One Last Chautauqua Re-cap

Just got back from the final performance of NTUSA’s Chautauqua. And I’m sure the world doesn’t need another reviewer talking about how wonderful it was. It is just a really extraordinary, smart, fun, entertaining and intelligent piece of theater. It should really tour to every town in America – its the embodiment of what live performance can be. They do tons of research on a place, have guest lecturers and really use the information of their physical environment to build the show. I hear that it was great in Nashville and also Minneapolis. It is a shame that one of the original commissioners (UCLA Live) chose to back out of the project. Maybe REDCAT will take it, because this show would be great in Los Angeles; Lookingglass in Chicago should take it, On The Boards in Seattle, Seven Stages in Atlanta, etc. – there are so many cities with rich, fascinating histories that would LOVE this show!!

For those of you who know the history of PS122 and the downtown world – a quick quiz to see if you picked out the imagery in the big dance number at the end? If you paid attention you would have seen the NTUSA dancers pay homage to John Jasperse & Jennifer Monson, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Karen Finley, Ethyl Eichelberger and PS122’s first program, Open Movement. (I may have missed one or two references). As in Yehuda’s project One Million Forgotten Moments, the dance number was this swirling semi-abstract historical epic tying together multiple strands of narrative and memory, predicated on place, reinforcing the interconnectedness of ideas and art through time. Beautiful.  

The whole show was quite an accomplishment. Kudos all around.

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