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Tarragon Theatre Announces Their 2024/25 Season

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TORONTO – Artistic Director Mike Payette and Managing Director Andrea Vagianos excitedly announced Tarragon Theatre’s 2024/25 season earlier today. The 53rd season, they stated, will embrace the impact of coming together while celebrating the rich scope of bold Canadian storytellers. It’s a diverse season that focuses on collaboration, featuring stories of revitalization and courage, unveiling an electric year of new works that hopefully will inspire, move, and completely delight.

It’s an exciting moment for Tarragon as we champion the breadth of powerful artists that create, explore, and premiere beautiful stories that speak to today’s world. In the 24-25 season, we are steadfast in our mission of inviting audiences to undiscovered worlds in a season that welcomes back and introduces groundbreaking Canadian storytellers on and off the stage. We look forward to a year of laughter, passion, and heart in this unforgettable collection of stories,” reflects Artistic Director Mike Payette.

Tarragon’s season begins with the Toronto Premiere of GOBLIN:MACBETH, a Spontaneous Theatre Creation from Rebecca Northan and Bruce Horak. Having wowed audiences in Stratford and Calgary, the Goblins make their home in “the Six”, bringing their hilariously unique, partly improvised, and entirely immersive take on Shakespeare’s text of Macbeth. From the team that brought smash hits Blind Date and Undercover to Tarragon, it’s the perfect way to begin, as we enter the season of wicked delights. This Toronto premiere is onstage October 3  – 27, 2024.

Across the lobby, Tarragon welcomes back Governor General’s Award finalist Rosa Laborde (Léo, Light) for the world premiere of Interior Design. Directed by Dora Award-winner, Kat Sandler (Mustard, Yaga), Interior Design is a fast-paced and timely comedy where an attempted intervention leads to a series of messy truths between a tight-knit group of girlfriends. Featuring four powerhouse performers, including Sara Farb (Fun Home, Musical Stage Company) and Anita Majumdar (Boys With Cars, Nightswimming/YPT). The world premiere of Interior Design will be onstage from October 15 – November 10, 2024.

Next, a co-production with Modern Times Stage Company, innovators supercharging the voices of marginalized communities. Written by Rouvan Silogix (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Modern Times/Crow’s) and Rafeh Mahmud(Daytime Emmy Award-winner) with direction from Tarragon Artistic Director Mike Payette (Cockroach 曱甴; Choir Boy, Canadian Stage), Craze is a sexy, surrealist, laugh-out-loud comedy, featuring an outstanding cast including Augusto Bitter (Year of the Rat, Factory Theatre), Ali Kazmi (Behind the Moon), Kwaku Okyere (Choir Boy, Canadian Stage), Lisa Ryder (Orestes – Online) and Louisa Zhu (Lady Sunrise, Factory Theatre). The biting Craze evokes the traditional living-room comedy into a sensorial feast for a modern audience. This world premiere is onstage November 19 – December 15, 2024.

The new year starts by welcoming Nightswimming Theatre, as an in-association partner for an intimate and exciting world premiere offering. An engaging and powerful theatrical exploration, The Wolf in the Voice invites performers Neema Bickersteth (Treemonisha, Volcano in association with Canadian Opera Company/Soulpepper/Luminato/Movable Beast), Jane Miller (These Are The Songs I Sing When I’m Sad, Nightswimming) and Taurian Teelucksingh (My Fair Lady, Shaw Festival) to share their stories of vocal artistry through song, and asks audiences “Is your voice warmed up?” Created by Martin Julien and Brian Quirt (Why We Are Here!, High Performance Rodeo – Calgary) in collaboration with the performers, The Wolf in the Voice will have its world premiere February 4 – February 23, 2025.

Next, the thrilling Toronto Premiere of Guillermo Vedecchia’s Feast. Directed by Dora Award-winner, Soheil Parsa (Wildfire and Monster, Factory Theatre), Feast is a charged look at the globalized world in which some are movers and some are moved, and how long we can last when family falls apart. Featuring Rick Roberts (The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Stratford) in a powerful return to Tarragon’s stage. This Toronto premiere is running from April 1 – April 27, 2025.

From the lauded creative mind of Kevin Matthew Wong (The Chemical Valley Project) comes the world premiere of Benevolence. Developed in part during our inaugural Greenhouse Festival, this intimate and revelatory story speaks to intergenerational legacy and heritage; opening a world into the experience of a thriving Hakka community. Guided by Mike Payette’s direction, Wong makes his Tarragon mainstage debut in this world premiere run from April 8 – May 4, 2025.

Closing the season is the highly-anticipated co-production of Tarragon‘s 2023 Bulmash-Siegel Award Winners Rose Napoli (Mad Madge, Nightwood Theatre) and Suzy Wilde’s (Retold, Musical Stage Company) new musical After the Rain. In partnership with Musical Stage Company – the first time Tarragon and Musical Stage Company have partnered on a project – this premiere is based on a heartwarming true story that unflinchingly embraces the throes of growing up and growing together through the exceptional healing power of music. Directed by Marie Farsi (15 Dogs, Crow’s) and featuring Eva Foote (Fall On Your Knees, Canadian Stage/NAC/Grand/Neptune) in her Tarragon Theatre debut, After the Rain is sure to be an unforgettable spring treat. This world premiere is onstage May 27 – June 22.

Tarragon is also excited to welcome dance Immersion as 24/25 Company-in-Residence, which will invite unique mentorship opportunities to artists, as well as the Toronto premiere of the acclaimed touring presentation Black & Rural; an artistic inquiry into the hearts and minds of Black folks tucked away on Canada’s countryside. With 30 years of experience producing, promoting, and supporting dancers and dances of the African Diaspora, dance Immersion is one of the city’s most dynamic dance companies that will bring an exciting disciplinary and new creation bridge to Tarragon.

For the past year, Tarragon has been proud to offer programming that invites young people and the young at heart to experience the magic of theatre together. We look forward to furthering this mission with the continuation of The Sally Stavro Family Series. Welcoming programming for a variety of artists with a youth focus to Tarragon, this initiative is supported through the Steve and Sally Stavro Family Foundation.  The series offers free tickets to youth under 12 years old on select Saturday mornings throughout the season and beginning in October.

Closing the series, Tarragon looks forward to hosting the 11th edition of the Wee Festival, a unique curated offering of presentations inspired by theatre and performing arts from around the world created for children 0-6 years and their families.

Tarragon’s 2024/25 season emboldens the scope of Canadian voices and their stories within an ever-shifting world, bringing communities and theatre-goers together in celebration of the breadth of artistry and generations. We hope you’ll join us.

TARRAGON THEATRE’S 2024/25 SEASON AT-A-GLANCE

GOBLIN:MACBETH (Toronto Premiere)
A Spontaneous Theatre Creation
by Rebecca Northan & Bruce Horak with music by Ellis Lalonde

October 3 – 27, 2024
Mainspace

When three Goblins come across a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, they’re eager to take over a theatre and take a stab at Macbeth. A unique blend of comedy and tragedy, with a spatter of improvisation, GOBLIN:MACBETH is a fresh-blood take on a Shakespearean classic.

Created by Spontaneous Theatre, who brought you Blind Date, and Undercover, this is like no Macbeth you’ve ever seen.

INTERIOR DESIGN (World Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre Production
Written by Rosa Laborde
Directed by Kat Sandler

October 15 – November 10, 2024
Extraspace
Tarragon commissioned

True friends stab you in the front. – Oscar Wilde

An attempted intervention between a group of girlfriends backfires spectacularly in this new play from award-winning playwright Rosa Laborde (Léo, Light), directed by Tarragon favourite Kat Sandler (Mustard, Yaga), Interior Design is a comedy of messy renovations and even messier truths.

CRAZE (World Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre and Modern Times Stage Company Co-Production
In Association with Theatre ARTaud
Written by Rouvan Silogix and Rafeh Mahmud
Directed by Mike Payette

November 19 – December 15, 2024
Mainspace

Out of the storm and straight into the inferno.

Two couples shelter from an epic storm for a late-night drinking session where technological mayhem and sexual frivolity may turn into something more… At times surrealist, dangerous, and laugh-out-loud outrageous, Craze is sure to keep you right on the knife’s edge.

THE WOLF IN THE VOICE(World Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre production in association with Nightswimming
Created by Martin Julien & Brian Quirt

February 4 – February 23, 2025
Extraspace

An exploration of the very first musical instrument…the singer’s voice.

From Nightswimming (These Are The Songs I Sing When I’m Sad, Tarragon Greenhouse Festival) comes a trio about trios. Join Neema Bickersteth, Jane Miller, and Taurian Teelucksingh for an intimate and uplifting evening as they swap stories and songs about their struggles and triumphs as singers, and the mystery of The Wolf in the Voice.
FEAST (Toronto Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre Production
Written by Guillermo Verdecchia
Directed by Soheil Parsa

April 1 – April 27, 2025
Mainspace

A culinary tour, a global crisis, and yet, still always hungry.  Can one ever be truly full? From celebrated artist Guillermo Verdecchia, Feast is a biting look at a world where some are movers and some are moved, chaos, and how long we can last when your family is falling apart.

Mermaid or siren? Paradise or dystopia? Travel the globe, just don’t forget your loved ones…or your soul.

BENEVOLENCE (World Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre Production
Created and Performed by Kevin Matthew Wong
Directed by Mike Payette

April 8 – May 4, 2025
Extraspace

Kevin is a theatre creator. Kevin is Hakka (客家)…he thinks. Out of the blue, he gets a phone call asking him to write a play about Hakka identity. For seniors. In Markham.

From creator and performer Kevin Matthew Wong (The Chemical Valley Project) comes a charming and intimate story that transforms into a layered Chinese-Canadian tale spanning continents, migrations, and generations.

AFTER THE RAIN (World Premiere)
A Tarragon Theatre & Musical Stage Company Co-production
Supported by the Bulmash-Siegel Foundation
Written by Rose Napoli & Suzy Wilde
Directed by Marie Farsi

May 27 – June 22, 2025
Mainspace

Tarragon and Musical Stage Company co-commission

Her parents are famous. Her boyfriend is stupid. And Suzie is a mess.

When she accepts a mature piano student obsessed with mastering only one song, Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1”, struggling songwriter Suzie’s life takes an unforeseen turn. Full of family turmoil, life’s complexities, and centred around a devastating discovery, After the Rain is a musical based on a true story about the healing power of music.

***

HOW TO GET TICKETS TO TARRAGON SHOWS:

Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com, by phone at 416-531-1827 or in person at the Tarragon Theatre Box Office at 30 Bridgman Avenue.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Tarragon Theatre continues to offer the most flexible subscription packages in the city, allowing patrons to choose their productions and change their dates free of charge, and offering many different price points to suit all schedules and budgets.

2024-25 Earlybird Subscriptions

7-Play, 5-Play and 3-Play subscriptions are currently on sale, with discounted subscriptions for Students and Artsworkers. Early bird Subscriptions are available until June 30, 2024.

ABOUT TARRAGON THEATRE

Tarragon Theatre is a creation and playwrights’ theatre. We seek to create theatre that investigates artistic form, which may incorporate non-traditional practices and methods of storytelling, and may integrate other disciplines such as movement, music or non-text based performance – all toward creating enriching and provocative theatre experiences for the artist and audience. Our philosophy is to create an environment that fosters artistic discourse within the ecology of Canadian theatre, new play development and dramaturgy practice. We open our doors to celebrate and learn from the scope of voices that make up our country and the various artistic practices that resonate within them. To that end, Tarragon is equally a hub for creation and development as it is a production company, with the ultimate goal of creating a meaningful experience for our artists to thrive and bridge their ideas from concept to realization. Mike Payette has been the Artistic Director since September 2021.

For more information visit www.tarragontheatre.com.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Times Three

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It’s going to be some Shakespeare-heavy months ahead, especially around those famously doomed lovers named Romeo and Juliet, as I fly into the Stratford Festival (formally called the Stratford Shakespeare Festival) here in Ontario, Canada for their first big opening week of six shows. The week will start with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night followed by the musical comedy about Shakespeare, Something Rotten, and then Shakespeare’s Cymbeline on night three. The fourth night will be the opening of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler; the fifth, La Cage Aux Folles, followed by, lastly (at least for this coming week) the final opening of this particular opening week, show number six, Shakespeare’s ultimate romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. (Much more follows over the summer of Canada’s fantastic Stratford Festival.)

As directed by Sam White, the founding Artistic & Executive Director at Shakespeare in Detroit, Shakespeare’s great romance Romeo and Juliet slides in at the Festival Theatre on Saturday, June 1st, 2024, starring Jonathan Mason (Stratford’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Vanessa Sears  (CS/Obsidian/Necessary Angel’s Is God Is) as those starcrossed titular characters and lovers. As with the whole season, I’m hoping this production, and all the others, will live up to the festival’s high standards, and be just the beginning of a spectacular year of Shakespeare. And of these two young lovers.

Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler. Photo by Sam Levy.

After that jam-packed week in Stratford, Canada, it doesn’t end for this theatre junkie and his faithful companion. Jetting off soon after to London, England, we have another week of theatre planned. As scheduled, the two of us will see an onslaught of plays, including Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at Donmar, two National Theatreproductions; Hills of California and the Olivier-winning Standing at the Sky’s Edge, as well as Ian McKellen in Player Kings (Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 & 2), the Royal Court Theatre’s Bluets, and (of course) the much-talked-about production of Romeo & Juliet, directed and produced by Jamie Lloyd. It just opened this week at the Duke of York’s Theatre, running from Saturday, May 11 through Saturday, August 3, starring Tom Holland as Romeo and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers as Juliet.

#RomeoJulietLDN production photography by Marc Brenner

From the photos popping up on Facebook, Lloyd’s pulsating new vision of Shakespeare’s immortal tale of wordsmiths, rhymers, lovers, and fighters is sure to be something to see. It will definitely be talked about all over the world, yet it was truly disheartening to read about all the hateful postings around the casting choice of Lloyd’s Juliet. It says, sadly, so much about our world right now, but it seems to have quieted down some (although the sting and stink must still be lingering in the air for us all), and although the reviews of this West End production came out today, I will try to stay away from them until long after. Whether the production will follow the successful path of other Lloyd hits, including the pared-down stagings of A Doll’s House that starred the incredible Jessica Chastain or the phenomenal Betrayal with Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton, remains to be seen, but I am curious if it will also find its way across the pond to Broadway.

If it does, it will have some pretty fierce competition, as another Romeo & Juliet, this one starring Heartstopper‘s Kit Connor and West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler will begin Broadway performances on Thursday, September 26, at Circle in the Square Theatre, with an official opening night set for Thursday, October 24. The run, directed by Sam Gold, is a strictly limited, 16-week engagement, and I can not wait to get in to see it as well. All three really. And I won’t have to ask the forever question, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” I’ll just have to ask which Romeo are we looking for? And which Juliet.

See video here. 

Often called the greatest love story of all time, Romeo + Juliet has captivated audiences and artists for centuries and provided the inspiration for hundreds of films, ballets, operas, novels, including the iconic Broadway musical West Side Story.

Stratford Festival’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet officially opens on June 1 and runs until October 26 at the Festival Theatre. Tickets are available at stratfordfestival.ca

The West End’s Romeo & Juliet officially opened on May 23rd at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, and runs until Saturday, August 3. Tickets are available (although probably sold out) at https://www.thedukeofyorks.com/romeo-and-juliet

The Broadway production of Romeo + Juliet at Circle in the Square Theatre, with an official opening night set for Thursday, October 24, and running for a limited engagement of 16 weeks. Tickets will be available at https://romeoandjulietnyc.com/

For tickets and more information, click here.

 

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Entertainment

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents tick, tick…Boom!

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 now in the conference room at the Hotel Edison.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado about tick, tick…Boom! at The Cape Playhouse opening this summer June 5 – 15.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado.

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News just named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, PodcastsThe company we are in, has made us so humbled, grateful and motivated to continue.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

 

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Out of Town

Crow’s/Obsidian Theatre Company’s “seven methods of killing kylie jenner” Kills It, Elevating the Dissertation with a Precise Brilliance

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Dragging their baggage in with a determined force, these two, dressed in fake fur and leather, enter the space at Crow’s Theatre with manic laughter and a forceful narrative. Sharply and expertly written by British playwright, Jasmine Lee-Jones (Curious), the play dives in with a tightness and fortitude that elevates and enlightens the darkness of its exploration. With a hypnotic frustrated energy, the play masterfully rolls out the seven methods of killing kylie jenner without missing a beat, unpacking the intricate exploration of cultural appropriation and queerness with a sharp precision. Delivered in a modern vernacular that excites, it circles around its formula with a careful carefree existentialism, becoming deeply entwined in the pervasive influence of social media and celebrity culture that can do mental damage to those around them, especially in the arena of the ownership of black bodies online and IRL, as well as the connecting energy and complication of female friendships.

Déjah Dixon-Green in Crow’s/Obsidian Theatre’s seven methods for killing kylie jenner. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

It’s completely hyper-engrossing and thrilling, giving power back provocatively to our heroine, Cleo, dynamically portrayed by Déjah Dixon-Green (Stratford’s Much Ado About Nothing), a young black woman who, after a confessional breakup with her cheating boyfriend, expresses her fevered frustration and anger via Twitter using the profile name @INCOGNEGRO. She dives in with gusto, flying into the fray with an aggressive rage that rarely fizzles. The play unwraps the seven methods in a layered unhurried manner, giving space and time to the framework, while also delivering engagement energy to her forever friend, Kara, fascinatingly well-played by Jasmine Case (Tarragon’s Black Girl in Search Of..), a queer person who has lots to say, both positive and negative, about Cleo’s unpacking online.

Dixon-Green is solid and on point throughout, with Case finding engagement at every turn somewhat brilliantly, and together, they excel in every way possible, finding attunement and synchronized energy throughout. Veering somewhere between real life and the virtual space, the play, as directed with exacting intent by Jay Northcott (Tarragon’s A Poem for Rabia), spirals in a rich media space, focusing its lasers on the framework that the born-wealthy media personality, Kylie Jenner, can call herself “self-made“, basking in the positive warm glow of what that label means to a woman like her, and how it can be felt by a woman like Cleo. The unwrapping is expertly intricate and verbally captivating, forcing us to dive in with these two and pay close-close attention to this vivid exploration of Blackness, queerness, and the way the online world can spiral one way and then another in an instantaneous flash of engagement and brutality.

You think you’re funny, don’t you?” as her tweets spiral into the abstract world of death threats and verbal violence enlightening the space, designed with inventive flair by set designer, Nick Blais (Factory’s Trojan Girls…), with well-formulated video graphics, designed by Laura Warren (Outside the March’s No Save Points), helping guide us through the dynamic experimental argument that expands the needed structure addressed. Jones’ dialogue radiates quick, sharp, clever constructs, expanded in thought, and reduced to a parade of letters in caps most brilliantly. The sexual undercurrents are both hilarious and brazen, giving us ample reason to connect as she fastidiously piles up all the injustices against Black women that are woven into the wording of this expert play, and we find ourselves forever invested in her outcome and ultimate safety.

Jasmine Case and Déjah Dixon-Green in Crow’s/Obsidian Theatre’s seven methods for killing kylie jenner. Photo by Dahlia Katz

Steeped in the language of internet culture, assisted strongly by the sound design of Maddie Bautista (Stratford’s Les Belles-Soeurs), straightforward lighting by Christopher-Elizabeth (CS/Bluebird’s Maanomaa, My Brother), and precise costuming by Des’ree Gray (Coal Mine’s Appropriate), the delivery and online reaction to Cleo’s escalation pushes the agenda outward and upward. Embodying numerous online characters, the two flawless performers combine as an exacting unified force, showcasing Cleo’s viral methods for murder and the resulting pushback from the unseen faceless community that has a lot to say about her tweets. The recitation and debate are raw and deliberate, finding truths and the complicated echoings of racism and rape threats that are honestly horrifying and troubling. It’s a terrifying landscape, displaying the vile and horridness of the internet culture that we all play a part in, either as an active participant or abject denier.

Cleo’s tweets and dissertation gain momentum and the back-and-forth conversation becomes more drenched in blocked anger and hurt, with the two reclaiming their time when needed, as they navigate the difficult cloud space filled with personal dredged-up resentment and smoky spaces of connectivity. Demanding to be heard, yet also needing to find the empathy to apologize when required, these two friends work hard inside the vividness of this captivating play so they don’t get swallowed up whole by the racist violence of the world, even as Cleo vocalizes the seven methods of killing kylie jenner one after the other. Its high-minded viewpoint is crystal clear, and delivered with an expertise that is both thrilling and epic, finding inventive casualness in its meticulous unified delivery.

Gripping tight to our emotional attention with a brilliant determination by writer Jones, the play, while feeling a bit trapped by the body bag hidden in the back, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, produced by Obsidian Theatre in association with Crow’s Theatre, Toronto, finds its sharpness and quick wit in the end, reinventing the meta imaginative exit with the weight of history and cleverness. “What are you going to do now?“, they ask. Well…., I’m going to tell you all that this play is something to engage with, learn from, and completely celebrate, but more importantly, I’m going to tell you to get your tickets and dive into this inventive striking new play without delay or hesitation.

Déjah Dixon-Green in Crow’s/Obsidian Theatre’s seven methods for killing kylie jenner. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Crow’s/Obsidian Theatre Company’s seven methods of killing kylie jenner. For tickets and more information, click here.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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Out of Town

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents tick, tick…Boom!

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We are so pleased to announce our guests this week are Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado about tick, tick…Boom! at The Cape Playhouse this summer. Join us Wednesday May 22nd at 5pm.

Andy Mientus as Jon in Tick, Tick…BOOM! at Bucks County Playhouse.
(© Joan Marcus)

Artistic Director Eric Rosen brings his acclaimed production – hailed as a powerful and bold new interpretation of this show – for his Cape Playhouse debut. Rosen directed the original production of A Christmas Story: The Musical, which opened on Broadway in 2012 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical. He co-wrote and directed Venice at the Public Theatre. He is also known for his reimagining of classic musicals including Sunday in the Park with George, a punk rock production of Pippin, and Hair: Retrospection in collaboration with and starring members of the original Broadway companies of Hair

As a playwright, his work includes the play Dream Boy which won a Chicago Jeff Award for Best New Play and Best Direction.

In 2000, he co-founded About Face Youth Theatre, one of the nation’s foremost arts and advocacy programs for at-risk LGBTQ youth, and the 18 year old program continues to serve thousands of young people in Chicago.

Director Eric Rosen

Andy Mientus toured with the first national touring company of Spring Awakening, appeared in the 2012 Off-Broadway revival of Carrie: The Musical, He made his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables as Marius Pontmercy. In February 2015, he was cast as journalist Brett Craig in Parade, for a one-night-only concert presentation at the Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. In LA he appeared in the show Bent at the Mark Taper Forum. He also reprised his role as Hänschen in the Deaf West production of Spring Awakening, directed by his partner Michael Arden. The production then transferred to Broadway. In 2013, Mientus was cast in season two of the musical drama television series Smash as series regular Kyle Bishop. Following the cancellation of Smash, Mientus and co-stars Jeremy Jordan and Krysta Rodriguez joined the cast of Hit List, the real-world staging of the fictional rock musicalcreated for season two of Smash

Mientus appeared in several episodes of the ABC Family series Chasing Life as Jackson, the CW series The Flash as the Pied Piper (Hartley Rathaway), having previously auditioned for the lead role of Barry Allen. Mientus made history with this role by playing the first openly gay supervillain ever. He was in GoneGrendel, an eight-episode Netflix series based on Matt Wagner’s Dark Horse comic books.

Andy Mientus

At the age of 18, Krystina Alabado joined the national tour of Spring Awakening and made her Broadway debut in 2011 as a replacement ensemble member and understudy in American Idiotlater reprising her role in the show’s first national tour. In 2013, she joined the national tour of Evita (based on the 2012 Broadway revival) playing Juan Perón’s mistress. In 2016, she appeared in the short-lived Broadway production of American Psycho.  In  2019, Alabado joined the cast of Mean Girls as Gretchen Wieners, replacing Ashley Park. In March 2020, Alabado started a YouTube channel to explain to her followers different aspects of how Broadway works and interview her fellow castmates during the COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily closed Broadway

Krystina Alabado

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here and fourteenth here

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Out of Town

Another Barricade Visit for Mirvish Toronto’s “Les Misérables”

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I was apprehensive and excited, all at the same time, as I entered the touring company staging of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s  Les Misérables, now taking form at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto. The production, brought to us by Mirvish Productions, transported me back to that time, about forty years ago, when I first saw this glorious musical over in London’s West End. Twice actually, with the magnificent Patti LuPone. Lupone was divine, broking my heart at every moment given. This might have been the show that somehow created this theatre junkie, so much so that I had to return again a few weeks later, spending more than this young man could really afford. And I believe I also returned to see that same beautiful revolving stage design when it made its award-winning debut on Broadway, about two more times before it closed.  It was heavenly and forever memorable.  I remember being swept away by the intensely moving story, and sumptuous music and songs. Tears were in my eyes at so many emotionally heart-breaking moments, that I left fully satisfied and happy each and every time.

The staging this time around, with set and projected image design created by Matt Kinley (25th Anniversary Production of Phantom of the Opera) is said to be “inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo”, and with a stunning musical staging by Geoffrey Garratt and directed most beautifully by Laurence Connor (Mirvish’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and James Powell (London’s The Witches of Eastwick), the production still found its way into my emotional heart. It carried forth all of the same powerful moments, even without that famous revolve. It was different, and in some ways, it felt smaller and not as expansive and connecting, but maybe, with time and an awareness that I didn’t have when I first saw the same touring revival on Broadway back in 2016, this familiar staging fully engaged, taking me happily on that same emotional journey, even while missing the expansive previous revolving set design.

The music and those powerful tragic moments still deliver with a vengeance, mainly because of the incredible vocal performances of this touring cast. Tears came to my eyes at numerous moments, and I knew that I would enjoy myself from the moment the Bishop of Digne, played by a wonderful Randy Jeter (Public’s Parable of the Sower) told the constables that he had in fact given Jean Valjean, embodied by a magnificent Nick Cartell (Broadway’s Paramour) the church’s silver (that he, in fact, had stolen). And furthermore, he had forgotten to take the more valuable pieces of silver during the epic Prologue and ‘Soliloquy’. That and each subsequent moment, lasting all the way from the beautiful ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ sung with such loving sadness by Haley Dortch, the saddest of all sad songs; the engaging ‘On My Own’ by the powerful voiced Mya Rena Hunter; to Valjean’s stunningly rendered of ‘Who Am I?’ and all points in-between, moved me most generously. The songs, delivered graciously by these glorious-voiced actors brought it all back to life, and embedded itself inside my soul once again.

The glorious “Bring Him Home“, sung with incredible intensity and love by the gifted Cartell, felt as tender and angelic as ever. Understudy Cameron Loyal (Broadway’s Bad Cinderella) as the determined Javert couldn’t match the heightened level of expertise that Cartell climbed himself up to and was maybe the weakest link in this beautifully performed construction, but it never tarnished the overall effect. The Thenardier husband and wife team, gorgeously well-played by Matt Crowle (Mercury Theater’s The Producers) and Victoria Huston-Elem (Goodspeed’s Gypsy), performed the wonderfully crafted ‘Master of the House’ number with great comic timing and delivery, and the Student’s songs, ‘The People’s Song’ and ‘Drink With Me to Days Gone By’ were also lovingly performed, although there were a few over-done attempts of humor and inauthentic drunkenness. Marius, lovingly portrayed by the handsome Jake David Smith (Off-Broadway’s Between the Lines) delivers a tender (but not so well stage-designed) version of one of my favorite songs, ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’.  His voice graced us with its loving tones, lifting us in its softness, and working well our emotional heartstrings with this sad sweet song.

All in all, my friend and I had gathered together to hear all these aforementioned, beautifully crafted, and much-loved songs, sung with care, expertise, and love. Les Misérables sounds as glorious as ever, and I must add that I was happy to have had the chance to insert these songs back into my head. I’ve been humming these numerous melodies, all of which brought me great joy and happiness, all weekend long.  This small simple staging still packs a musically beautiful and powerful punch, and I’m forever grateful for that gift, revolving or not.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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