Last week, 59E59 theatre on 59th street kicked off the “East to Edinburgh” festival: a collection of thirteen more or less ‘experimental’ performances.
The festival highlights shows that will participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, possibly the most popular theatre and art event of the world.
If you’ve ever attended the Edinburgh Fringe, you know that it is an amazing art event that completely engulfs the Scottish city every August for three weeks. There are so many events that every nook and cranny of the town is claimed by someone performing. Every theatre venue, every location, every cafe, square or patio has its own programming. The choice is almost overwhelming and the festival app helps you to navigate among the infinite options (there were over 3,500 shows in 2018). Actors, performers, dancers, acrobats and street artists are everywhere; it’s the epitome of arts and a brilliant experience to live.
The Edinburgh Fringe exists since 1947 and since the last few years, the festival at 59E59 theatre has offered a “rehearsing opportunity” to the productions that will travel to Scotland next month. East to Edinburgh offers a great variety of shows ranging from comedy to drama and mostly all ‘experimental’.
Here’s the list of what’s on show:
“I’m Coming”, written and performed by Molly Brenner and directed by Joanna Simmons. It’s a comedy show that talks about sexuality in a positive and honest way.
“Leaves” performed by Alex Highsmith, Amanda Lea Mason, and Eryn O’Sullivan pays homage to Walt Whitman and represents a world where nobody dies, only leaves. Reminiscent of the magical settings of author Saramago?
“The Presented”, written and performed by Chris David is a 50 minutes fast-paced and energetic monologue in which the actor tells the audience what it is like to be in acting.
“Life is Full of Rejections” and “this is not the real me, the real me would never do the show. This is the character that does me”, says David. He then goes on to recount the first time he got auditioned… for a part that didn’t have any lines! “You will be a mute Anglo-Saxon”, is what he was told.
“Hello, Daddy” written and performed by Sam Morrison makes the audience laugh. It’s the tale of a gay man not yet out of the closet, his adventures and awkward moments.
“I Am,” written and directed by Stacy Lynn Gould and performed by Margot Dale, Lauren Hendon, Aleksandr Krapivkin, Amber Lageman, and Courtney Megaro takes place in the “mental space” of an insecure woman. She claims “I want to fly” and yet she’s dependent, scared and tortured by her hidden demons. The promise of surrealism is unfortunately not fulfilled and the show misses its opportunity to remain ‘subtle’.
“I’m Just Kidneying” written and performed by Amanda Nicastro is the story of a woman who donates one of her kidneys to save two lives. She’s an ‘urban hero’ who will have to go through city adventures such as taking her urine samples on the NYC underground.
“Madame Komondor Will See You Now”, is written and performed by Krista Komondor, an expert sexologist. “Hetaira”, performed by Allie Jessing and Steph Babirak is a show about finding similarities among Socrates, Galileo and Mozart.
“Static” written and performed by Daniel Amedee and Conor Kelly O’Brien, is a show between theatre and live music. It’s the story of someone coping with his father’s mental illness thanks to the power of music.
“Agatha is Missing!” written and performed by Prudence Wright Holmes, is the story of a detective, Miss Clarissa Marbles, who needs to solve the mystery of Agatha Christie’s disappearance while “Voice of Authority” written and performed by Dean Temple, tells the story of a man who goes to work for his rich uncle only to find out that he has fled and owes the Feds a few million dollars.
“Hitler’s Tasters” produced by “New Light Theater Project” with Hallie Griffin, MaryKathryn Kopp, Kaitlin Paige Longoria, and Hannah Mae Sturges, is a dark comedy, based on true facts, about Adolf Hitlers’ food tasters.
“Monica: this Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky” produced by “Via Brooklyn” talks about sex, scandals and secrets. There’s a Monica who needs to survive the attacks and bullying of the media. Sounds familiar, right? The selection of shows is wide. For more info, visit www.59e59.org