Brian Gillespie, David Andrew Laws, Jane May, Robin Rightmyer, and Amanda Tudor of “Twelve Nights”

Pull Together Productions presents Twelve Nights, written by Sean Graney and directed by Brian GillespieIn case the title, coupled with the poster art to the left, doesn’t make it obvious enough, Twelve Nights is Sean Graney’s adaptation of Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, set in the 1980s.

Gimmick? If you’re cynical, I suppose. Awesome? Indisputably, hell yeah.

I say that, and personally, I kinda hate ’80s nostalgia. This show, and production, just makes it irresistibly fun.

All the essential ingredients are there: bright polo shirts, mix-tapes on cassettes, brilliant Peter Gabriel and Say Anything and Bill & Ted and Poison references, the whole nine. And the whole story is told by only four actors rollicking thru it at full-tilt. And, as if that weren’t enough, there’s the goofing on the twelve nights of Christmas, very apropos for a show running the first couple weeks of December.

If you want some fun theatrical holiday cheer, but without all the, y’know, holiday-malarky, check this show out. Pull Together Productions is killin’ this one, y’all.

Listen in as director & Pull Together Artistic Director Brian Gillespie, along with the full cast of David Andrew Laws, Jane May, Robin Rightmyer, and Amanda Tudor discuss the benefits of forgetting, putting ’80s pop culture onto Shakespeare, joke science, She’s the Man, and acknowledging where we are and what we’re doing—even when it goes a little askew.

“…to see the audience having fun with you…they’re just so on our side from the very beginning, it’s so good to see that…'”

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Cristina Lundy of NY Shakespeare Exchange, on “Othello” and the upcoming ShakesBEER

The New York Shakespeare Exchange recently presented Othello, setting the play’s Venice in a contemporary urban setting, with the Bard’s military officers becoming ranking police officers.

For adapter/director Cristina Lundy, the analogues between Shakespeare’s tragedy set amidst the jealousies of military officers, and the contemporary world of police work—especially in “stop & frisk”-era NYC, where those who are trusted to protect, can be the ones most feared—made this production all the more urgent to present.

While the production has closed from the posting of this episode, I’d highly recommend a listen to this interview, because NY Shakespeare Exchange has got some really interesting stuff going on—like The Sonnet Project, featuring video adaptations of all 154 sonnets, and the upcoming ShakesBEER, which…well, listen to the episode for Christina to explain it. It sounds amazing, and it’s coming up very soon…

Listen in as Cristina and I discuss hidden off-off-Broadway gems, drinking with the Bard, and how Shakespeare can be for everyone.

“The people we most want, in a way, are the people who don’t think they like Shakespeare, and let us convince them otherwise…”

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Rachel Murdy & Lucille Duncan of “Little West Twelfth Night”

Little West Twelfth Night

Walking the streets of New York City, it seems there’s a performance at every corner — planned or not. But what if you could actually follow a “staged” performance around the streets of NYC?

Wonder not, and go see Little West Twelfth Night, presented by the folks behind Conni’s Avant-Garde Restaurant in the Underground Zero Festival.

Rachel Murdy (“Frankie”) & Lucille Duncan (“Maria”), and later Dave Bennett (“Orsino”), meet me at The Brass Monkey (which figures into the show, along with the Highline, the Standard Hotel, the Gansevoort Market, a creepy van, and more) to give some insight into the first non-“avant-garde restaurant” performance from the company — a historical walking-tour of the Meatpacking District, with a healthy dash of Shakespeare.

Listen in as Rachel, Lucille, Dave & I talk impossible love affairs, chance lighting design in an outdoor walking-tour show, getting towed & questioned by the police for the sake of your show, random allusions to Law & Order: SVU are made, and Lucille & Rachel give you mixing instructions for a brass monkey, “the poor man’s mimosa.”

Conni’s Avant-Garde Restaurant & the Underground Zero Festival present
Little West Twelfth Night

based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
conceived by Rachel Murdy
written by Peter Lettre
directed by Cynthia Croot

remaining performances:
July 23 & July 29 at 8PM
July 30 at 7AM (yep — AM! sunrise special!)

tickets available via OvationTix

John Hudson & Alexandra Cohen-Spiegler of The Dark Lady Players

Romeo and Juliet Nurse's Scene, Annunciation to MaryThis week’s podcast features an interview with members of The Dark Lady Players—Artistic Director John Hudson, and ensemble member Alexandra Cohen-Spiegler (that’s her in the red, at left, as Lady Capulet).

Dark Lady is presenting Shakespeare’s Gospel Parodies, and the performance is FREE; go check it out (after you listen to the podcast)! Continue reading