A Fiery, Absurdist “Chamber Music” Now Playing at St. John’s

Members of the “Chamber Music” cast at St. John’s

“The chair recognizes Joan of Arc.”

It’s hard not to recognize her, in the theatrical sense — like the Joans we’ve seen, this one’s armor-clad, cross-bearing, and all-powerful. But is this Joan? Well, of course not; it’s merely a depiction.

But is the performer (a marvelously focused Bre Northrup) playing Joan, or a character who believes they are Joan? This is one of the central questions in Arthur Kopit’s Chamber Music, now playing through September 16 in the basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton Street).

Director Emily Moler makes dynamic use of her staging Kopit’s absurdist play, setting it in the round and utilizing the subterranean locale’s low-budget though ample space. In fact a church basement may be the unlikely, appropriate setting for Chamber Music: the play actually takes place in a mental institution, so a church (with its rigid mores) lends itself winningly to this story’s strict asylum. The “Joan of Arc” and other lady icons, from Osa Johnson to Pearl White, inhabit this jail, and their meeting of the minds feels echoed in the opening of Top Girls, Caryl Churchill’s feminist anthem. Continue reading

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Chris Brown and Drake? How sad.

As if you needed any more indication that hip hop is in a bad place right now, the Drake Chris Brown saga solidifies this fact.  The music that once brought us such great rivalries as Nas VS Jay Z, Mc Shan VS KRS One, NWA Vs Ice Cube, Eazy E Vs Dr Dre, now gives us Drake and chris Brown? How sad.  First of all, the Lil Kim Nikki Minaj beef was more interesting and relevant since it involved the typical bullshit that rappers beef about like stealing one’s style, trying to stay relevant, or trying to hold on to their “throne”.  Plus I think Lil Kim would smack the shit out of Chris Brown and Drake at the same time
in a streetfight. Continue reading

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It might not be all about Greenpoint, but it’s all about art… GO!

Greenpoint Open Studios Logo

Much of the reason why I live in this fine neighborhood is because I worked on Greenpoint Open Studio 2010, a magical event, which I believe was a huge success for artists in Greenpoint. The following year the GOS team was approached by Northside Media Group, aka The L Magazine, to “produce” Northside Open Studios, to include Greenpoint and Williamsburg artists, during the Northside Festival, the East Coast wannabe SXSW. What is open studios? It’s a day or weekend when all artists open their studios to the public. It rules!

The best word I can use to describe the Northside experience is clusterfuck.

(If you want to hear about North Brooklyn political art drama, continue reading. If not, check out Go!, a “community-curated” Brooklyn-wide Open Studios organized by the Brooklyn Museum, (and sponsored by The L Mag) happening in late September.)

Continue reading

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