Monthly Archives: July 2011

THEATER REVIEW: “Brownsville Bred” at 59E59

The opening of Brownsville Bred takes the form of a mini multi-media presentation, with the text of the eponymous Brooklyn neighborhood’s Wikipedia entry scrolling over video images of the Langston Hughes projects. As a device, it’s a little contrived, and shows an unjustified lack of trust in the material that follows – which is a rich, poetic, and starkly honest portrayal of growing up in Brownsville in the 1980s.

The woman whose journey into adulthood we witness over the course of the evening is Elaine Del Valle, and even without the text introduction to the play, her performance was expressive enough that she filled in any blanks for those of us unfamiliar with Brownsville — or its reputation. Del Valle expresses a deftness with emotions through her performances, making it possible for the audience to travel with her through a range of experiences representing the life that eventually took this performer out of Brownsville.

 
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THEATER REVIEW: “Brilliant Traces” at the ArcLight Theater

Erica Linderman and William W. Warren are directed by Adam Fitzgerald in We Theater and Iron Jaw Company’s current production of Cindy Lou Johnson’s Brilliant Traces. The play, which runs about eighty minutes long, is an intense two-hander about a bride-to-be and a hermit whose paths cross in the wilds of Alaska.
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THEATER REVIEW: “Insidious” at Road Less Traveled Productions, Buffalo, New York

Xavier Harris as the titular Insidious

Sex can be deadly. Anyone who came of age during or after the AIDs crisis knows the line, “Every time you sleep with someone, you’re sleeping with every person they ever slept with.” And yet, people persist in making unwise and unsafe decisions when it comes to having sex – and, as shown in Insidious, currently being reprised at Road Less Traveled Productions in Buffalo, New York, unwise decisions can result in unintended, undesirable consequences.

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