FILM: “River of Fundament” Premieres in Brooklyn

February 10th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

River of Fundament

“River of Fundament,” a new film by visionary artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney, will have its world premiere this week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The sprawling, six-hour film is an ambitious radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel “Ancient Evenings,” created in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler.

Best known for his epic five-film “Cremaster” cycle, Barney combines traditional modes of narrative cinema with filmed elements of performance, sculpture and opera, reconstructing Mailer’s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of reincarnation, in parallel with the rise and fall of the American car industry.

The film features Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, musicians Joan La Barbara, Milford Graves and David Amram, as well as Nippertown’s own Kevin McGuire (the star of such recent Capital Repertory Theatre productions as “A Christmas Carol,” “Red” and “Man of La Mancha”) as Ernest Hemingway.

“River of Fundament” will be screened at 7pm from Wednesday-Sunday (February 12-16) at BAM, in addition to an 11am screening on Sunday (February 16).


Broadway’s Kevin McGuire as Scrooge at Capital Repertory Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

December 10th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Sara

Broadway’s Kevin McGuire as Scrooge at Capital Repertory Theatre

Broadway star Kevin McGuire returns to Capital Repertory Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in Patrick Barlow’s rousing new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. McGuire — who founded the Theater Company at Hubbard Hall — was recently at the REP, playing artist Mark Rothko in John Logan’s critically-acclaimed Red and previously appeared as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

He plays a decidedly different Scrooge downtown, surrounded by actor/musicians who remember the fun found in the original tale. Performances continue through Dec. 22.

Barlow, an English actor/comedian/playwright, is best known for his hit Broadway adaptation of the espionage thriller The 39 Steps. He has built a career on stripping stories down to their basics, and finding frivolity in the midst of tension. In The 39 Steps, one actor played the role of spy hunter Richard Hannay, and three actors played everyone else, often switching characters at high speed in mid-scene. The result was a Charles Ludlam-like wackiness that never lost sight of the true heart of the tale.

NOTE: Barlow will visit Capital Repertory Theatre on Sunday (December 15) to participate in a special edition of Behind-the-Scenes, a pre-show chat with Capital Rep’s Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. Open to the public free of charge, the chat runs 1-1:30pm, prior to the 2pm matinee performance of “A Christmas Carol.” A continental breakfast will also be available in the theater lobby beginning at 12:30pm.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER: “Red” @ Capital Repertory Theatre

April 24th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg
David Kenner as Ken and Kevin McGuire as Mark Rothko in Capital Repertory Theatre's production of "Red"

David Kenner as Ken and Kevin McGuire as Mark Rothko
in Capital Repertory Theatre’s production of “Red”

Review by Greg Haymes

“What do you see?”

It’s not only the opening line of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play, “Red,” currently onstage at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. It’s also the play’s battle cry.

And just as there’s a huge difference between hearing music and listening to it, there’s also a monumental difference between looking at a painting and actually seeing it.

Logan distills the philosophy of the creative act into a broiling, one-act play that examines the iconic abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko as he ponders the gulf between art and commerce, his purpose in life and ultimately his own mortality. “Red” is a witty, whip-smart intellectual wrestling match about what art – and life – should mean, not just to an artist, but to us all.

Rothko – impeccably played with the wiles and roar of an old lion by veteran Kevin McGuire (last seen at Cap Rep in 2011 as the lead in “Man of La Mancha)” – faces his ultimate artistic challenge, having been commissioned to create a series of paintings to adorn the walls of the tony Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. He’s hired on an assistant – played with the perfect balance of youthful energy and subtle reserve by David Kenner – to aid him in his studio. “I am not your teacher,” Rothko bellows, but during the three years covered in the play (1959-1961), the artist indeed instills confidence and the hunger for knowledge in his aide.

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