Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Theater: Keeping A-Breast (reviews)

New Theatre opened the first installment of its new BOOMfrog series with Keeping A-Breast, which opened September 1, 2012.
A collective project by Catherine Bush, Vanessa Garcia, David Caudle, James Carrey, Elly Rakowitz, Ruth Pleva, R. Kent Wilson, Peggy C. Hall and Ricky J. Martinez
Steven A. Chambers and Ricky J. Martinez directed a cast that included Melissa Almaguer, Francine Birns, Carey Brianna Hart, Desiree Mora, Jessica Welch and Christina Perdomo-Fernandez

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
New Theatre commissioned these pieces from playwrights whom the theater has dealt with before. It’s the first entry in its BOOMFROG series to attract younger audiences with edgier, less traditional fare. But the quality of writing, directing and acting in this inaugural offering is wildly uneven as if the 70-minute evening was a tossed-together summer camp Skit Night.
What saves the evening from its righteous polemic tone is the elation and energy of the actresses directed by New Theatre Artistic Director Ricky J. Martinez and Literary Manager Steven A. Chambers, although some of the performances seemed one-note and not terribly nuanced. The playwrights and actresses toss around the entire spectrum of nicknames for breasts with a joyful abandon that would get most men in trouble for objectifying a woman’s body.
These kinds of socio-political evenings are tough to pull off, although The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated show it can be done. This one isn’t bad, but it is too uneven to be satisfying.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Some of the plays are funny, others brimming with rage or worry or sorrow. Breast cancer, mastectomy and breast reconstruction are big subjects. Eroticism and nurturing come into play, as does body image.
Directed by Martinez and Steven A. Chambers, the plays are performed by six women on a bare-bones stage at Miami’s Roxy Performing Arts Center. This is minimalist theater, budget-conscious and designed to bring new voices and new faces to New Theatre’s stage.
Like The Vagina Monologues or Love, Loss and What I Wore, Keeping A-Breast has going for it a subject that’s intrinsically meaningful to women and those who love them. But the collection of plays at New Theatre simply hasn’t been curated into a polished or powerful whole. So what could still become an imaginative new series launches with more of a “pop” than a “boom.”
New Theatre presents Keeping A-Breast at the Roxy Performing Arts Center through September 16, 2012.

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