bloody mary at csv

sorry for the paucity of posts but culturebot has been very very busy. between all the shows at P.S. 122 and tribute to spalding gray spring gala on thursday we have barely had time to breathe.

But we did make it down to CSV on Saturday night to see sometime-Culturebot contributor Rachel Shukert’s new play Bloody Mary.

Culturebot recommends the show and encourages you to go see it. Now, he is biased, since he has seen the show evolve over several incarnations and was, briefly, cast in an earlier version. That being said, the cool part of my job is seeing work grow over time and come into its own, to really come together into a well-written, well-directed, well-acted, well-structured show.

Bloody Mary is very funny, political without being overly obvious, and ambitious in scope. It is also different than most of the other work being done downtown. With a sensibility somewhere between Ludlam and Genet, the show is not formally experimental but it is very adventurous -and it is fun. It is an absurd, surreal, comic riff on the History play and Shakespearean Tragedy recounting the story of Queen Mary Stuart, the final Catholic monarch of England. The play addresses issues of religious war, fanaticism, deluded leaders and the inevitable disaster they bring in an ambitious and inventive way. Director Stephen Brackett’s staging is precise and imaginative and the actors are uniformly excellent.

While watching the show I was reminded of David Cote’s infamous review of Rabbit Hole where he marveled at the enormous amount of money spent on crap at the big theaters. I have no idea how much was spent on Bloody Mary but I’m sure it was far less. Still, it looked like a show that MTC or Playwrights could have produced if they would actually take a risk on ribald, risk-taking, adventurous new voices.

It is only running one more week, check it out.

BLOODY MARY, a comedy of tragic proportions
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street
Wednesday -Sunday 8pm
ONLY thru May 13th
Ticket price: $18
Where to purchase: Tickets available online at
or (212) 868-4444

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