Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn academy of music’


July 7, 2022

Seeing God’s Fool, Martha Clarke’s exquisite music-theater piece about St. Francis of Assisi, which finished up its three-week run at La Mama ETC on July 2, reminded me of another Martha Clarke piece, Endangered Species, that opened (and quickly closed) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1990, which I wrote about for the Village Voice.

This is how my article began:

“The show opens on Sunday, the reviews appear Tuesday morning – another pan from Frank Rich! – and boom, the producer announces that the show’s closing at the end of the week. An all-too-familiar Broadway scenario, right? Except that this time the location is Brooklyn, the producer is Harvey Lichtenstein, and the show is Martha Clarke’s Endangered Species, which opened BAM’s Next Wave Festival and then closed October 14, two weeks into a scheduled five-week run. With typical journalistic sensitivity, I checked in with Clarke, her longtime producer Lyn Austin (whose Music Theatre Group developed endangered Species for the Next Wave Festival), and Lichtenstein to see how everyone was feeling.”

You can check out the rest of the piece here.

You can see pictures from the production on BAM’s online archive here.

Events: public conversation with Robert Lepage at BAM

September 14, 2013

Next Saturday I will be conducting a public conversation with the legendary Quebecois stage director Robert Lepage (above) as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Iconic Artists Talks” series. Lepage will be performing onstage at BAM Sept. 18-21 in the cast of his company Ex Machina’s latest work, The Blue Dragon, a sequel to The Dragons’ Trilogy, the 1985 epic that put him on the map of internationally acclaimed artists. I interviewed Lepage once before, over lunch with Peter Gabriel, for a New York Times article about Zulu Time, a show he made for which Gabriel wrote some music. The show didn’t play its scheduled run in New York — it was supposed to have opened the week that 9/11 transformed Lower Manhattan, and the known world — but I found Lepage to be a very lively interview subject. He was extremely quick, intelligent, verbal, and unpretentious — he amazed everyone at the table by dropping the French word hétéroclite into the conversation and then making fun of himself for using such a hifalutin and dirty-sounding expression.

The talk will take place at the Hillman Studio on the 4th Floor of the BAM Fisher building at 321 Ashland Place (around the corner from the main BAM building). The event will last about an hour. Tickets at $10 for BAM members, $20 for non-members. For more information and to buy tickets, go here.


January 20, 2011

My review of John Gabriel Borkman has just been posted on The production launches the spring season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and stars Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, and Lindsay Duncan.

John Gabriel Borkman is one of those plays by a great author that one hears about but rarely sees.  Perhaps that’s precisely why James Macdonald rose to the challenge of staging it. Macdonald, who has directed fine productions of difficult works by Sarah Kane (4:46 Psychosis) and Caryl Churchill (A Number), among many others, first mounted the Ibsen play last year at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The cast he assembled there and brought over to New York could scarcely be bettered.”

You can read the entire review online here. What I didn’t mention in the review is that two-thirds of the way through act one, during an intense scene between Alan Rickman in the title role and Lindsay Duncan as his former lover and sister-in-law, a man in the second row fainted. Stage managers and volunteer physicians started swarming around him until Rickman finally said, “We need to stop. Someone is ill,” and ushered Duncan offstage. The lights came up, and once the man was revived, his entire party left the theater. When the play resumed, Rickman launched back into the scene full-throttle — very impressive handling of an actor’s nightmare.


Theater review: Laurie Anderson’s DELUSION at BAM

September 29, 2010

“If storyteller is Laurie Anderson’s primary identity, right behind that is the questioner. Out of the oceanic wash of sights and sounds that add up to Delusion, every few minutes a potent question emerges: What is a man if he outlives the lifetime of his god? What are days for? Why is it always raining in my dreams? Dear old God, who are these people? And finally, most poignantly, Did you ever really love me?”

Read the entire review for here.

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