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The Hundred We Are..3 stages of women

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threestagesofwomen

 

 

Having just spent many hours at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN and taking in so many atrocities of social injustice against my gender, I was hesitant to attend The Hundred We Are, a play about women’s issues written by a man. I shouldn’t have worried. Jonas Hassen Khemiri, a Swedish playwright, has no problem understanding the plight of women’s many life decisions and the regrets that both sexes, but women with historically less opportunity, must feel as they age. In this story, three women play different ages of one, and one speaks as the shadow.

I’ve seen many shows at the Cell Theatre and the Origin group are always inventive. For this play though, the use of projected words and the balcony space, didn’t add much to the story. I wasn’t aware of why the one actress  (Kitty Chen) wasn’t speaking, and though it may have had to do with memorization issues, her acting was so good that I appreciated her pantomime, especially as the voices of the other actors were so strong. They were all terrific; Mirirai Sithole, Caitlin Cisco and especially Orlagh Cassidy, whose range of emotions were full and honest.

I’ve not seen his other works, and though I do admire the intention, the devise of three women playing aspects of one required too much thinking for me to fully contemplate their plight. When she leaves her husband to travel the world, I wanted to know more about why she felt the need to return to a husband who among other deficits, had smelly pants.

The question of whether to live one’s life or worry about the lives of others and even do something for them was particularly timely, having just faced the plight of so many around the world. I imagine that it’s a question we may all ask ourselves as we age

The Origin (George C. Heslin, artistic director) always produces daring political shows. Directed by Erwin Maas, the play runs until April 8.

 

Written by nancykoan

March 28, 2016 at 1:15 am

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THEY WALK AMONG US

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alienBy permission of Phillip Birch, artist
Lyles & King Gallery

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If the Donald thinks he’s got problems with outsiders coming into the U.S, imagine the anxieties of Professor David M. Jacobs. After fifty years of research into the UFO phenomenon, creating the ICAR (International Center for Abduction Research) and writing four books on the subject, Jacobs is confident that aliens are here already and walking among us. And unlike Michael Rennie’s character Klaatu in The Day The Earth Stood Still, they are up to NO GOOD. Even a wall won’t keep them out.

We may be talking about a subject many people still find incredulous, but Dr. Jacobs has solid credits. He received his PhD from University of Wisconsin in intellectual history, but finding the UFO phenomenon fascinating, wrote his dissertation on the controversy of UFOs. He’s only recently retired from Temple University in Philadelphia where his specialization was 20th century American pop culture.

With a billowy cloud of white hair, and intense bespectacled eyes, Jacobs is not exactly what one might expect in an abduction specialist. He has a good sense of humor, but then, he has to. After 900 hypnosis sessions with 140 abductee clients, he’s heard it all. One of the tenets for studying the Kabbalah is that it’s important to have reached one’s fortieth birthday before taking on the study of this mystical part of Judaism. It’s believed that by forty, a little maturity may have formed, even in men. In Jacobs’ case, it is very important that he was married for a long time as well as being more mature. The sexual goings on with the aliens and their abductees is pretty heady stuff — vulnerable subjects may be less prone to share their intimate stories as openly with younger hypnotists.

Jacobs regards hypnosis as very down to earth. He feels it’s only slightly different than normal consciousness and not an altered state. The client is relaxed and better able to remember repressed abduction situations. Jacobs is not bothered by the idea of false memories. His subjects have verifiable proof of absence from locations, time lapse and bodily marks, internally and externally.

There are many therapists dealing with the subject, but according to Jacobs, they are practicing in a New Age style camp and don’t realize what’s at stake. Since UFO super star Bud Hopkins’ death, Jacobs is one of the only people doing this kind of research. He is emphatic about the coming danger from aliens and feels has an urgent responsibility, not only to his subjects, but to the world.

I didn’t ask him for personality bios on his subjects. I’ve read enough to know that people from all walks of life have claimed to have had this experience, including Ronald Reagan and Simon Parkes, a city labor councilor from the UK who went public on British television. Jacobs says that there are abductees on every continent.

I mentioned a friend to him who claims to have seen extraterrestrials outside the entrance to the BMT subway one early morning on his way to a proofreading job. They appeared to Sam to be giant fruit flies with pointed teeth. Jacobs seriously doubted that they were real. According to him, one only sees aliens if they are actually being abducted. My friend might be an abuductee, but what he remembers is flawed. Plus, one is never abducted in a crowd. Good news for Trump rallies.

Now my own doubts started to simmer. Was the spaceship I spotted on my upper West side roof one July 4th actually an abduction and what seemed like only seconds passing was in fact a couple of missing hours? Was I swept away? Is that why I was late for the poker party?

Dr. Jacob’s subjects have memories even I wouldn’t wish on a Republican. Bug eyed aliens sticking instruments into female abductees’ navels, stealing their eggs, getting them pregnant, and then a few weeks later, getting them unpregnant. It’s so hideous that even with the claims of the occasional cosmic orgasm, many abductees are happy to have lost the memories. Still, it’s those nagging feelings and nightmares that drive them to David’s office for help.

Perhaps many of our fables are really covers for abductions. What about that flying carpet? And did Dorothy, too, eventually realize that Oz was nothing more than another galaxy and those weird cramps she had back in Kansas were symptoms of implants? Jacobs’ patients’ stories are filled with villainous activity even more despotic than the bad Witch.

What separates Jacobs’ theories from other researchers and abductees who claim that the alien experience is benevolent, is that he’s positive they are not. Based on the information given while ‘under’, the subjects insist that the harvesting of eggs is not merely an experiment to study the human body, but a dark project of immense proportions. Jacobs says that the aliens have been reproducing with humans for a long time making hybrids; now there’s a human like group called hubrids who will assist their true alien culture into moving here and taking over ours. The purpose of the long term cross-fertilization is so they can do it without ruffling too many feathers.

I asked him what these hubrids looked like and would they stand out in a crowd? “From what I can tell, hubrids have no overt physical differences between them and humans. The only differences are in brain function, e.g. the ability to control humans neurologically.’ He calls this brain scanning, something the aliens are able to do by using their big black eyes to sear right through the human psyche.

My thoughts went to artist Margaret Keane who painted faces with black limpid peepers. Had she been abducted or was she a hubrid? Was she perhaps preparing us for the onslaught?

“They might have other brain differences as well — I am not sure if they go into a sleep-like state at night or if they do not sleep at all. The best I can say is that sleep does not appear to them to be important. Also, they are very quick learners and they appear to have superior memories. If there are these differences, then there very well might be others.”

A lot of my friends have sleep apnea these days. Is there a connection?

Jacobs started receiving instant messaging on his computer from someone he suspected as being the hubrid that had been hanging out with one of his clients. It was as if the alien was spying on him or perhaps trying to scare him off. The hubrid’s questions had an innocent, socially undeveloped point of view that they was almost childlike. Actually, sounds like a lot of my own internet correspondence.

“They are still trying to learn our ways. We don’t know what happens to a hubrid after he or she breaks off from the abductees. My assumption is that they have learned enough to be confident and that they can easily blend into any human society.”

Apparently, there are a few classes of aliens. Who are the soldiers?

“I am not sure what you mean by soldiers. The top guns are insect-like and they haven’t been interested in merging with our DNA. There is no evidence that the insectalins will change form to conform to human standards. They will remain in their own form. These Insectalins have put together others to help carry out their long term plans. They are crucially important cogs in the aliens’ plans. They have created the hubrids (hybrids who are living here) to do those duties.“

Ah, a pure race of insects. So comforting. Mothra, the singing butterly from a Japanese sci fi film comes to mind. I wondered what galaxy these super bugs are from.

“They do not discuss this. In fact would be impossible to explain this to a human because if they have a name for their planet, that name would mean nothing to us. Where they come from is useless knowledge. The only thing that is important is what these aliens are here for and what they will be doing to us. “

Dr. Jacobs speaks in a neutral tone until he talks about the scary future. I’m very good with faces and begged him for more details on their look…couldn’t I pick them out at a movie line?

“Only abductees know them because they have been introduced to them on board a UFO. There might be other ways abductees can recognize them, but that is a longer story. (We never got back to that) However, non-abductees would not be able to know who they are by their physical appearance. They have been bred to look absolutely average in order to not stand out.”

He kept repeating the plan that the abductees reported to him during hypnosis. They say that the aliens refer to it as the Change. Of course, I thought of menopause what with all the sexual business and then there’s the obvious, climate change?

“No, the abduction phenomenon can be dated back to the early part of the 20th century. There wasn’t a climate change problem when the alien program was already fully established. People thought it was the atomic bomb that led the aliens to intervene. There is absolutely no evidence for that whatsoever. What they are doing in unrelated to human actions.”

Was there a time frame for this ‘change’?

“I think time is on their side. We do not know how long insectalins live. If they have been doing this since the early 20th century, time is obviously not of major consequence. My sense of it is that time means very little and they and they will finish when their project is ready to be finished.”

Ok, maybe there’s time to make a survival plan. If the one -percenters haven’t bought up all the tickets to the first voyage to Mars, we could leave the earth. The image of waves of refugees pouring into NASA with ruthless ticket scalpers hawking at the launching pad killed that idea. Clearly, there will be no place to hide what with the insects’ advanced brain scanning tricks.

Dr. Jacobs added softened the story …he said they might not be cruel, but will definitely take away our will. We will no longer be independent, but subject to the rules and philosophy of a sort of cosmic fascism. Where have I heard that before?

What of inter-species marriage? They say you never really know your partner, really. How many are already here? Did we marry them? Do they live next door? Will they rebel from the mother planet once they get a taste of Netflix and chipolte?

Invasion by another country or planet isn’t funny. If the accounts of the aliens’ shameful probings are any indication of their health care policies, I’d rather keep Obama Care. We citizens just don’t know enough to discount this information. The government may know more and aren’t saying. Dr. Jacobs hopes to continue his research and helping abductees. Perhaps one of his patients will eventually remember something…something that a hubrid or a hybrid or even a grey slipped out when they had had too much oxygen…something that we can do to save ourselves and the earth. Maybe time will be on our side, too.

Dr. Jacobs will be speaking at Contact in the Desert, June 3-6, Joshua Tree

Written by nancykoan

March 26, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Ladies of Juarez

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In honor of The Commission on the Status of Women and all the missing people, all around the planet.

 

 

 

limbonlimb

limbonlimb

 

THE LADIES OF JUAREZ

The ladies of Juarez

Have given their lives,

Back to the mother,

With deeply sealed eyes.

 

Why were they taken,

By those with brute force,

When if asked just to dance,

Would have loved to, of course.

 

The ladies of Juarez

Are broken and torn,

Back to the Mother,

She, alone, will mourn.

 

Why were they wasted

By thick heavy arms,

When flowers on offer,

Would have lit their hearts warm.

 

The ladies of Juarez,

Have given their lives,

Back to the mother,

With deeply sealed eyes.

Written by nancykoan

March 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm

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A Wall Worth Listening to, Brit Floyd is Back

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On the heels of its hugely successful 146 concert date tour around the globe in 2015, Brit Floyd, who is considered to be the world’s greatest Pink Floyd Show, will be here, to share a journey of fifty years of Pink Floyd. They promise to play from the huge catalogue of music, performing favorites from The Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were HereAnimalsThe Wall and The Division Bell. This year they are performing their rendition of Echoes, in its entirety, from the landmark album Meddle.

I was fortunate to be in the audience at the Beacon Theater last year. As our universe opens up in all directions, The Wall symbol seems even more instructive as we contemplate Donald Trump’s plans for US borders. Then there is the subject of the Berlin Wall in the film Bridge of Spies and the highly politicized walls of old Jerusalem. With this in mind, I spoke to musical director, lead vocalist and guitarist Damian Darlington about their upcoming tour.

 

—-7_31_15_BritFloyd_Citone_Kabik_1-4277_Paul Citone

N: I loved the show last year… was blown away. What can we expect in 2016?

Damian: It’s a continuation of last year’s theme, celebrating fifty years of Pink Floyd. We’ll play a representative set list of their career, bringing in new songs and songs not done in a while, like Echo, the whole side of the original metal album.

We’re playing four songs never done before. We really want people to have the chance to experience the music live.

N: Where have you felt the greatest reception?

Damian: USA is top on the list…then there’s Eastern Europe, Slovenia, Belarus, Bulgaria… and Lebanon.  Five thousand people must demonstrate its universal appeal.

N: What makes it so universal?

Damian: Well, the quality of the songs, they’re timeless; they don’t age. The things being explored in the lyrics are truly timeless; the music is beautiful. What’s being said…like in The Dark Side of the Moon…the themes are life and death and madness. It’s not overtly political… they make general comments on life.

At this point, I brought up of Roger Waters, lyricist and co-founder of Pink Floyd. He has been political in a few arenas like UK hunting and global change and more recently making waves by backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (DBS) movement against Israel. He has been called anti-Semitic by the director of the Anti-Defamation League and criticized Bon Jovi for performing in Israel. He insists that he is against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and not anti-Semitic.

N: So what about Roger Waters… will your show deal with his politics?

Damian: Roger Waters lost his father in the war and deals with his anti-war sentiments in The Wall and Final Cut. But that’s his own feeling of having lost a father to war. We’re about the music. I don’t think it affects our concert. I’ve had no personal experience with that.

N: One of most exciting parts of your show last year was the visuals. The art and light show were amazing…what’s happening this year?

Damian: Artist Bryan Kolupski will be on tour with us again.  Very lucky.

Bryan Kolupski, an American artist, creates the phenomenal animation and videos for the backdrop screen.

N: How do you keep your energy up …you really give the audience your all… an amazing output of musical skill, power and stagecraft.

Damian: Well, we’re toughened living on the road. And lucky for us, it’s still fun. And the music is great.

Brit Floyd will be at the Beacon Theatre on April 8 in New York City. See the sites for other dates around the country and Canada.

www.britfloyd.com

www.facebook.com/britfloydshow

www.youtube.com/britfloydshow

http://bk1productions.com/

Written by nancykoan

March 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Snow White aka No Room for Rivals

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Snow White 1-5431 (2)

photos by Mark Shelby Perry

Gliding into Austin McCormick’s world is like waking up in a snow globe, perfect in its stillness, better when shaken. His visual artistry and stagecraft is completely magical and in Snow White, everything but white. The darkness of his staging is Weimar, a perfect landscape for the retelling of this Brother Grimm’s fairy tale. The poor Queen is aging —OMG, and with that the fear of future rivals replacing her position of chief intoxicator.  And who would that be but little Snow White.

 

As played by Hilary Bodin, Snow White seems more childlike than sexual rival. She is short, square and muscular while The Queen, excellent Laura Careless, all sinuous moves, should feel no real threat. But alas, the mirror of narcissism tells her she is no longer the ONE, so all efforts to destroy the rival must be put into place.

The crew of lovers and assistants, wearing blonde wigs like African tribesman, serve her erotic needs as well as ours as they prance, and fall under her spell of power. Alas, they cannot bring Snow White’s heart, so the Queen must be deceived.

The original Snow White has many attempts by the evil step-mother to do in her charming competitor, but plot wise, it felt like one attempt too many. Somewhere it might have been fun to have watched her check in with her shrink instead of another aborted attempt at destroying Snow White, but when she tries to suffocate her with corset ribbons; it is a beautifully choreographed and staged scene.

Marcy Richardson’s operatic vocal addition is just how you want to hear a fairy tale sung. A little more air space in  the first half might be nice. Between trying to understand all the German and keep up with the furious dance, I was ready for a break and a drink from this mother- daughter trauma tale.

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The terrific circus performances gave me just that after intermission; a respite from all the tension. And when the Prince (Courtney Giannone) arrives on a Cyr wheel, all the magic falls back into place.

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That less was made of the rescue of Snow White by her male hero is perhaps a true feminist touch. Snow White rescues herself finally by putting her mother away.  It seems the Grimm’s had trouble with the ending and this ending, too, seemed less dynamic than the rest of the production. Maybe a botched face lift would be more appropriate than a burning. Still, ding dong, the witch is dead and beauty and youth prevail.

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McCormick has great taste in music, mixing highbrow with klezmer. Jeannette Oi-Suk Yes, the lighting designer thrills with her magic mirror projections and the glass enclosed coffin by set designer  Zane Pihistrom, is the stuff of dreams.

Performers: Marisol Cabrera, Lea Halle, Nicholas Katen, Malik Shabazz Kitchen, Mark Osmundson, Davon Rainey.

Company XIV’s adult only world premiere of Snow White, conceived, directed and choreographed by Drama Desk Award nominee Austin McCormick is running Off-Broadway until March at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane) in NYC. The show contains partial nudity – 16 & over admitted. For more info visit http://CompanyXIV.com

Written by nancykoan

February 6, 2016 at 3:39 am

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JERUZALEM of Gold, this is not

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If you’ve never been to Israel, the apocalyptic film Jeruzalem may not be the best introduction to the Middle East, but it sure is a great travelogue for the ancient city.  Shot like the queen of indie hand held horror, Blair Witch Project, Jeruzalem  shows us a hip, ancient town with winding streets that lend itself to the possibility of always getting lost.  And with Sarah, one of the film’s protagonists, wearing Google glasses that spells out every visual nuance, we have a techno look into the mysterious city that makes so many religious crazy to possess.

jeruzalemblonde

Sarah (Yael Grobglas) of what looks like somewhere in Florida has only recently lost her beloved brother and is sent on a fun trip with adorably blonde Rachel (Danielle Jadelyn) to forget it all for a while. Rachel and Sarah behave like all young women today…openly sexual, ready for fun and not too serious about the country and its history. When they meet anthropologist Kevin (Yon Tumarkin), Sarah overlooks his boring yammering about biblical prophecies…”he’s got a great butt.”

In the coolest hostel since Eat Pray Love, they meet sexy Omar (Tom Graziani), the Arab owner’s son, who plays host, showing them hip Klezmer clubs and to- die-for views of the old town. He and Rachel hit it off and Sarah, being high strung from her recent loss, goes walking more than once alone… each turn of the road, we expect trouble. Dogs bark, shadows fall and then suddenly she’s back safely at the hostel. But the tension the Paz brothers create in this part of the film is classic and borrowed (think the red hooded character in Don’t Look Now) and quite scary.

The juxtaposition of computer data on the screen with demons of a primeval order of winged ones works well. The fact that a cave drawing of one of these creatures looks a lot like a marijuana plant should not confuse anyone… this is not a pot induced dream. Jerusalem syndrome is quite real in this film; people lose their minds trying to come to terms with the holiness of it all. For poor Kevin, the knowledge that Yom Kippur is right around the corner and bringing with it a prophecy of doom for those inside the gates, is too much.

No spoiler me, let’s just say their holiday on the Day of Judgment aint much fun. Monstrous things happen that even Israeli soldiers  with Uzi’s can’t stop it. When Omar’s dad decides to use a cave for an escape route, one of the soldiers tells the Arab, with typical Israeli humor, that “it’s a stupid idea, but it might work.”

jeruzalem monster

Prayers are made, fingers crossed and read Jeremiah for the rest of the story.

Yoav and Doron Paz have made a novel peek into hell. Rotem Yaron can be thanked for the wild shooting and Yuval Bar-on’s sound design is striking.

This film opens in New York this weekend.

Written by nancykoan

January 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

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When All the World was Very Young..

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24-bowie-rex

courtesy of The Independent

 

I was working in the art department of RCA Records the year they held the David Bowie look=alike contest. He was a huge star on their label. They had their classical Red Seal  but Bowie was the rocket ship  that made RCA sexy.

These were the  early days before everyone was in drag, costume or dressed up like Santa. So seeing people don the Bowie look was very exciting.

  • A woman in my department got my vote. She was thin, with gorgeous sunken cheekbones and wore her naturally red hair in that Ziggy Bowie cut. Like a lot of people who identify with someone who shakes up the culture, she really lived everyday in his fashion. I’ve seen it with John Lennon a lot, but Bowie, being such a chameleon, offered a wonderful landscape of visual opportunities.
  • I had one disappointment with him…when he got American teeth and lost his wonderful canines. They gave his face that extra lupine appeal that made him even more dangerous.

 

david-bowie-teeth

A major cultural force…. R.I.P.

Written by nancykoan

January 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm

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