Monday, January 15, 2018

New York: Off-Broadway Buzz, January 2018

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY) 
You may want to stay snuggled up on the couch during this cold snap, but these shows are a great incentive to bundle up and head out. Friendly Reminder: Off- and Off-Off Broadway shows have limited runs, so get tickets right away.

For Tweens, Teens & Adults

UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS: GENERATION NYZ
The Duke (229 West 42nd St) Until Jan 21, 2018; For ages 12 & up; NewVictory.org  

Conceived by Ping Chong; Written & directed by Sara Zatz & Kirya Traber in collaboration with the cast. Cast: Edwin Aguila, Monica Victoria Tatacoya Castañeda, Andrea "Syl" Egerton, Mohammad Murtaza, De-Andra Pryce, Porscha Polkahantis Rippy & Rafael Rosario

This extraordinary presentation will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you care. For UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS is a celebration of humanity's diversity and how we are all more similar than different. 
GENERATION NYZ is the story of seven amazing young adults who could have easily fallen through the cracks of life. Born into poverty, hopelessness, neglect, and confusion, each one of them--through a combination of personal perseverance, the kindness of strangers (teachers and mentors), and a splash of luck--saw a vision of what could be for themselves and forged ahead to actualize that dream.
The cast represents the “gorgeous mosaic" of New York celebrating their heritage--Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, South Asian, European--and the neighborhoods they grew up in: the South Bronx, West Harlem, Far Rockaway, Queens, and East New York, Brooklyn. This show is so dope, woke and cool, it should be extended. And, hopefully, filmed to be shown in every school and college across the country to give all kids who are dazed-and-confused an infusion of hope. The New Victory Theater and Ping Chong + Company are two organizations that are always doing way-cool stuff.

For Adults & Sophisticated Teens

AMERICA’S FAVORITE NEWSCASTER
Theater for the New City (155 First Ave) Until Jan 28, 2018; www.theaterforthenewcity.net  

Isaac Miller (anchorman Evan Fury) & David O. Friedman (Trump)
photo: Glenna Freedman PR
                      
Book & lyrics by Tom Attea; Music by Arthur Abrams; Directed by Mark Marcante. Starring: Isaac Miller, Alexandra Schwartz, Matt Gorsky, Juan Villegas, David O. Friedman, David F. Slone, Esq., Gabrielle Sarrubbo, Robert Homeyer, Justin Rodriguez & Kate McMorran
The premise of this new musical comedy is that a top newscaster is so affected by having to cover the current erratic President on a daily basis that his life starts to unravel. While it's a fun, upbeat romp, the pretentious dialog is a drawback, making it sound more like a 1940s' British, drawing-room farce than a contemporary comedy. But, if you too are having nightmares that this man--who shouldn't even be on the White House lawn--is in the Oval, you'll get a kick out of the show. And, the anchorman, Evan Fury, is played by newcomer Isaac Miller who is so terrific, I see Tonys® in his future! Catch him now before he hits the big time.
It's also a good excuse to discover the Theater for the New City. TNC produces a plethora of new American plays, including several by emerging playwrights and minority writers from around the world. With affordable ticket prices, the goal is to develop theater audiences and inspire minority creatives by engaging the community in the theater and at its many free Festivals. 

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