“Ralph Lewis led Peculiar Works troupers on a wild ride to the top in Son of Cock-Strong. This non-sequel sequel (originally directed in 1970 by La MaMa bad boy John Vaccaro) follows Arthur Cock-Strong Jr.’s rise to power in a ridiculous musical with new compositions by Spencer Katzman.”
The Son of Cock-Strong, Kevin Percival wins a musical motorcycle race as Mick Hilgers’ villain peddles on.
Mick Hilgers lost the race but is good sport enough to join Kevin’s Cock-Strong, Jr. in a soulful duet, played by Spencer Katzman, Rob Gaines and Rob Mitzner.
Sylvia Milo’s flight attendant gives the boarding announcements—yes, Tom’s play takes a wild turn the airport.
A little girl (Caiti Lattimer) is stalked by a nefarious walkie-talkie puppet.
Arthur Cock-Strong, Jr. (Kevin Percival) pleads his case to Tim Cusack’s evil doctor.
Catherine Porter’s televangelist, St. Love, clowns for the congregation.
The congregation gets whipped into a joyful frenzy by Spencer Katzman’s original music with (l-to-r) Megan Cooper, Rachel Naar, Denis Gawley, Gabriele Schafer and Caiti Lattimer.
Kevin’s Arthur Jr. thinks we hit it on the nose, but St. Love’s hand-me-down protuberance is not long for this world.
Arthur Sr. and Mom died in their sleep, but Stan Baker and Megan Cooper brought them back to life.
In this peculiar play, one character starts as a make-up artist and ends as the President’s exercise instructor – and Joyce Miller made it work.
Cristi Castro as Aphasia struggles to recall the lyrics to a song she can’t sing.
Uncle Charlie sends everyone home happy (Gabriele Schafer, under all the hair, make-up, and Angela Harner’s costume)
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Director: Ralph Lewis
Producer: Barry Rowell
Composer: Spencer Katzman
Musical Director: Megan Cooper
Projection Designer: King Man Ho
Magic Consultant: Tom Klem
Interactivity Consultant: Jeff Wirth
Performers: Stan Baker, Cristi Castro, Megan Cooper, Tim Cusack, Rob Gaines, Denis Gawley, Mick Hilgers, King Man Ho, Spencer Katzman, Caiti Lattimer,Joyce Miller, Sylvia Milo, Rachel Naar, Kevin Percival, Catherine Porter, Gabriele Schafer
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Tom Murrin (1939–2012) was best known as a pioneering performance artist of the East Village scene, turning trash into treasure in his uniquely entertaining shows. But he began as one of the first generation of La MaMa playwrights and continued to write and present plays throughout his life. His influence on generations of artists spanning theater, performance art, and dance was profound and continues today.
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The OBIE award-winning Peculiar Works Project creates, develops and presents original multi-disciplinary performances that are accessible and fun for diverse audiences. Since 1993, we’ve performed in unconventional spaces because we believe unique sites impact our work, the work in turn impacts the site, and audiences then experience both in surprising new ways. We encourage collaboration, experimentation and a rebel spirit in artists by providing them with the tools and opportunities necessary to develop new alternative performances. We have presented site-specific productions in landmark buildings, gutted storefronts and other peculiar sites throughout NYC.
“What is the city but the people?” – William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
Walk into this massive structure to mail a letter, buy stamps or send a package. Pick up from your PO Box or get a passport application.
I walked in and went to the 3rd floor. Obviously I had never set eyes on this space upper level floor.
It was a performance ready to begin titled MANNA-HATA, produced by The Peculiar Works Project.
The playwright Barry Rowell states his case like this!
“I wanted MANNA-HATA to offer a little taste of some of the more interesting stories I have found and to celebrate some of the less well-known (or in some cases unknown) people that have made contributions large and small to creating our home. Our goal was to make the production an experience rather than a story because I think that New York is an experience. You walk on the street and there is an amazing amount of sensory data coming at you from every direction, touching on all five of your senses simultaneously: first-time visitors often exclaim how overwhelming the City is. And yet most of us take it all for granted: it’s just home—and for those of us who grew up somewhere else, it’s the home we chose for ourselves.”
It was indeed ‘an experience’ like the one you encounter on the streets of NYC. But here you got a bit of New York’s history in the making during your walk.
Oscar Castillo greeting his tour group as Easanques.
(l-r in center) Everett Quinton and Kelly Salvadore as W. Parker Chase III and W. Parker Chase II
Cherrye J. Davis as Shirley Chisholm and Eric C. Bailey as W. Parker Chase I.
The Ensemble perform a pedestrian ballet: (left wall) Jimmy Brooks, Lorna Hampson, Cristi Castro, Kevin Drouillard, Jennae Alexa Ruiz Santos; (center) Precious Sipin, Ashleigh Awusie, Grace Phelan, Katey Parker; (right wall) Hank Lin, Dionisio Flores García
Catherine Porter as Jane Jacobs (seated on Dionisio Flores García).
(l-r) Precious Sipin and Cristi Castro; Cherrye J. Davis as Shirley Chisholm; Katey Parker and Grace Phelan
(l-r) Katey Parker; Cherrye J. Davis as Shirley Chisholm and Everett Quinton as W. Parker Chase III; Grace Phelan and Precious Sipin
Oscar Castillo as Easanques with video projection by Myrel Chernick
Audience entering the Big Room—Manna-Hata before the Europeans
Jenna Alexa Ruiz Santos; Kevin Drouillard (background)
The Big Room playing area (formerly a mail sorting room in the post office); lighting by David Castaneda
The audience takes the first walk across the newly completed Brooklyn Bridge
Bradley Wells (center) as Robert Moses flanked by Kelly Salvadore, Everett Quinton and Eric C. Bailey as the W. Parker Chases
Grace Phelan as Edna St. Vincent Millay at Chumley’s
The Algonquins: (l-r) Katey Parker as Dorothy Parker, Precious Sipin as Edna Ferber, Hank Lin as Alexander Woollcott and Oscar Castillo as New Yorker editor Harold Ross
Jimmy Brooks and Jennae Alexa Ruiz Santos at a Rent Party in Harlem
Cherrye J. Davis as Shirley Chisholm announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 1972
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It was an amazing ‘experience’ walking through the James A Farley Post Office and finding myself at so many different times in NY’s history.
I especially liked revisiting Chumleys when it was a speakeasy and being part of the crowd that got ‘raided’ during the poetry reading by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Great fun! I hope Peculiar Works is developing another such delightful theatrical experience.
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This project was performed from June 8th thru 23rd, 2013.
For information on this or other Peculiar Works Projects go here!