Antarctica Melts Away

by Lucy Gellman | Jul 6, 2016 7:49 am | Comments (1)

Christopher Thompson Photos Three-fourths of the way into Antarctica! Which Is To Say Nowhere at the Yale Summer Cabaret, a decked-out Rena (Ricardo Dávila, in drag) explains to the audience what she perceives as the American way. One, she declares, weaving through the theater with her head cocked high: You have the über-wealthy one percent, who are so afraid of losing their footing with rising taxes that they force those below them to work harder, then harder still, without a reasonable rise in pay or social stature.

Two: there’s a shrinking middle class, working their asses off for the aforementioned über-wealthy.

Three: There are the poor, who can work and work but never quite rise above their circumstances because the system is so deeply rigged against them. 

Continue reading ‘Antarctica Melts Away’

A&I Closes As Symphony Meets Circus

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 27, 2016 7:24 am

As New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) Maestro William Boughton drew the first airy strains of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from the symphony, a flick of his fingers catching in the light, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye that he hadn’t seen before when running through the piece.

At center stage, another maestro had appeared, scanning the stage for possible boxes and crates on which to balance before a swelling, giggling audience. Already there had been a contortionist, pretzeling herself high above the stage, a great wheel in which a figure spun and balanced wildly. Perhaps, Boughton and the symphony had thought, that was enough excitement for the evening. But there he stood, arms outstretched, feet sure, as he began a series of balances that had the audience — if not also the musicians — at the edge of its seats.

Continue reading ‘A&I Closes As Symphony Meets Circus’

Chekhov, Squared & Rooted

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 23, 2016 7:19 am

Lisa Keshisheva Photo The cherry orchard must sit at stage right, tucked back into a corner. Across from it, Nina Zarechnaya can daydream on the damp grass beside a lake, where the moon flickers and she falls into bouts of deep thought. Moscow University will remain offstage. A birch grove will hang from the rafters; a hospital around center stage. A headstone, marked by brown bread and slowly-evaporating vodka, close to the audience. And the railroad must skirt the edges of town, hugging just one side of it like a locomotive bookend.

Continue reading ‘Chekhov, Squared & Rooted’

A&I Gives Away “The Money”

by Donald Brown | Jun 23, 2016 7:00 am

Courtesy Arts & Ideas If someone handed you a sum of money — no strings attached — what would you do with it? You might know right away. But what if you had to get a group of other people to agree on how the money should be spent? Would you argue for a certain beneficiary? Would you let others call the shots? Would it depend on how much money?

Continue reading ‘A&I Gives Away “The Money”’

Steel Hammer Nails Myth Into Art

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 17, 2016 7:01 am

Courtesy Steel Hammer Truth: John Henry was a steel-driving man. He was a cotton-picking man. He was jailed for no good reason. He worked every single day he had on this earth. He was 22 when he died. He was 35 when he died. He was 50 when he died, and weighed 220 pounds. 225 pounds. Over 300 pounds. His wife was Polly Ann. Mary Ann. Julie Ann. Sary Ann. Sally Ann. 

There were many versions of him, one more powerful than the next, and all of them have some degree of truth.

Continue reading ‘Steel Hammer Nails Myth Into Art’

“Our Ladies” Cut Loose At The Rep

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 13, 2016 7:57 am

Manuel Harlan Photos When the lights come up on the U.S. premiere of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, on at the Yale Repertory Theatre through June 25 as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, it’s not exactly clear when the play’s promised raucousness is going to kick in.

Hands clasp. Starched skirts are straightened one final time. Ironed blouses glow bone-white from the stage. The first notes of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Lift Thine Eyes,” sung in seamless harmony, float out across the audience. A pin could drop in the pregnant silence between verses.

Continue reading ‘“Our Ladies” Cut Loose At The Rep’

“Kinky” Freed Them

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 10, 2016 9:50 am | Comments (1)

As the actors at New Haven’s latest Broadway touring show left the stage, two stories of self-discovery emerged on a deep red splash of carpet inside the Shubert Theater’s capacious auditorium.

One, a tale of sexual identity and revelation from a senior at Co-Op High School, came quickly, words spinning it into being before an audience.

The other, an unfolding narrative of clandestine drag performances and a father’s hesitant acceptance, revealed itself slowly in short, polite sentences and laughter-tinged personal anecdote from an actor who had just left the stage.

Continue reading ‘“Kinky” Freed Them’