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For the latest in its Family Matinee Series, New Conservatory is staging a musical that, while geared for young audiences, might be most familiar to their parents: Really Rosie, a stage adaptation of the 1975 cartoon with animation, book, and... More »
Rights of Passage, a world premiere, follows one man -- Wayan (Jomar Tagatac), a gay Balinese Hindu -- but its scope is LGBTs throughout the world. With the help of organizations like Amnesty International and the International Gay and Lesbian... More »
Not a lot of people know it, but ancient Greek gymnasiums contained libraries. That's because the Greeks -- ever in search of the divine ideal -- saw intellectual and aesthetic "fitness" going hand-in-hand with athletic fitness. If these ancients... More »
There's a temptation to think of the 1950s as a simpler, more innocent time, when housing was cheap, jobs were plentiful, cars were muscular, and everyone wore really great clothes. But that's Happy Days. In reality, it was a time of quiet... More »
Event Review: Rights of Passage
Luminescently brilliant, top to bottom, side to side, front to back.
It's not often you have the opportunity to experience history in the making -- and have it be such a life affirming experience. This is one of those rare opportunities. The subject matter is heartwarming, heart-wrenching, poignant, timely, inspiring, and masterfully handled. I'll let the promotional materials give you the information on the plot - but you need to know there are aspects of this production that will take your breath away. The lead character is portrayed with inspiration. The presentation of his life span from birth to adulthood would be overwhelming if it were not delivered so well. His childhood is revealed through puppetry which transports you magically. The crone of his life performs wearing a traditional Balinese mask, and uses her voice and the mask to present a character that is both a Jungian Archetype and a believable character. The use of a sparse set combined with an extensive and masterful use of projection creates a visually stunning show as well. My hat is off to playwrights Ed Decker and Robert Leone, director Arturo Catricala, projection designer Christian Mejia, puppet director Allison Daniel, and the entire ensemble cast, lighting, sound, and projection crews. I do feel that the online and promotional materials emphasize the main story line without mention of the dynamic and powerful sub-plots, and that is a grave mistake. I feel audienced need to be prepared that here are horrifying moments, conveying the absolute worst of human behavior taken from the pages of the news and first hand tellings to the authors. It is not a show for pre-pubescents - - - yet the presentation was so flawless I experienced no sense of horror (and I am a gentle and sensitive soul). You MUST see the show to know what I am talking about. Far from warning people to stay away, I suggest audiences prepare themselves to be moved, educated, entertained and flock to be a part of this. The human rights impact of this show is presented mainly through precisely placed vignettes, which, along with the main story line and superb production all combine to make Rights of Passage a strong chord of gold, silk, and steel that will not snap easily, and whose beauty will stand the test of time.
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