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Inside Ink

For The Week of 6/18/2012

By John Rowell

 THE ICE FACTORY COMETH: In the heat of summer, you can cool off with the 19th Season of the 2012 Obie Award-winning Ice Factory Festival, which begins its next exciting era with its first year as the New Ohio Theatre  at its new home in the West Village, at 154 Christopher Street. This year’s festival include two world premieres, two New York premieres, and one Manhattan premiere, and include Bekah Brunstetter’s Miss Lilly Gets Boned (about a Sunday school teacher waiting for God to drop a man in her, um, lap), Everywhere Theatre Group’s Flying Snakes in 3D (about an unfunded theater company that attempts to make art out of the CIA’s accidental release of mutant killer snakes), John Clancy’s The Apocalyptic Road Show With Your Hosts Gdjet And Lulu (a guide to the impending apocalypse and a farewell to the doomed human race) and Godlight Theatre Company’s The Pilo Family Circus (about a young man forced to run away with a circus run by a headhunting troupe of exuberant but sadistic clowns.) What a mix! Happily, the Festival continues most of the summer (through August 4) and you’ll want to check it all out beginning June 27. For more info and a complete schedule, visit

CRASH COURSE: It’s a week for kooky, out there titles (see above) but you can’t judge a play by its title. (Which is not the same thing as saying you can’t judge a play’s title, which you certainly can.) Captain Crash vs The Zzorgwomen –Chapters 5 & 6 (told you) is the name of a new “science fiction rock musical” which begins performances June 20 at The Richmond Shepard Theatre. The show, which was originally recorded in England by Alice Cooper and The Who in England in the late 70s, pays homage to those Saturday afternoon movie serials of the 30s and 40s, and features Brandon Schraml as Captain Crash and Laurella Clear as his girlfriend Della. (The supporting cast includes Alex Kafarakis, Ashton Crosby, Maggie Ronck, Sarah McShayne, Kyle Payne, Jessica Payne, Kaylin Clinton, JoJo Ginn, Sara Jecko and Katy Irwin.)  Dave Pierce is the book writer and lyricist, and Richmond Shepard (yes, the theater is named for him) is the director. Opening night set for June 28.

GRAND CANAL: The Canal Park Playhouse is up to something interesting this summer when they present (in rep) a play for adults and a play for young audiences that cover the same themes. First up is a rare revival of Frank McGuiness’s Tony-nominated play Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, exploring the bonds forged between an Englishman, an Irishman and an American who are held as political prisoners in Beirut, in a production directed by Justin Lauro and featuring Patrick Taylor, Timothy Riley and Alex Teachey. And then with Sarazad and the The Monster-King, playwright E.J.C. Calvert re-imagines The 1001 Arabian Nights, so that the heroine is now a shy 9-year-old girl who loves to escape into a world of books, storytelling and imaginary friends, but who is bullied at school by unenlightened kids just for being different. Lauro also directs Sarazad, and the shows begin performances on June 21 and June 23. For schedule and info, visit

AND ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD: Just when you thought, now that we’re collectively post-Tonys, post-Drama Desks, post-Obies, post-Drama League, post-everything, there couldn’t possibly be any more awards to hand out for the theater season that just ended. And yet, you, like I, thought wrong. Drum roll again, please: The 2nd Annual Off Broadway Alliance Awards will be given out June 19 at Sardi’s to honor and celebrate the incredible contribution of Off Broadway to the theater landscape of the city, from the Bowery to the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side—all around the town. This year’s “Legend of Off Broadway” honorees include Gerard Alessandrini, Catherine Russell, Mary Louise Wilson and Kathleen Chalfant. Howard Kissel and Theodore Mann will be posthumously inducted into the Off-Broadway Hall of Fame. This year’s other winners include, for Best New Musical, SILENCE! The Musical, Best New Play, Tribes, Best Musical Revival, Carrie, and Best Play Revival: Cymbeline. Congratulations, all!