Just Do Art, Week of Aug. 28, 2014
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | VOICES OF SWORDS | Rapidly aging members of Generation X and their somewhat younger (but by not necessarily youthful) Gen Y counterparts might find that the subject matter of Kari Floren’s latest play cuts a little too close to the bone — but they’ll be better off considering its implications sooner rather than later. “Voices of Swords” tackles issues of duty and mortality, by exploring the shifting dynamic that happens when children must assume the caretaker role. That’s an obligation not exactly embraced by Kosey, who hires fortysomething Alexis to spend time with his independent but ailing mother, Olivia. A personal organizer by trade, Alexis has problems of her own to sort out (an emotionally distant daughter, a failed marriage). The strain of helping this new family while attending to her own causes Alexis to reveal an explosive truth that has been causing the titular battle raging inside her mind.
Through Sept. 7. Mon.-Tues. at 7 p.m., Wed.-Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 3 & 8 p.m. (no 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 or 7 p.m. on Sept. 1); 3 p.m. matinee added on Sun., Sept. 7. At Walkerspace (46 Walker St., btw. Broadway & Church). For tickets (49), call 212-352-3101 or visit voiceofswords.com.
EMERGENCY!!! (THE WORLD TAKES A SELFIE)
If Nero had an iPhone and a Twitter account, his violin probably would have burned along with the rest of Rome. Flash forward to 2014, and society’s general level of distraction at the expense of what really matters has the potential to spell the end of our own empire — or even the world as we know it. Not so fast, says Theater for the New City’s Crystal Field, whose troupe of 30 street theater players have spent the month of August traversing all five boroughs performing an outdoor musical with a message.
“Emergency!!! (The World Takes A Selfie)” is unapologetic activism that lands satirical jabs at everything from our tech-obsessed society to corporate data mining to environmental destruction. Field’s family-friendly script, with a musical score Joseph Vernon Banks, moves as fast as its adrenaline junkie main character — an Emergency Medical Technician whose drive to put a cold compress on the problems of his fellow New Yorkers ends up going global.
Free. At 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 7 in Washington Square Park (1 Wash. Sq. E.), then at 7 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 13 in Tompkins Square Park (E. Seventh St. & Ave. A), then at 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 14 at St. Marks Church (E. 10th St. at Second Ave.). For more info, visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
CELLIST MAYA BEISER
With praise comes pressure. The New Yorker has declared Maya Beiser to be a “cello goddess” — while a similarly impressed New York Magazine declared, “Beiser is not the sort of musician who zigzags around the planet playing catalog music for polite and sleepy audiences. She throws down the gauntlet in every program.” On Sept. 4, Beiser appears at Le Poisson Rouge to live up to the hype — by performing excerpts from her new album: “Uncovered” (with support from bassist Gyan Riley and drummer Matt Kilmer). Recently released on the Innova Records label, “Uncovered” is an album of classic rock, re-imagined and re-contextualized by Beiser as more than mere homages to the original versions by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters, and AC/DC.
Thurs., Sept. 4, 7:30–8:30 p.m. at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleeker St., btw. Thompson & Sullivan Sts.). Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 day of. Standing: $15 advance, $20 day of. Call 212-505-3474 or visit lprnyc.com. For info on the artist: mayabeiser.com.