Phew! What a crazy few days. What has happened since last we spoke? On Sunday we started early at the HERE Hybrid Performance Brunch where we saw excerpts from work by their HARP artists. That was pretty fun. Later we came back to P.S.122 to see a little bit more of COIL – this time Helen Herbertson‘s Strike 1, which was really magical.
Then off to the Australian Consulate for a little reception celebrating Australian dance and dancers. Mmmmmm. Meat pies.
Then back downtown to The Bowery Poetry Club for a special work-in-progress reading of Leftover Stories to Tell, which is an evening of work by Spalding Gray.
Lucy Sexton and Kathleen Russo have taken Spalding’s writing – finished work from his shows, diary entries, even poetry – and woven it together into a narrative telling the story of, and celebrating, Spalding’s life. Five actors take turns reading different stories. Whether or not you knew Spalding Gray or had seen his work, it is a very affecting evening. The most amazing aspect of it is how incredible the writing is. Listening to different actors with different personalities read Spalding’s words was amazing. It became evident that on some level the performed persona of “Spalding Gray” nearly overwhelmed the sheer brilliance of his writing. Maybe people took it for granted, on some level. But listening to his words again in this way you could really hear it again. And it felt good. Spalding was indeed a keen observer of human experience and a masterful storyteller. Like all great artists he found a way to show you things, show you truth, show you moments of transcendence in the mundane. Lots of people have tried to be Spalding, many more have told their stories in solo shows, but very, very few even hold a candle to what he did.
After that emotional experience, we had to drink.
Monday we headed up to City Center to see an excerpt of Anouk Van Dijk‘s Stau. It had just premiered at MASSMoCA and they brought it to NYC for APAP. Very cool – wish I could have seen the whole thing. From the press release: “STAU is about the proximity, both physical and emotional, between performers and the audience. Van Dijk challenges spectators’ comfort levels with dancers weaving in and out of the audience and leading the audience to different vantage points.”
Then over to The Kitchen for Richard Maxwell‘s “The End of Reality”. While we were waiting for the show to start my friend turned to me and said, “There’s Louie Anderson!” and I said, “Louie Anderson the fat comic? Why is he at a Richard Maxwell play?” “No,” she said, “Laurie Anderson.” Oh. So I turned around. I’ve been to The Kitchen lots of times but this was the first time I saw Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass all in the audience at the same time. Oh and the play was good too.
Then we raced back over to P.S.122 for the late night performance of Adrienne Truscott’s they will use the highways which was every bit as good as when it was here last year. Deadpan, smart and funny.
After that humorous experience, we had to drink.
Last night, finally, almost, a night off. The WYSIWYG Talent Show‘s first-ever film festival was a big hit with all kinds of videos from bloggers and videobloggers. OddTodd even showed up in person! And we had performances from The Variety Shac, The Hazzards and Jessy Delfino.
After that blogarrific performance, we had to drink. Plus we had to take the kids from BalletLab out for a good time. All night long. Because that’s how we do it here.