Trish Vignola comes to BroadwayWorld New York from BroadwayWorld Chicago. When she is not reviewing Theatre, Trish also writes for MLB.com and the Yes Network. She has a B.A. from Fordham University and an M.A. from Rutgers University. Trish is a Director and Equity Stage Manager. From 2009-2010, Trish also served as an Assistant Director for the Second City National Touring Companies.
BWW Reviews: FRIED CHICKEN AND LATKES - The Best Show You Haven't Seen Yet
May 6, 2013
Rain Pryor has had many television roles. Most notably, you might remember her on the ABC series 'Head of the Class.' She's now a mom and calls Baltimore home. Nevertheless, New York welcomes her with open arms. Her autobiographical one-woman show, Fried Chicken and Latkes is running now at the Actors Temple Theatre (339 W. 47th Street).
BWW Reviews: LOVE THERAPY Opens at the DR2 Theatre, 4/29
April 29, 2013
Wendy Beckett's LOVE THERAPY opens at the DR2 Theatre (101 East 15th Street) on Monday, April 29th. Directed by Evan Bergman, LOVE THERAPY is the fourth in a series of ten of Ms. Beckett's plays scheduled for opening by Peter Walters for Pascal Productions. Tickets are available via Telecharge.com.
BWW Reviews: BLEACHED BLONDE BETTY
March 24, 2013
CAT ON MY HEAD PRODUCTIONS premiered Brooklyn College Alumni Tom Kelly's BLEACHED BLONDE BETTY. With original music by the Allison Leyton-Brown and directed by Dan Patrick Brady, BLEACHED BLONDE BETTY played a limited engagement at the Workshop Theater (316 West 35th Street, 4th Floor). Performances began Thursday, March 14 and continued through today - Sunday, March 24.
BWW Review: Wave Productions' GOD STEELING Tackles Race and Culture in '80s NYC
March 17, 2013
GOD STEELING was a super interesting play. Couching this relationship story within the social and political climate of the early 1980s is not something that I frankly see enough. How race, social standing and culture plays into the lives of these union 'brothers' is a bottomless pool of material. Overall, I would like to have seen a bit more subtlety in the performances, but I do have to say that James Fenton's set is worth the price of admission.
BWW Reviews: Eden Espinoza's LOOK AROUND
March 4, 2013
Anyone who has seen Rent knows "One Song Glory" as essentially Roger's fight song. Any version of this song I've heard has sounded exactly like Adam Pascal's (the song's originator). Nonetheless, Ms. Espinosa put an entirely new motivation behind the song. For Eden Espinosa, this is not a fight song. It's a song of recognition. The character is dying. However, it is also a song of redemption. This character is not fighting. This character is saying goodbye. It's the polar opposite of the established version of the song.
BWW Reviews: Secret Theatre's DIE: ROLL TO PROCEED
February 22, 2013
DIE: Roll to Proceed opened this week as a part of the WiredArts Fest. Taking place at the Secret Theatre in Queens, WiredArts Fest gives artists, producers and writers access to a global audience. The WiredArts Fest is a live-streamed performing arts festival where the audience is global, seating is unlimited and online viewers can participate in live chat discussions, interact through Twitter and Facebook, while the performance is happening.
BWW Reviews: Rock WILK's Gritty BROKE WIDE OPEN Plays 45th Street Theatre
December 9, 2012
Producer Rain Pryor is currently starring in her own critically acclaimed, solo autobiographical show "Fried Chicken and Latkes" and joins director Stephen Bishop Seely ("8 Million Protagonists") on the project. Rock WILK wrote and composed BROKE WIDE OPEN. The design team behind BROKE WIDE OPEN includes: Jason Sisino and Lee Alston (art design), Omayra Garriga Casiano (lighting design), Rock WILK (sound design), and Nivia Marrero Rolon (stage manager).
BWW Reviews: One Last Night for Araca Project's ONE NIGHT ONLY at American Theatre of Actors
September 15, 2012
One Night Only, a part of the 2012 Araca Project, finishes its run today at the American Theatre of Actors (314 West 54th Street). Directed by T. J. Shanoff, One Night Only is a completely improvised musical. With music direction by Mike Descoteaux, One Night Only stars Kate Cohen, Matthew Van Colton, Katie Dufrensne, Nicole C. Hastings, Kevin Sciretta and Michael Girts. The cast creates a brand new musical each night, developed through audience suggestion, singing, dancing, rhyming, rapping and free play. All veterans of The Second City's farm system, One Night Only, uses audience suggestions to create a 60-minute musical to rival Sondheim himself.
BWW Reviews: RATED M FOR MATURE and STORY TIME WITH MR. BUTTERMAN Hit FringeNYC 2012
August 26, 2012
I wrapped up the day at "Story Time with Mr. Buttermen: Fables for Adults Living in the Modern World." Although this was a musical comedy that wound up being much lighter fare than "Rated M for Mature", they essentially had a lot in common. It made for a the perfect twin bill. Essentially, "Story Time" answers what happens to teens like Eric, if the final third of his show didn't happen and he grew up.
Both are homage to the disaffected.
BWW Reviews: School is About to Be Out for EVERYTHING ABOUT SCHOOL (ALMOST)!
August 4, 2012
It's closing night for TADA! YOUTH THEATER's EVERTHING ABOUT SCHOOL (ALMOST). Conceived by Eric Rockwell, Everything About School (Almost) has music and lyrics by Brad Alexander along with Daniel Acquisto, Deirdre Broderick, Helen Chayefsky, Richard Chiarappa, Van Dean, David Ganon, Keith Gordon, Bruce Keisling, Jim Lochner, Margaret Rose, Dan Shore, Shawn Sturnick, and Eddie Sugarman. Directed and choreographed by Joanna Greer, Everything About School (Almost) concludes its limited engagement at TADA! Youth Theater (15 West 28th St. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10001) today at 4pm.
BWW Reviews: THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS - Clear as a Bell at 59E59
June 24, 2012
In The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov wrote: 'Suddenly a distant sound is heard, coming as if out of the sky, like the sound of a string snapping, slowly and sadly dying away.' That one sentence-one of the most controversial stage directions in western theater-has baffled sound designers for over a century. Chicago's Theater Oobleck has decided to confront the mystery in its own "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" fashion with The Hunchback Variations, now at 59E59 Theaters.
BWW Reviews: The Amoralists Make You Question What is THE BAD AND THE BETTER
June 23, 2012
The play ultimately is 30 to 40 minutes too long. It is set in the present but the neo-noir language, scenic and costume design causes tonal confusion. Ahonen's dialogue leads to some comedic moments, but overall The Bad and the Better comes off as playing at being a Tracy Letts play and very much falls short.
BWW Reviews: Gotham Dance Festival Returns for Another Round at The Joyce
June 9, 2012
The Gallim Dance biography stated that the group's work 'embodies fearless physicality grounded by deep humanity expressed through the madness and the joy of imagination.' 'Sit, Kneel, Stand' comes through on that promise tenfold. If you miss it, you've really missed something.
BWW Reviews: A MODEST SUGGESTION on Theatre Row, Now thru May 27
May 19, 2012
APPLE CORE THEATER COMPANY (ACTC) is pleased to present the world premiere production of Israeli-American playwright, Ken Kaissar's new satire - A MODEST SUGGESTION. Directed by Walter J. Hoffman, A MODEST SUGGESTION is in the midst of a limited engagement at the Studio Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th/10th). Performances continue through Sunday, May 27.
BWW Reviews: It's UP TO YOU to Catch This New Production at TADA!
May 12, 2012
TADA! YOUTH THEATER is back again with the World Premiere of UP TO YOU. The creative team includes book and music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart and direction by Janine Nina Trevens. The limited engagement at TADA! Youth Theater (15 West 28th St. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10001) continues through Sunday, May 20.
BWW Reviews: PRATFALLS Falls But Brushes Itself Off
May 5, 2012
Ultimately, this was a series of hits and misses. Half the characters and plot points weren't really needed. Nonetheless, when you boil it down, "Pratfalls" is a great relationship piece. "Pratfalls" is presented by Ground Up Productions at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex's Dorothy Strelsin Theatre, 312 W. 36th St., NYC. The show runs now through May 19. Tickes are available through (212) 352-3101, (866) 411-8111, www.theatermania.com, or www.groundupproductions.org.
BWW Reviews: La MaMa Goes Dancing, Puppet Theatre Style
April 2, 2012
La MaMa, in association with Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company, presents the World Premiere of Urban Odyssey. Conceived by Federico Restrepo and Denise Greber, Urban Odyssey depicts the experience of immigration to America through movement and visual theatre. A part of La MaMa's 50th Anniversary season, Urban Odyssey is a limited engagement run at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street) from March 22 - April 8, 2012.
BWW Reviews: The Mystery of THE MARIA PROJECT Unravels at 59E59 Theaters
March 12, 2012
59E59 Theaters welcomes Pure Projects, Inc., in association with Uncle Frank Productions with the Off Broadway premiere of The Maria Project. Written and performed by Marcella Goheen and directed by Larry Moss, The Maria Project runs now through April 1st. Using documentary footage, music and story telling, The Maria Project takes the audience on Marcella Goheen's spiritual quest to uncover the mysterious disappearance of Maria Salazar - her grandmother.
BWW Reviews: CONFESSIONS: MARRYING GEORGE CLOONEY Is a Great Time at CAP21
March 5, 2012
CAP21 Theatre Company presents the world premiere of MARRYING GEORGE
CLOONEY: CONFESSIONS FROM A MIDLIFE CRISIS. Based on a memoir by Amy Ferris, this new play by Amy and Ken Ferris along with Krista Lyons, officially opened March 1 at the CAP21 Black Box Theater (18 West 18th Street). Frank Ventura, Executive Artistic Director and co-founder of CAP21 directs.
BWW Reviews: YOU, MY MOTHER at LaMaMa Now Through February 20
February 13, 2012
It would be absolutely ridiculous if you missed this run. Performances are Thursdays - Sundays at 7:30pm, along with Saturdays matinees at 2:30pm and an additional performance on Monday, February 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors and can be purchased online at http://LaMaMa.org, in person at the box office or by calling 212-475-7710. The running time is 80 minutes. For more information visit http://www.TwoHeadedCalf.org.
BWW Reviews: TADA! Solves A Mystery About History
February 6, 2012
TADA! YOUTH THEATER's original production, The History Mystery, is running now at the TADA! Youth Theater (15 West 28th Str. 2nd Floor). With book by Janine Nina Trevens, music by Eric Rockwell and lyrics by Margaret Rose, The History Mystery is directed by Ms. Trevens. Starring members of TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble, this limited engagement runs now through February 19th.
BWW Reviews: KISSING SID JAMES Is a Surefire Hit at the 59E59 Theater
December 19, 2011
Overall, Kissing Sid James was a good production. Farquhar delivered an ending that was counterintuitive to what I was expecting and therefore thoroughly satisfying. The audience was so invested in the story that when the first reference to Sid James was mentioned in Act I, everyone in the audience had their smart phones out and were talking to each other about Sid James and his relevance to the show by intermission. Although the argument could be made that Sid James was a little random of a reference for an American audience, Farquhar had the audience talking. The performance lived up to the work as well, helping to unify the audience further.
BWW Reviews: FARM BOY - A Galloping Good WAR HORSE Sequel
December 13, 2011
59E59 Theatres welcomed the return of the New Perspective Theatre Company to their "Brits Off Broadway" festival with the American premiere of Michael Morpurgo's Farm Boy. Adapted as well as Directed by Daniel Buckroyd, Farm Boy opened December 13, and runs for limited time. A sequel to Morpurgo's acclaimed novel War Horse, Farm Boy accounts the changing face of the English countryside as technology clashes with rural heritage.
BWW Reviews: The Bad Boys of Abridgement are Back! The RSC at the New Vic, now through November 6th!
October 24, 2011
I'm not going to lie. It's hard, coming from Sketch/Improv background like myself, to not know about The Reduced Shakespeare Company. Their fast, physical wit is what every Sketch Comedian and Improviser aspires to work toward.
BWW Reviews: A Ghoulish Good Time – Nightmare: Fairy Tales at the CSV
October 10, 2011
Kudos to Creator and Co-Director, Timothy Haskell, for what is a truly brilliant idea. Why not explore the more macabre side of humanity through the Brother's Grimm? Wow. Did our parents really read this stuff to us as kids?
BWW Reviews: The Tramaine Experience at the ATA
October 3, 2011
Last night I caught The Tramaine Experience - An Urban Dramedy at the American Theatre of Actors. Presented through the Araca Project, The Tramaine Experience is one man's journey to escape and then finally embrace his background and in turn himself. It runs now through October 2nd.
BWW Reviews: Women on Top - The ladies of The FIRST LADIES PROJECT
September 19, 2011
The First Ladies Project is a well-crafted satire written in the Second City style. It is interesting to note that three of the ensemble graduated the Second City Teen program. This sharpness is evident in moments such as Laura Bush's Stand-up routine and Lucretia Garfield's diphtheria-inspired rap. The ensemble were excellent bringing to light unknown First Ladies as well as fleshing out the lives of the more iconic ladies seated beside our Commander and Chiefs. For all of the hard-hitting satire evident throughout the show, there were some wonderful moments of humanity as well. Edith Wilson comforting her enfeebled husband and Hillary Clinton facing her husband's repeated infidelities were just some of those moments.
BWW Reviews: DAD DOESN'T DANCE Misses it Mark...Slightly
August 1, 2011
The Midtown International Theatre Festival and Small Pond Enterprises LLC presented the New York Premiere of Dad Doesn't Dance, a new solo noir piece written and performed by Nora Brown. It opened July 12th and is closing today. Directed by Karen Case Cook, Dad Doesn't Dance tells the story of Brown's search for her biological father and in turn her identity.
BWW Reviews: A Big Splat: SPATTER PATTERN of the PTP/NYC 25th Anniversary Season
July 18, 2011
Neal Bell's Spatter Pattern: or How I Got Away with It is running now through July 31st at the Atlantic Stage 2 (330 16th Street). Directed by Potomac Theatre Project's Co-Artistic Director Jim Petosa, Spatter Pattern is a part of the PTP/NYC's 25th Anniversary season in rep with Territories and Victory: Choices in Reaction. Spatter Pattern is a story of colliding worlds and consequences. By the happenstance of an available apartment, failing screenwriter Dunn (played by Jeffries Thaiss) meets and bonds with Tate (Adam Ludwig), a successful professor accused of murder. The play follows the two opposites as their connection deepens and their two worlds become one.
Gotham Arts Exchange presents GOTHAM DANCE FESTIVAL at the Joyce Theater
June 12, 2011
After the overwhelming success of last summer's presentation, the Gotham Arts Exchange returned to The Joyce Theater with the Gotham Dance Festival. Running through June 12, the Gotham Dance Festival presented six programs featuring ten choreographers - a who's who of North American modern dance, per say. The festival included the works of Brian Brooks, Monica Bill Barnes and Patrick Corbin to name a few. I had the honor of checking out the "Summer Sampler Matinee" on June 11. This particular program focused specifically on emerging choreographers. On the 11th, I saw the works of Ashleigh Leite, Julian Barnett and Sydney Skybetter.
UNDER THE CROSS opens this week at the June Havoc Theatre
June 6, 2011
According to the program, a conscious choice was made to cast African-Americans solely as Jews to emphasize 'racial otherness' and to make the 'emotional isolation that Moise Ferapontov experiences more palpable.' Although the each member of the cast turned in a superb job, this decision did not make the emotional isolation more palpable. It layered in a bunch of 20th and 21st century American issues and completely obscured the Russian-Jewish experience. Isn't highlighting the Jewish experience the entire point of Yiddish Theatre? I completely support and promote color-blind casting, but in the case of this particular show, it should have been across the board.
BE CAREFUL! THE SHARKS WILL EAT YOU! Now through June 11th at the Stage Left Studio
June 5, 2011
Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You! continues its run at the Stage Left Studio. Written and performed by Jay Alvarez and directed by Theresa Gambacorta, Be Careful! recounts Alvarez' family and their harrowing escape from early 1960s Cuba. Alvarez takes the audience on a trip from revolution to the Coast Guard meeting him at the US Border. Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You! is thoughtful, deeply comedic and at moments intensely gripping.
BWW Reviews: If You Wanna Bump It...Gotham Burlesque at The Triad NYC
May 8, 2011
Gotham Burlesque however breaks through the malaise of this neo-burlesque to give the audience a thoroughly fun ninety minutes. These talented performers did a great job not only performing the art of the striptease but also finding the humor in the art. Gypsy Rose Lee would be proud.
OMG! The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships - Helen on 86th Street at ATA
May 1, 2011
My favorite actress of the cast would have to be Aurielle Kaminski. She played Vita's nemesis - Helen McGuire. Miss Kaminski has comedic timing far beyond her years. While most kids her age play big on the stage, she found a way to play her role with mature subtlety. Not only did she hit every joke, she found the jokes between the jokes. I completely see Miss Kaminski giving SNL's Kristen Wiig a run for her money, once she's old enough to drive of course.
Odysseus DOA at Theatre Row
March 20, 2011
Svoboda's questionable blocking of the set and actors was frenetic, halting the momentum of the story as well as dissipating energy. There was so much movement that it was extremely hard to focus on the actors. I just wished they were allowed to explore and play within this extremely interesting world. Although Svoboda's directing may not be as strong as his writing, Odysseus DOA is an incredibly beautiful play on its own. Like Odysseus himself, I look forward to seeing the next step in this play's journey but perhaps with a new captain at the helm.
The World Premiere of A WORLD APART at the Flea Theater
February 13, 2011
I have to say that I was pretty excited to see this piece, especially as the Vatican currently reviews its long-held stances on several issues (including the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS). I also wasn't surprised to see religious figures taking on the social and emotional issues of the secular world. If you ever had a Jesuit education, this would be called a "Tuesday." Seriously though, I deeply appreciated seeing religious figures portrayed as thoughtful philosophers examining the world around them for once, as opposed to the crazed zealot stereotype we've become far too familiar with in television and movies today.
Keep Your Feathers Dry at the BAC
February 7, 2011
Summation Dance Company closed a brief run of Keep Your Feather Dry at the Baryshnikov Arts Center on Saturday, February 5th. This World Premiere was choreographed by Sumi Clements and produced by Taryn Vander Hoop, the company's founders. Keep Your Feathers Dry chronicles Ms. Clements very personal story of her boyfriend's reactivation into the Marine Corps and his subsequent deployment to Afghanistan. The piece consisted of three smaller thematic works, "Fortitudine", "Whac-a-Mole" and "No Man's Landing".
America is Climbing the Walls Literally
January 16, 2011
With the popularity of shows like Spiderman - Turn off the Dark and performance groups like Cirque du Soleil, let's face it. America is climbing the walls literally. The popularity of Aerial work is growing...fast. Capitalizing on this momentum, the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center presented the first (of what they hope is many) Aerial Showcases yesterday. Featuring artists of different age and career levels, MMAC showcased the local 'Who's Who' of the Aerial arts.