Thursday, May 26, 2011

Behind the Scenes in Berlin

Our artistic director for Radio Bloomsday, the arts director for WBAI, Janet Coleman, is on tour with a show in the weeks leading up to June 16th. In between performances, she has been coordinating actors and engineers from hotels, backstage and afterparties in Europe. The Life! She writes to us today from Germany:

I am in Berlin with the New York City Players, opening tonight at the Hau Zwei in Richard Maxwell's "Neutral Hero." We started this tour almost five weeks ago with a premiere in Brussels, then shows in Vienna and Hamburg. We are sort of the international contingent of Radio Bloomsday, with the playwright/director Richard Maxwell and two of the players, Rosie Goldensohn and me, veterans of the WBAI Joyce marathon. For our opening run, we were joined in Brussels by even more Bloomsday players: Kate Valk (arriving right after the Wooster Group's Antwerp run of "Vieux Carre", Jim Fletcher (a non-touring New York City Player, also Jay Gatsby in the Elevator Repair Service's great production of "Gatz"), and Tori Vasquez (Daisy in "Gatz," and also Mrs. Richard Maxwell.Delores Maxwell, their daughter, is four years old, a temporary restraint on her ability to read "Ulysses," not on her status as a world traveller and theater goer.)

Rich Maxwell once described the setting of "NH," which takes place in an unnamed but richly described small-town in America -- possibly in Minnesota --as his Dublin. Like "Ulysses," it's an exploration of the hero myth though told in the most American of authorial voices.

I salute the Los Angeles contingent of Radio Bloomsday and its brilliant recorded work at KPFK, WBAI's sister station. I am thrilled that two of my favorite Second City alums, Bob Odenkirk and Paul Dooley were able to play together this year, not just wave at each other on Cahuenga Blvd.

After Berlin, the NYC Players returns to NYC for one day, then on for a week in Montreal. After that, for me, it's all James Joyce and Caraid O'Brien all the time. It's quite stunning to be in my airborn Dublin, Geniusville.

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