Monday, November 24, 2014

under mango trees and other artspace

exercising the reviewing muscle again, still informally, and the blogging muscles, yay, plus a few other art-ings...
so. the las' time i went to a locally produced 1act play, it was so bad that i was cringing within the 1st minute; 40minutes in warrenman knock out hard, mouth open, all kinna ting, while roger mouth was open in shock+horror at what was unfolding onstage; by the end i wanted back my $100 plus the wasted hour of my life. the other day i saw 2shows i was very looking forward to and didn' enjoy as much as i'd hoped. this rounds it was a world premiere, inaugural production for halqa; i wanted to see what this new production company, creative team and performers would deliver, and what the (local) playwright simeon moodoo (half of halqa) might be capable of, but was, i think reasonably, worried. but i was determined, so i drag my tired, stinky self to the little carib yesterday, straight outta rehearsal, still in sweats, for under the mango trees. and it was good!
it was a small show with simple but effective set+lights, better performed+executed than the wiz and more emotionally engaging than jab molassie. running about an hour with 2actors and 2"silhouettes" working off+onstage, from the shadowpuppetry-esque to physically manipulating the "elephant in the room", the production maintained its sense of the local, while theatrically incorporating elements of the otherworldly to translate the sometimes-strangeness of human experience and passage of time[space]. with a few musicians and singers rounding out the group, halqa and director marcus waldron create a believable world with chadd cumberbatch's simple set of white fabric (and the beautiful white elephant head) and peter craig's lighting[+shadow] design, and tell a compelling story, chronologically skipping through pivotal moments in "ryan" and "adafi"s trajectory to abandonment+busshead.
zoe white's 1st silent minutes onstage as "adafi" delivered some of the best acting i've seen on a local stage in a little bit, maybe since miss miles, and kimmy's fake-chennet-eating in more love, and kijana lewis make his trip here from guyana worthwhile with some solid work as "ryan". i also very liked the overall physicality of the piece and some of the silhouettes' stuff was very well-conceived [big-up choreographer, ian baptiste] movement-with-lighting, conveying certain visual plot-elements.
it wasn' a perfect show; some moments felt longer and more drawn out than they needed to be after the point was made so pacing was a little uneven, and one transition particularly bothered me as feeling too contrived, but the acting was strong+enjoyable enough that that eh ruin the performances/show; didn' love the costuming, but it was at least minimal and absolutely as versatile as necessary, so with no designer credited, i'll guess halqa made the best of a lacking situation. i didn' enjoy the "hey brown girl" moment either (one of the drawn-out ones, enough that i wanna say "moments" insteada the singular) because much of it seemed long+overdone to me, to no particular effect, and because the singing was not very good and the drums+vocals seemed off [from each other] which eh help with someting already feeling overlong. but again, not show-ruining.
it feels good to be able to say i enjoyed the production, and that young local playwrights eh giving up yet, and finally getting some play...
'twas a good weekend in art+theatre, for me; besides drama class with the gremlins, seeing a decent show and plenty dance rehearsal (continuum performing the museum of difficult women weekend coming!) i read some new fiction for an audience saturday...was terrified because i just, like that morning, just finish someting new, completely unvetted, and decide to read it publicly, knowing no writer in their right mind does that. but i feeling the new piece, is the perfect length, and i felt brave enough to put it out there, so i gone through...and they loved it. merle hodge rate it, the amazing shivanee like it (and i get to hear her read someting new, too) and plenty people come to tell me after how much they liked it; one lady say she cry...yay[?]...and alla that have me back here blogging too, so i might as well share more art-ing...look ting, right quick:
this link is to someting i cyah explain nor describe, except to say, storytelling! and because you eh see nutting else quite like it, watch. (and shia la beouf)
to listen+judge for yourself: new york's 10best djs?
and for more [certain] listening pleasure, time is illmatic...
this image, jus' because prince is that sexy mothafucker...
and last but  not least, some well-executed funny; stop looking at your phones!

walk good.


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