Three and a half years ago, singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke put her career on hold as she cared for her mother, a poet and clown who had contracted Alzheimer’s. She has turned that experience into an album and a poignant new one-woman show, My Mother Has 4 Noses, which her failing mother encouraged her to write. “Almost daily she would say, ‘Boolie [my nickname], that’s good!’” Brooke explains on the show’s website. “‘Are you getting this down? We should make a play out of it!!’” Brooke, who has released such records as 10 Cent Wings, Steady Pull, and Careful What You Wish For, adds, “My Mother Has 4 Noses is my story, but it’s everyone’s story.” Among the songs Brooke wrote for the show are “My Misery,” “Superhero,” “Scars,” “Time,” “How Far You’d Go for Love,” and “What Was I Thinking?” all of which you can sample here.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Directed by Jeremy Cohen, My Mother Has 4 Noses is running at the Duke on 42nd St. through May 4, and twi-ny has four pairs of tickets to give away for free for performances through March 30. (Saturday matinees in March will be followed by a talk back with Brooke and various specialists on dementia and caregiving.) Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite play or movie about a mother and daughter to email@example.com by Monday, March 17, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; four winners will be selected at random.
In their Qatsi trilogy — 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, 1988’s Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, and 2002’s Naqoyqatsi: Life as War — director and producer Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass gave audiences unique audiovisual experiences of the modern world, combining slow motion with time-lapse photography and avoiding any dialogue, resulting in often mind-blowing scenes of life around the globe. Reggio, Glass, and Naqoyqatsi editor Jon Kane have collaborated again, this time on Visitors, a meditative examination of individual identity in technology-driven society. The wordless work, which features seventy-four shots in eighty-seven minutes, was filmed by Trish Govoni, Graham Berry, and Tom Lowe; Glass’s score is performed by Bruckner Orchestra Linz and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
“These films are not predicated on a narration in a traditional sense, meaning coming from literature. They come out of a form where the texture, the form, is the language of the film,” the New Orleans-born Reggio, a former monk, toldVisitors official presenter Steven Soderbergh in a recent interview. “We see the world through language. I know that. That’s why these films have no language. The reason for that is not for lack of love of language, it’s because at least from my limited point of view our language no longer describes the world in which we live. . . . So these films are not so much to entertain you as to watermark the audience, so I wanted to offer them something where they could reflect afterwards. These films are not aimed at the head or the cerebellum. They’re not aimed at making sense. They’re aimed at your solar plexus. They are a visceral form of cinema.”
In conjunction with the theatrical release of Visitors, the Museum of Arts and Design is hosting ”Life with Technology: The Cinema of Godfrey Reggio,” a complete retrospective through March 14 of Reggio’s shorts and full-length films in addition to a masterclass he and some of his collaborators will give on January 23.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Visitors opens January 24 at the Landmark Sunshine, and twi-ny has two pairs of tickets to give away for free to the 7:00 screenings on January 24 and 25, both of which will be followed by a Q&A with Godfrey Reggio and Jon Kane. Just send your name, daytime phone number, preferred screening, and favorite Godfrey Reggio film to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, January 23, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random for each screening.
DISASTER! A 70s DISASTER MOVIE . . . MUSICAL!
St. Luke’s Theater
308 West 46th St.
October 14 - December 31 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday), $39.50 - $79.50
Ah, those beautiful disaster flicks of the 1970s. With the country emerging from Vietnam and getting ready for Reaganism, Hollywood turned to star-studded epics loaded with death and destruction, on ground, sea, and air, with such classic fare as The Poseidon Adventure (Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine), Airport 1975 (Charlton Heston, Linda Blair, George Kennedy, Karen Black, Helen Reddy), The Towering Inferno (Steve McQeen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, O. J. Simpson), and Earthquake (Heston, Kennedy, Victoria Principal, Lorne Greene, Ava Gardner, Richard Roundtree, in Sensurround!), among a slew of other minor league efforts. With the country going down the tubes, the time is right to revisit those halcyon days, and Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie…Musical! does just that, riffing on those popular movies along with period songs, including such unforgettable 1970s hits as Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally),” Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood,” and ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down.” Written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, directed by Plotnick, and choreographed by Denis Jones, Disaster! originally ran at the Triad in early 2012 and is now back for an encore engagement at St. Luke’s Theatre, with a cool cast that features the ubiquitous Mary Testa, Tom Riis Farrell, Michele Ragusa, Jennifer Simard, and Rudetsky.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Disaster! begins previews October 14 prior to a November 4 opening, and twi-ny has four pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite disaster movie to email@example.com by Friday, October 11, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; four winners will be selected at random.
For more than ten years, New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya has been using a rather unique material to create his sculptures: LEGO bricks. And not any kind of special LEGO bricks; Sawaya, a former lawyer and LEGO employee who was born in Washington and raised in Oregon, uses only store-bought LEGOs to make his awe-inspiring replicas of human bodies, animals, fruit, bridges, dinosaurs, slot machines, bowling pins, chess pieces, motorcycles, buildings, sports equipment, cars, landmarks, houses, celebrity portraits, and more. Essentially just a big kid, Sawaya, an NYU graduate, has now brought together approximately one hundred of his unique, colorful works for “The Art of the Brick,” a playful exhibition at Discovery Times Square. Put together by hand based on drawings and computer research and using glue to keep them from falling apart (primarily during shipping), the sculptures can take Sawaya anywhere from a few hours to a few months to complete, depending on their size and detail. A life-size human, for example, consists of fifteen to twenty-five thousand bricks and takes between two and three weeks to finish. In addition to the Discovery Times Square show, his miniature versions of Patience and Fortitude, the lions who guard the New York Public Library, can be seen just inside the Fortieth St. entrance.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: “The Art of the Brick” is open daily from ten a.m. until seven, eight, or nine o’clock through January 5, and twi-ny has two sets of four tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite childhood building toy to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 4, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random.
The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
August 8 - October 5, $25-$95
Nominated for an unprecedented thirteen Midtown International Theatre Festival awards last year and winning seven — for Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Script (Otho Eskin), Outstanding Direction (Ludovica Villar-Hauser), Outstanding Costume Design (Jenny Green), Outstanding Lead Actor (Michael Goldsmith), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Stephen Bradbury), and the Producers’ Award — Final Analysis is moving off Broadway to the Pershing Square Signature Center after a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $50,000, running in repertory with Breakfast with Mugabe in the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre through early October. The play takes place in a single day in a coffee shop in 1910 Vienna, where a collection of influential intellectuals, artists, and leaders delve into art and science, corruption and morality, anti-Semitism and power, and the nature of evil, addressing the central question “Is hate love’s dark companion?” The play features Ezra Barnes as Gustav Mahler, Elisabeth Jasicki as Alma Maria, Gannon McHale as Sigmund Freud, Tony Naumovski as Joseph Stalin, Michael Satow as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Stephen Bradbury as a waiter, and Ryan Garbayo as a mysterious young man, with Villar-Hauser once again directng. There will be postperformance discussions on August 28 about Mahler’s conducting of the first uncut version of Wagner’s The Ring in August 1910; on September 11 on hate and madness; and on September 25 focusing on Freud.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Tickets for Final Analysis are $25-$95, but twi-ny has three pairs to give away for free to performances August 8-30. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite Viennese intellectual to email@example.com by Thursday, August 8, at 5:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.
BREAKFAST WITH MUGABE
The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
August 7 - October 6, $25-$95
For more than thirty years, Robert Mugabe has been either prime minister or executive president of Zimbabwe, continually accused by the international community of multiple human rights violations. Currently in the midst of a campaign to remain president, he just publicly denounced homosexuality yet again, even bringing decapitation into the mix. “If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads,” he declared. A dozen years ago, the then-seventy-seven-year-old Mugabe started believing that former guerrilla leader Josiah Tongogara, who died in a car crash in 1980, was haunting him for turning his back on his beliefs. This strange but true tale forms the basis of Fraser Grace’s Breakfast with Mugabe, which examines Mugabe’s fear of Tongogara’s ghost. Originally produced at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Other Place in 2005, the play is making its New York debut August 7 – October 6 at the Pershing Square Signature Center, directed by David Shookhoff and starring Michael Rogers as Mugabe, Rosalyn Coleman as his second wife, Grace, Ezra Barnes as psychiatrist Andrew Peric, and Che Ayende as bodyguard Gabriel.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Tickets for Breakfast with Mugabe are $25-$95, but twi-ny has three pairs to give away for free to performances August 7-31. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time most-hated international dictator to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, July 31, at 5:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.