This past month has brought New York City residents more snow and slushy days spent narrowly escaping mini curbside lakes than the past few years combined. Fortunately, one of my favorite Left Coast artists arrived to help me bare it! Sadly, she left Friday morning and I already miss you greatly Ariel Goldberg… but the night before she left she took me to one of my favorite places in town, St. Mark’s Church, to see her friend Jess Barbagallo‘s new play SATURN NIGHTS. Saturn Nights is running January 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; Feb 1, 3, 4, 5 (8pm curtain) and I firstly would like to say I suggest ya’ll go check it out. It’s super weird. I’m not sure how articulate a review I can offer, but I would suggest you see it!
Saturn Nights is a dark play both in the physical sense and content wise. I tried to take notes during it, but most of my notes ended up written word upon written word that created a great collage affect that maybe I’ll incorporate into one of my paintings but due to my lack of memory, makes for difficulty in reviewing. Let me see… The play used a lot of mixed media tactics to slowly unfold a mysterious story full of dark truths and characters that seemed very odd, mundane and alone in their peculiarities with desires as American as ketchup. The acting in the play is superb and the dialogue gives attention to the small details that playwrights often overlook, offering audiences the chance to open their vision to odd complexities they’d normally not recognize. Spiritual epiphanies occur. An omnipresent radio narrator with a smooth lustrous voice strings characters along and offers weird insights into the cult of spirituality and its crossing with the cult of personality. The family the play follows believes their “dead” father is meditating in the backyard near a hole that many characters often look into simply because it seems there is something beautiful in the whole worth looking at. Many joints are smoked. Incest again tries to snare a relative. Basically, if you believe paganism should triumph over all then yes, you should see Saturn Nights. I think I’m going to go see it one more time as well!
Directed by Meghan Finn
Lucy Alibar, Emily Davis, Joseph Gregori, Nic Grelli, Laryssa Husiak, LaToya Lewis, Rachel Murdy, Kristen Sieh, Anna Foss Wilson & Greg Zucculo
Set Design by Mary Chan
Sound Design by Chris Giarmo
Video Design by Jared Mezzocchi
Lighting Design by Paul Toben
Costume Design by Michael De Angelis
Friday my heart began aching for love so I headed to the Old Stone House – the oldest house in Brooklyn still standing – for a poetry reading put on by Ugly Duckling Presse. Cedar Sigo, Julian Brolaski, and Kate Colby were on the bill, all are Ugly Duckling Press authors, the latter two are newbies to the press. Cedar opened up the night, my favorite line being “I have ladies eyelashes/ my ears stick out/ but I am smart” and yeah Cedar is great. I’ve been a fan of his since I lived in the Bay Area, which I sadly said said goodbye to quite a while ago.
Julian Brolaski and Kate Colby followed Cedar’s lead. Both have recently been published by Ugly Duckling and the press showed its range by housing both readers in the same night. Julian was witty, funny and very young whereas Kate was more traditional and serious in tone. Throughout the night I kept reloading pages on my phone hoping a certain someone would respond to me. I hate the anxiety and inability of being able to focus when the need for response overtakes all others. With global instant communication bound to human fingers, it seems we will never get what we want when we feel we need it.
Thank god for artistic deviations from personal obsessions, without cheap escapes I’m pretty sure there would be many more bullets in heads.