A visit to the eccentric sideshow at Coney Island USA was a great trip. Now the show is OPEN again to the public and the performances are every Fri. through Sun. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jelly Boy the Clown backstage after his show.
Jelly Boy the Clown is currently writing his autobiography. Look out for it next year at your local bookstore.
Connecting up with friends from out of town is always fun. A week ago Geoff was in town from Austin and we met up in Prospect Park. Here is the interview I conducted with this young energetic magician/sideshow performer and internet ‘twitch’ show host.
I absolutely adore laughter. I love feeling it, sharing it, hearing it, and provoking it. It’s my passion, which is why I’ve spent so much time with clowns, clowning, teaching others to clown, and writing about my art. I know that there’s so much more to this ancient and heart-warming art, but it’s still the joy of laughter that motivates and inspires me.
Noah Diamond has put together a streaming talk about the Marx Brothers and their time in New York City. Part of the Freedonia Marxonia Annual Festival. This time the festival will be streaming instead of being held way upstate in Fredonia at the SUNY campus there. So come and attend it!
In this interview Noah talks about what he put into the upcoming LIVE talk.
What do you get when you cross a nerd comedian with a nerd-averse Mother who is funny as f*ck? You get Deb Margolin’s JUST GIVE ME ONE-HALF HOUR WITH MY MOTHER, a comedy of mourning and retrospection, with a deep bow to the power of jokes to connect a body in the diaspora to the mother country, or to the Mother herself! In addition to the lamentation and yearning, there are jokes told one after the other! These are ACTUAL JOKES! No one tells straight-up jokes anymore
Technical Director and Technical Designer: Chayton PabichBackstage
Crew and Advisors: Ginny Mayer & Mark Gaudet
Deb Margolin is a playwright, actor, and founding member of Split Britches Theater Company. She is the author of numerous plays, including Imagining Madoff, Turquoise, and Bringing the Fishermen Home, as well as 10 solo performance, plays which she has toured throughout the US, the most recent of which is 8 STOPS, a comedy concerning the grief of endless compassion! 8 STOPS takes a long, humorous, tender look at motherhood, the suburbs, the fear of death, and the inheritability of ideas. Deb was honored with an OBIE award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the Kesselring Playwright Prize for her play Three Seconds in the Key, the 2008 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award and the Richard H. Broadhead Prize for teaching excellence at Yale University, where she is Associate Professor (adj.) in the undergraduate Theater Studies Program. Commissions include the NY Public Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, PS122, The Jewish Museum of New York, and Dixon Place.
An assortment of puppeteers perform various scenes from the 358-year-old traditional English puppet show, Punch & Judy (n.b. for adults only)
“Kamikaze” is a term Drama of Works uses for its themed puppet slams, based around one story/event/play. A multitude of puppet artists are given sections of the story to reinterpret and create with wild abandon. Then it is presented in order. No one knows how it will come together until the night of the show.
Puppets Come Home! is a series designed to celebrate Coney Island’s 150-year legacy of puppetry & provide a platform for contemporary cutting-edge puppeteers. Produced in collaboration with Coney Island USA.
What is the first name that comes to mind when you hear the word puppet? Likely, it’s Jim Henson. Many books and thousands of pages have been written about Jim Henson’s life and work. This will, however, be the first book to focus solely on his love of the field of puppetry, an important and as yet unexplored aspect of Jim Henson’s lasting legacy. The Jim Henson Foundation’s International Puppet Festivals brought puppet theater into mainstream American theater.
Jim Henson knew that in order to introduce U.S. audiences to puppet theater our American companies would need to be seen with the best in the world. Thus, a festival! To realize Jim Henson’s vision for a puppetry festival in New York, the author served as producing director, working with Jim’s daughter Cheryl, who served as executive producer, to produce five award-winning festivals that would equal the European festivals and put U.S. puppet artists on the international stage.
Between 1992 and 2000, The Jim Henson Foundation presented five International Festivals of Puppet Theater in New York City and developed a national touring program. The festivals presented 136 different productions from 31 countries in 24 theaters throughout New York City. Over 120,000 people attended New York performances; nearly 400,000 saw exhibitions; 100,000 more attended Festival on Tour performances, and millions of people read about the festivals.
Out of the Shadows examines the festivals and their continued legacy, including a look at the contemporary puppet theater landscape. This year, 2020, is the 20th Anniversary of the last Henson Festival and the 30th Anniversary of Jim Henson’s death. It is time to reflect back.
The Slipper Room is a New York institution. A House of Variety!
The Slipper Room is facing serious financial difficulties.
I did a wonderful interview with producer James Habacker in 2016. I am posting it here for your viewing. In the meantime, I have put a link below the video to the GoFundMe campaign that is currently set up to help them make it back in one piece! Please Help!
Before the ‘pandemic’ hit NY I had the pleasure of attending a performance of “Nothing Here is Real” with Gary Ferrar. The show is held in a cellar at The Oxbow Tavern in the Upper West Side’. It is like a ‘speakeasy‘. Intimate and well-furnished. Gary’s performance persona is upbeat, charming and a little nerdy but he delivers a wonderful evening of mind-blowing magic and mentalism.
For more information about Gary’s upcoming shows visit his website!