Sunday, November 17, 2013

New York Theater Buzz: One-"Man" Shows, Nov 2013

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY)
Gordon Clapp as poet Robert Frost

"In the world of the theatre, the one-man show is perhaps the closest thing to having it all, a supreme test of assurance and ability, of magnetism and charisma. The format is both seductive and frightening; there’s no one to play against, to lean on, to share the criticism. But, for an actor, the prize at the end of a successful solo performance in not only applause but also acclaim--unshared." — Enid Nemy, New York Times 
While a solo show may be seductive for an actor, it's also a unique experience for an audience member, connecting us with our "collective unconscious" and a form of storytelling that's been around for millennia from cave dwellers sitting around a fire, to ancient Greek monologists, to Medieval troubadours to today's "performance" artists. It's a chance to see the acting craft unfold, usually in a smaller, intimate setting. 

David Barlow (photo: Carol Rosegg)
chashama (210 East 43rd St.) Until December 8, 2013
Directed by Davis McCallum; Written by Andy Bragen; Starring: David Barlow
You can always count on The Play Company to present must-see theater. Here, the attraction is the talented actor David Barlow and the uniqueness of the set.
Since there is only room for about 40 audience members, it's a singular treat to get upclose-and-personal with this terrific actor as you tag along beside him, moving from room-to-room in an empty "office space," once the workplace of the character's father. This terrific actor is so engaging you feel as if he's telling his hard-luck tale just to you; and, you want to help. But even as you move in close, Barlow maintains the actor's control of the "stage." While the text borders on the boring, this actor injects it with passion and brings it to life.
[Through Nov 23: Six tickets @ night for $20 with Ticket Central code TC20]

Theatre Row (410 West 42nd St.) Until November 24, 2013
If you're bitten by the one-man-show bug, here's your cure: The 4th annual
Robert Jägerhorn
United Solo festival features 120 solo shows by performers from 23 countries in a variety of categories: drama, storytelling, documentary, multimedia, standup, magic, dance, and musical theatre. You can review the options on the website or just pick a handful at random; some 20 shows, United Solo award winners, are in a special "Encore" category. But, with tickets only $18, it's hard to go wrong. Also, there's the joy of discovering a brilliant actor you never heard of or seeing a familiar performer or director in a totally different context.
For example: Emmy-winning actor Gordon Clapp (Detective Medavoy on “NYPD Blue”) plays poet Robert Frost in “This Verse Business.” The accomplished actor/director Austin Pendleton directs Grace Kiley in "Longing For Grace," a 3-time United Solo award winner. And, Robert Jägerhorn, the George Clooney of Finland, does a magic act, "Waiting for Hitchcock."

No comments:

Post a Comment