Queen of Hearts, currently playing through November 2, is everything I’ve come to expect from a Company XIV show, in the best way possible. Whenever I hear that Company XIV has a new show, I expect a stage filled with sexy people doing high kicks, acrobatics, and inventive covers of my favorite pop songs. It’s a few hours of escape from the real world into one of decadence and light-hearted debauchery. Queen of Hearts was all of it, but there was something more this time around that I wasn’t expecting.
In Johnny G. Lloyd’s new play Patience, a young black queer man grapples with the pressures of black excellence, building a life with his fiance, and maintaining his status as the world’s #1 ranked Solitaire player. Despite having a busy weekend closing out the Corkscrew Theater Festival, Johnny took the time to answer a few questions about the show and the challenges of making a solo card game compelling on stage.
Patience, a new play by Johnny G. Lloyd, is closing out this year’s Corkscrew Theater Festival at the Paradise Factory in the East Village (64 E 4th Street). Tickets are $24 and available for purchase online here, and multi-ticket passes for the Corkscrew Theater Festival are available online here.
The term “immersive theater” has been thrown around so much in recent years that it has lost much of its meaning and purpose as a storytelling device. Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More is an example of doing it right, letting the audience explore the story as they please and have different experiences on each visit. Mamma Mia! The Party is tourist-friendly, and it’s more of an excuse for audiences to drink and dance to ABBA songs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Even the newest Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, which is already unconventional enough, is serving corn bread and chili at intermission.
Just as audiences are starting to get immersive theater fatigue, writer Matt Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker (Kapow-i GoGo, Puffs) come along with a premise that is insanely ambitious, technically challenging to say the least, and gobsmackingly brilliant. Their new play The Magnificent Revengers, which is currently playtesting at the People’s Improv Theater, is a choose-your-own-adventure revenge Western. Using their phones, the audience votes on a wide range of decisions, including whether to kill or spare an enemy, buy a boat, and which of your companions will get a pretty flower. Some of these decisions may seem minor, but there are always consequences down the road.
A Modest Proposal, which played January 25 thru 27 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, imagines a dystopian future where a totalitarian government has taken extreme measures to curb the population. The ruling political party stays in power by feeding the population an unending stream of cheery propaganda, extolling the virtues of figurehead Dr. Swift (Adam Foldes). Swift is credited with shaping the new world order, one that revolves around firmly maintaining births and deaths. Any addition needs a subtraction, so the government encourages people to commit suicide at a convenient facility. Grandparents do it to make room for their grandchildren. Others do it to serve the greater good. Some do it because they can’t stand the thought of living in this world anymore.
Anthology play Broken Pieces will play its final two performances on Saturday, July 28 at 3:15 PM and Monday, July 30 at 7:15 PM as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Before ending its run, playwright Mateo Moreno (Bohemian Valentine, Paper Airplanes) chatted about current events that shaped the show and why he challenges his audience, even if it makes them uncomfortable.
Broken Pieces, a new play by Mateo Moreno, is running as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, at the Teatro LATEA @ The Clemente (located at 107 Suffolk Street), thru July 30. Tickets are $25, benefiting Planned Parenthood. Tickets are available online here or at the door.