Last weekend my friend invited me to Atlantic Theatre Company’s main stage in Chelsea to see Marie and Rosetta. It was about Rosetta Tharpe, a guitar playing musician who brought some swing into gospel music, and when she auditioned Marie Knight, a young singer she saw performing in a church. I was interested mainly because Rebecca Naomi Jones was playing Marie, but I also knew the vocal tour de force Kecia Lewis as Rosetta would not disappoint.
The set was a simple funeral parlor, because black singers in that part of the south weren’t really welcome and they took what accommodations they could get. Through out the 90 minutes, the two performers continually get more comfortable with one another and practice different arrangements of Rosetta’s music. Once Marie sheds her church-girl facade, the two performers sync up and the music flows naturally.
I really loved seeing Jones perform again, having not seen her onstage since Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She’s just such a natural talent. I really enjoyed Kecia Jones, too, with her booming voice. The two were a badass duo.
Marie and Rosetta is playing through October 16th and totally worth seeing, even if you don’t know their music.
Kristen and I are seeing the new revival of Spring Awakening tonight. I loved this show so much when it was originally on Broadway – and off-Broadway – and I’m really excited to see it again. The score is just so good. I tried not to read too much about it, but I read that the contrast between the book scenes and musical scenes is kind of not there at all, which is disappointing.
I hope the cast is good. I hope Michael Arden’s staging is good. But in honor of tonight, I present you with a blurry photo of the the last production that was on Broadway in 2007. Old digital cameras were the best, right?
So, there really aren’t enough positive words in the English language to describe the powerhouse of talent that is Jan Maxwell. And when I was invited to see the Potomac Theatre Project’s New York premiere production of The Castle by Howard Barker, starring Ms. Maxwell, I jumped at the opportunity.
The Castle is centered around a village in England and what happens when the husbands who’ve been away at war for so long come home.
The women have taken a liking to one another while the males of the village aren’t present. Maxwell (as Skinner) is a leader of sorts (and a witch) for the women and detests the thought of having their husbands back in their village. She’s less than thrilled when one of her new lovers discovers that she’s still in love with her newly returned husband.
Jennifer Van Dyck as Ann, the lover of Maxwell, also gives a powerful performance laden with internal conflict. David Barlow as Ann’s husband, Stucley, made audiences laugh continuously with his quibbling portrayal of a man who doesn’t recognize the village, and wife, that he’s come home too.
The battle between the sexes has never been fiercer. The Castle is playing through August 4th at the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Stage 2. Click here for more information.
Thank you to DARR Publicity for the tickets!