Laboratory theatre meets laboratory science in Stolen Chair’s latest “unholy hybrid,” Quantum Poetics: A Science Experiment for the Stage. Setting out to prove the existence of his creations, God, a god, enlists the support of a quantum physicist, a 19th century children’s book author, a 13th century mystic nun, a 16th century alchemist, a 7-year old girl, and, stepping straight from the pages of a storybook (or movie musical), Lancelot and Guinevere, taking the audience on a time-travelling adventure through the multiverse. Impossible paradoxes and cognitive dissonance abound in this Escher-esque philosophical romp.
[M]erges the fields…in intelligent and playful ways…The effect is mind-bending, down to earth, and funny. Jo Ann Rosen, NYTheatre.com
A surreal society comedy performed by two actors and four dolls alongside an exquisite 5-course tea service.
An absurd and absurdly intimate new comedy inspired by the relationships of Elsie de Wolfe (Lady Mendl) and Bessie Marbury, who referred to themselves as “The Bachelors,” after they took up joint residence sans men in the first years of the 20th century. Before she invented the profession of interior decorator, de Wolfe was a struggling Broadway performer, known more for her costumes than her acting, and her partner Bessie Marbury, legendary agent and broker, was introducing America to Oscar Wilde and discovering Cole Porter. In a playfully perverse take on a young girl’s imaginary tea party, de Wolfe and Marbury will delight and torment each other and entertain a coterie of special guests, “performed” by dolls assembled around the table, with audience members seated only inches away.
As provocative as the high tea was romantic (and yummy) Dorothy Chansky , Theatre Journal
In the seedy and seditious demimonde of Weimar Berlin, five lost souls find each other (and sold-out audiences) when they create a scandalous club where adults play like children…and customers pay to watch!
Kinderspiel tells the story of how a burnt-out expressionist dancer, a wealthy jaded Jew, a trendsetting lesbian journalist, a conservative widow, and a utopian communist joined together to create this bizarre hotspot and how this curious fetish turned into a revolutionary movement.
While I’m all for there being many new American plays as challenging and original as this one, I doubt we will be that lucky…Required viewing. Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com *Pick of the Week*
Boy meets boy. Boy falls for boy. Turns out both guys are dolls. What’s a girl to do? In Stolen Chair’s newest collective creation Stage Kiss, a bawdy gender-bent romantic comedy in blank verse, love is blind…and lust is blinder.
Two doting single parents independently disguise their chaste young daughters as men and send them off into a nearby forest to bide time until Neptune has had his fill at the village’s annual sacrifice of young virgins. Gallathea and Phyllida, each believing the other to be a man, fall deeply in love…and lust. In their quests to obtain the objects of their affection, the two newly gender-questioning protagonists learn, with a little help from the goddess Venus, that love is many gendered thing, puncturing a Pandora’s box of sexuality and desire.
This spunky production plants a big sloppy smooch on its audience. Adam Feldman, TimeOut New York (4 stars, “Best Bet”)
4 parts downtown theatre 3 parts live music 2 parts love story 1 part farce 3 dashes of opera
Shake vigorously and garnish with cocktails designed by award-winning mixologist Marlo Gamora (head mixologist at Trix in Willamsburg) and you have
Potion: A Play in Three Cocktails
Charley sells potions, handcrafted and custom made. From potions that can make the forgetful remember to potions that will stop a compulsive liar from fibbing, Charley’s concoctions satisfy a diverse clientele. But the one potion Charley hasn’t been able to master is that one she wants for herself: a love potion. Potion, a “spoken word opera” immerses its audience in the giddy world of Charley’s bar and her regular (and irregular) customers, with Gamora’s flight of 3 original “potions” served by the actors as the play unfolds.
To create the uniquely rhythmic text for Potion, Stolen Chair’s playwright Kiran Rikhye dug deeply into the Italian libretti of the operas by Mozart, Verdi, Donazetti, and more. For each scene of Potion, Rikhye mapped out the meter, rhymes, repetitions, and simultaneity of an aria, duet, trio, or quartet to create a template for her own original text. The result is an intoxicating and incantatory verse play unlike any other, set to a genre-bending original score performed live by multi-instrumentalist Sean Cronin. The ensemble performs this “opera” in spoken voice that is every bit as virtuosic, dizzying, and delightful as operatic song in a site-specific staging by Jon Stancato that explores every nook and cranny of PEOPLE’s bar and makes the audience feel they are VIP guests at Charley’s magical speakeasy.
With their adroit artistry and sense of play, Stolen Chair’s Potion is a heady combination of language and music bracketed by cocktails tasting of metaphors and intellectual absinthe. Jen Gunnels, New York Review of Science Fiction