Brooklyn Babylon @ BAM

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society in Brooklyn Babylon. Photo Credit: Rahav Segev.

Brooklyn Babylon, performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music by Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society in collaboration with graphic novelist Danijel Zezelj featured live music, animation, and live painting. The show open with music played by musicians dressed like street urchins from Elizabethan England. They performed a number, which was followed by Danijel Zezelj appearing on a platform in the background. He went to the center of this platform, picked up a roller and began painting. A few minutes after he started, a screen came down between him and the audience and animations started to play on it. These animations told a story of the building of the Tower of Brooklyn which was to be the tallest tower in the world. [Read more…]

Blue Man Group @ Astor Place Theater

The Blue Man Group at Astor Place Theater. Photo Credit: Ken Howard/Blue Man Productions.

Three men dressed in black with their faces painted blue, making music, creating art, and poking fun at contemporary media all the while being completely silent. These were my lasting impressions of the Blue Man Group performance created by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink that has been taken place in Astor Place Theater for years. Though it was a silent performance with the only noise coming from the laughter of the audience, it did not hinder the overall comedy that was the basis of the performance. [Read more…]

Rez Abbasi’s Invocation at Jazz Standard

Rez Abbazi. Photo Credit: Jazz Music Archives.

“I’m having a brain…you know,” sighed guitarist Rez Abbasi, out of breath and close to speechless after a full-throttle rendition of “Onus on Us”. After such a wildly evolving piece, a bit of brain freeze is understandable – perhaps even inevitable. Under the band name Invocation, Abbasi’s five-member powerhouse took the Jazz Standard by a storm in a CD release concert for the new album Sonu Sonu, echoing a soul-drenched heartiness truly akin to invocative prayer.

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Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons

Maple and Vine

Marin Ireland and Peter Kim in "Maple and Vine". Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.

Stop. Take a breath… relax. The frenetic pace of modern American life is overwhelming. Nostalgia for a simpler, happier time is rampant in today’s megalomaniacal society. Jordan Harrison’s “Maple and Vine,” directed by Anne Kaufman at Playwrights Horizons follows a young married couple—Katha and Ryu (Marin Ireland and Peter Kim, respectively) who abandon the hustle and bustle of the 21st century for life in a gated community whose residents immerse themselves in a 1955 middle-class American mindset and lifestyle. “Maple and Vine’s” satirical depiction of the ‘wholesome’ 1950s routine reminds the audience (the vast majority of whom appeared to have been alive during the ‘50s) we romanticize the past much too readily, choosing to forget the less-attractive, less-accepting aspects of previous epochs.

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