Drawing ‘Red Shoes,’ Feeling ‘Lonesome’ and Dykstra’s ‘Ho!’

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Joshua Conkel as Sparkles. Photo by Robert Fuller.

Three more pieces for AOL’s recently launched City’s Best.

The first is a Q&A with Emma Rice, adapter-director of The Red Shoes, currently running at St. Ann’s Warehouse, and, of course, of Broadway’s Brief Encounter.

Story continues below.



Here is an excerpt:

At its core, is The Red Shoes really about myth — of the “good girl,” of greed being acceptable? Is it, in its own way, a cautionary tale about a gluttonous society?
I think neither. I think it’s about the “self” and how, if it’s repressed or taken away, there can be a deep need to find the “self” again. The unconscious pursuit of this “self” can then become warped and turn to obsession and addiction. I never see The Girl as good, bad or greedy. She is lost and searching, compelled to find her joy, her freedom and herself. The cautionary nature of the story is really to warn how painful this process can be, what a cost this pursuit can have to the soul. One should hold on to what is at the core of your being tight and strong, because if it slips away, the price of getting it back is high.

To read the rest, click here.

Joshua Conkel as Sparkles. Photo: Robert Fuller.

The second piece is on Lonesome Winter, a new holiday-season play by Joshua Conkel and Megan Hill.

Rather than interview the authors, I was afforded an opportunity to interview the characters they play, Winter and Sparkles, a cat.

Here is an excerpt:

Winter, what’s really behind your hoarding? Don’t you know people (and maybe Sparkles) want to help you?
I’m not too comfortable with the term “hoarder.” My sister, Avery, likes to throw that word around… I mean, I like to shop is all. How is that hurting anyone?… See, we kind of had a bit of an accident a few days ago involving a treasure pile and Sparkles. Let’s just say Sparkles was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh God, why am I telling you this? Wait — how do I know you? How do you know about my collections? Is this an intervention? Are you from that TV show? I mean, the hoarder intervention show, not the intervention intervention show.

To read the rest, click here.

The third piece is on Brian Dykstra’s Ho!, also a holiday-themed piece, one in two parts. The initial half is a satire of the over-commercialization of Christmas, with a litigious Santa and such. The latter half is about a pine tree named Sammy. As all pine trees must inevitably be named. This is a Q&A with the performer-author.

Here is an excerpt:

With Ho!, are you trying to send a message of cynicism about the holidays — or hope?
Naturally the answer is as you’d expect: a little of both. Cynicism is easy right now. I guess, when isn’t it? And Ho! is about the commercialism of Christmas, but I hope there’s a sly nod to something hopeful in that the underdog ends up winning the day and defeating the armies of commercialism as represented by Santa Claus.

To read the rest, click here.