adolph Hitler, one of the most maligned people in the history of the world.” According to Karl, Hitler wasn’t just a murderer, but a talented man whose tactical mistakes against the Russians, was one a flaw in his character. As he talks this likable man, is the epitome of a racist. Karl is one of those men who believes the Holocaust has been blown out of proportion. One has to wonder why LaBute wrote this for we all know people like this exist.

White does well in trying to make this man likable and John Pierson’s direction is simple, yet effective.

Brenda Meaney, KeiLyn Durrel Jones

Brenda Meaney, KeiLyn Durrel Jones Photo by Russ Rowland

In Great Negro Works of Art, also directed by Pierson, Jerri (Brenda Meaney), a white women has brought Tom (KeiLyn Durrel Jones), who is black, to a museum exhibition. This is the two’s first date through a social media dating app. Their date is full of small talk until Tom blurts out a joke about Mexicans. He states “People are so sensitive these days, about everything, every little word we say.” Jerri agrees, replying “It’s important to say what you mean and to realize that there are some things that are probably off-limits, or at least off-limits to various groups of people.” The conversation triggers underlying racial tensions. They debate race, culture and what is/what is not “ART” today as communication keeps getting tripped up.

Both actors again do a fine job.

“People are getting shot and killed every single day and I don’t even notice anymore.”

Gia Crovatin

Gia Crovatin Photo by Russ Rowland

The final play Unlikely Japan (World Premiere), is also directed by LaBute. Here a woman (Billions actress Gia Crovatin), is dealing with her feelings about Tim, her ex high school boyfriend. He was one of the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. She relives their history that involves her cheating on Tim, with the the cooler, older Doug. A trip to Japan lead to their breakup and no more contact. Here choices of what could have been and the numbness that comes with excessive violence comes into play.

The New York staging marks the fourth incarnation of the LaBute New Theater Festival, a project of the St. Louis Actors’ Studio (the 2019 festival will be the seventh in St. Louis).

The plays include simple designs by Patrick Huber (sets), Jonathan Zelezniak (lighting), and Megan Harshaw (costumes).

The psychology of truth and belief is different for everybody, but in LaBute’s world it always seems he sees the worst traits in people to be fodder for his writing. I find his work morose.

The LaBute New Theater Festival: Davenport Theatre, 354 West 45th St. until January 27th .





Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email:

More in Off Broadway

Manhole Fires Out Down New World Stages Saturday Night

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 19, 2019
David Ruttura, Carla Duren, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Sharon Catherine Brown, Sarah O’Gleby, Megan Sikora , Suzy Conn

Meet The Cretor, Cast and Director For Chick Flick the Musical

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 19, 2019

Snowy Owl’s The Waiting Game Engages With Grief and Longing Beautifully

RossFebruary 18, 2019

Exposed Let’s Talk About Sex and Porn

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 18, 2019
Carla Duren, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Megan Sikora and Sharon Catherine Brown

Get a Preview of Chick Flick the Musical

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 17, 2019
Marc Sinoway, Julian Joseph,THE WAITING GAME

An Interview with Marc Sinoway on Snowy Owl’s The Waiting Game at 59E59

RossFebruary 17, 2019

Sis Amiss an Introduction to a Talented Actress and Playwright

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 16, 2019

The Day Before Spring A Gem of A Musical

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 15, 2019

NY WinterFest Meet The Playwrights: HIV/A.I.D.S. Still Has Brien Somers Writing Prolifically

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 15, 2019