To cap off its 2011–12 season, J City Theater finds comic relief in the stages of grief with its production of the biting and bittersweet British romp The Memory of Water. The female-led ensemble piece surveys eccentric sisters Mary, Teresa, and Catherine as they quibble in preparation for their mother’s funeral. Quips fly at a machine-gun clip as the estranged siblings circle around childhood memories, strained romances, and the old wounds their mother's death has opened. Trying desperately to hold the trio together with her more-developed sense of responsibility, the unhappily married Teresa finds tightly wound expression in Rosalind Ashford, whose voice and acting chops have graced countless TV programs, audiobooks, and voiceovers. J City artistic director Sandy Cockrell steps into the role of middle child Mary as she struggles with memories of the son she placed for adoption at age 14.
A bullying incident escalates to all-out domestic warfare in Mile Square Theatre’s production of God of Carnage, a searing comedy that interrogates the assumed disparity between childish and adult behaviors. Penned by French playwright Yasmina Reza, the play centers on a pair of couples who meet under the pretense of civility to discuss a quarrel between their 11-year-old boys. The parents’ quest for resolution gradually deteriorates into a psychological head-butting contest, culminating in the moment when their inner toddlers break out pacifiers for a soft-sworded duel to the end. An outstanding cast of stage veterans draws laughter with a convincing performance, committing to the chaos while audience members chuckle and shift uncomfortably in their chairs.
The design of St. Aedan’s—the crown jewel of Saint Peter’s PAC’s network of event spaces—all but guarantees world-class bookings. With all the majesty of the 1,200-seat cathedral’s intricate brickwork and dazzling stained-glass windows bearing down on it, the stage seems to demand talent big enough to match the space’s grandeur. Throngs of polished marble pillars and golden angels flank internationally acclaimed musicians, choirs, and comedians. Several more modern venues also dot the campus, including an arena, several more intimate theaters and performance cubbies, and a new cabaret space backed by the Manhattan skyline.
Traditional recipes meet contemporary inventiveness at Hoboken Dhaba, where seafood, chicken, lamb, goat, and veggies meet vibrant spices and house-baked breads. Tandoori dishes, which are cooked in the traditional clay oven called a tandoor, include lobster, chicken, and Afghani-style lamb. Curries include fish, chicken, and goat, whereas vegetarian and vegan dishes incorporate saffron-cheese dumplings, tandoori beans and lentils, and roasted eggplant, which sprout from egg hunts' unfound prizes.
Art of the Stand-Up Comic brings together a quintet of gut-busting talents who elicit laughter in one evening of tag-team hilarity. Carole Montgomery shows off the wickedly deadpan sarcasm that has won her gigs on Comedy Central, ABC, and MTV, whereas the author of The Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing, Jim Mendrinos, tickles ribs with wry observational rants. Voice actor extraordinaire Brian Scott McFadden has lent his talents to such films as Ice Age II and Robots and interlaces high-energy monologues with hilarious impressions and characters. Also taking the stage, the youngest female comic to ever perform on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Liz Miele, mixes self-deprecating sarcasm with cutting insight, and Lori Sommer shows off the improvisational powers that led her to cofound the renowned Red Tie Mafia Improv Troupe.
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