Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Six More Chances

Well, gang. We're halfway through the run of The Little One, which means that time is running out to see Nosedive's vampire epic.

We've been getting some very nice responses to this show, and it's something we here at Nosedive Central are particularly happy with/proud of, and something many folks are enjoying a great deal.

Photo by Daniel Winters

"Mr. Comtois concentrates on the themes of death and decay as well as the relationship challenges posed by immortality in his bloody story. He aims to scare by presenting his vampires with an unsentimental realism that makes them seem almost human, without soft-pedaling the brutality and violence."
—Jason Zinoman, "To Bleed or Not to Bleed? Plays Explore the Scary," The New York Times

Photo by Aaron Epstein

"The Little One has plenty of action, suspense, and more than a little stage blood. More profound and more philosophical than you ever expect 'genre theatre' to be. A compelling new work."
—Martin Denton,'s PICK OF THE WEEK

"Comtois at his inventive best. Like a bloodier Tuck Everlasting. The Little One leaves audiences with more than enough to sink their teeth into."
—Aaron Riccio, That Sounds Cool

Photo by Daniel Winters

"The Little One has a lot to offer lovers of vampire stories and fans of fantasy and horror. Ms. Byers’ performance is one that shouldn’t be missed. Great Geek Theater."
—Teresa Jusino, Pink Raygun

"This two-hour show ends too soon, like a good book that you wanted to keep reading. Beautifully incarnated by the entire bloodthirsty cast, The Little One is a play that kidnaps you from modern day East Village reality and drops you into the vampire’s den with total immersion."
—Lina Zeldovich, The Happiest Medium

Photo by Aaron Epstein

There are only six shows left, and space is starting to fill up quickly.

Don't miss out.

Just lookin out for ya,

James "Concerned Theatre Nanna" Comtois

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pete and I in Backstage

And while we're at it, here's another article/interview with me and Pete in Backstage about The Little One, Nosedive, and turning 10 (as a theatre company, I'm assuming; not in terms of emotional maturity).

Infesting the print and webwaves,

James "Ubiquitous" Comtois

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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Happiest Medium on The Little One

Lina Zeldovich just posted this glowing review by on The Happiest Medium:

"With professionally staged fights by Qui Nguyen, beautifully implemented ominous lighting by Daniel Winters and portentous Goth-style costumes designed by Betsy Strong this two-hour show ends too soon, like a good book that you wanted to keep reading. Beautifully incarnated by the entire bloodthirsty cast, the alternate reality unwraps itself, pulling us into Cynthia’s journey, a mix of sweet innocence and vicious temper, acted so wickedly well that we root for her rather than our own kind. The Little One is a play that kidnaps you from modern day East Village reality and drops you into the vampire’s den with total immersion – similar to how J.K. Rowling throws her readers into her mysterious and magical universe, parallel to yet interconnected with our own."
-Lina Zeldovich, The Happiest Medium

We've just reached the halfway point with the show. So do yourself a favor and get your tickets.

Inundating you with coverage,

James "Pretty Media Whore" Comtois

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Little One and Yours Truly in the NY Times

Jason Zinoman has written an article in the New York Times about the emergence of horror-based theatre in all its varied forms, which features Yours Truly nattering about horror films and The Little One throughout. You can also read my homies Qui Nguyen and Clay McLeod Chapman talk about their different angles for showing—or not showing—violence and the macabre for the stage.

Putting the scawwy back in scary,

James "Stage Monster" Comtois

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Friday, June 25, 2010

More Reviews For The Little One

Aaron Riccio at That Sounds Cool and Teresa Jusino at Pink Raygun have posted some very thoughtful write-ups of The Little One.

They both definitely have some (very fair and valid) critiques to make, but also write many positive things, such as:

"The Little One—a modern vampire story—most often finds Comtois at his inventive best. Rather than dwell on the soppy forbidden romances of Twilight, the campy politics of True Blood, the supernatural action of Underworld, or the classic Gothic horror of Dracula, Comtois has crafted a creative character piece that embraces the otherness of vampires and the sense of isolation that immortality can bring (like a bloodier Tuck Everlasting)."
-Aaron Riccio, That Sounds Cool

"The Little One has a lot to offer lovers of vampire stories and fans of fantasy and horror. It brings a lot to the table in terms of lore. Ms. Byers’ performance is also one that shouldn’t be missed. The Little One is great Geek Theater."
-Teresa Jusino, Pink Raygun

I hope to see you at the show, either this weekend or the remaining two in the run. In the meantime, keep your stick in your pants, and don't take any wooden boners.

Wondering if he got those sayings wrong,

James "Never One To Dwell" Comtois

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

One of Indie Theater's Most Reliable Storytellers? Damn!

Martin Denton just posted a very nice review of The Little One over at

"The Little One has plenty of action, suspense, and more than a little stage blood. But what's scariest about it is the way Comtois uses these soulless characters to plumb the flawed souls of his human audience. This is a play that is both more profound and more philosophical than you ever expect 'genre theatre' to be. It's a compelling new work by one of indie theater's most reliable storytellers."

Read the whole thing here.

Wow. Thanks, Martin!

Wanting you to rely on him,

James "Theatrical Enabler" Comtois

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Week Dos Now Upon Us

Hey, gang. I know, I know, it's kind of odd that I'd engage in this particular brand of radio silence right after opening weekend. Hell, even after our legendarily disastrous Master of Horror opening back in 2008 I had something to say about it.

Well, the reason for me being MIA has nothing to do with having a disastrous opening. Quite the contrary, actually. I'm very happy with how week one turned out, and am very much looking forward to this weekend.

No. The reason for me being absent this week is simply because, although I was very happy with how opening weekend for The Little One turned out, this week has been a massive fuster-cluck on many fronts: some show-related, some tangentially show-related, some completely unrelated to the show, and all of which I'm not yet ready to get into.

Suffice it to say, things are fine, but I've had very little no time to write any kind of updates.

Fortunately, in a moment, I should be posting a nice new update on the show.

While you wait, why don't you buy your tickets?

Kinda busy,

James "Shaker & Quaker" Comtois

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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Show is Up, More Interviews Are Here

Well, gang. Opening night has come and gone, and I'm quite pleased with the results. The run is underway, which means my blog posts will be even lighter than usual (and even more self-serving when they arrive).

Tickets are starting to sell at a pretty healthy clip, so you may do well by buying yours in advance.

And, just in case you haven't gotten sick of me nattering about this show, here are two, count 'em, TWO interviews with Yours Truly about The Little One:


With Paper Magazine.

Anyway, enjoy the online blatherings from Yours Truly, and I'll see you at the show (because, seriously, I don't think I'll be anywhere else for the next few weeks).

Off to run box office,

James "Writer/Producer/Usher" Comtois

Photos by Daniel Winters.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game On/Getting To Know Your Boisvert

Well, gang. The Little One opens tonight. I'm pumped. I'm nervous. We're ready. Game on.

To give you another little teaser, Teresa Jusino interviews Pete Boisvert about the show, Nosedive's past, and a little taste of our future over at Pink Raygun.

Check it out. Then buy your tickets.

Ready to bring it,

James "The...Bringerer" Comtois

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HACK! (The Short Recommendation)

Well, I was hoping to write a longer and more thoughtful post on why you should go see the penultimate performance of HACK! An I.T. Spaghetti Western tonight at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg. Unfortunately, doing day job stuff (i.e., work)—as well as last-minute things before tonight's dress rehearsal for The Little One—has pretty much hamstrung me at the moment from being able to write anything more than, you should indeed go see the penultimate performance of HACK! An I.T. Spaghetti Western tonight at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg.

Once we open our own show, I hope to write something a little more substantial. But for now, go see it. It's fun. It made me laugh. It made the audience I watched it with laughed.

Back to futzing with last-minute show preps,

James "Diligent Procrastinator" Comtois

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Counting Down...

Despite the odds and some odd difficulties with the board, we finished the cue-to-cue for The Little One last night. Thank dick.

We now have two more nights of tech week before we unveil this show to the general population, and despite having some anxieties about getting everything ready, I'm getting incredibly excited about showing this to folks.

For those who haven't yet bought their tickets, you can get them here.

Sinking his teeth in production week,

James "King of the Unclear Metaphors" Comtois

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Friday, June 11, 2010

"This episode is about vampires."

Well, you've read my blatherings, now you get a chance to hear them. In the most recent nytheatrecast, the very charming Jesse Edward Rosbrow and I talk with Martin Denton about our upcoming vampire plays, St. Nicholas and The Little One, respectively.

You can download the podcast interview here.

Nervous around microphones,

James "Laliophobe" Comtois

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Tim O'Shea Interviews Yours Truly

Well, I guess now's as good a time as any to resume showing you the way to corners of the Internet where I shamelessly talk about myself and plug what I'm working on.

For folks who aren't sick of me nattering on about myself or Nosedive, Tim O'Shea interviews Yours Truly on the upcoming play over on his site.

Thanks again to Crystal Skillman for brokering this interview!

Awright. That seems to just about do it for this week's input on Jamespeak. Have a good weekend, folks. Go get your tickets for The Little One, and I'll catch y'all later.

Finding time to blather to folks on the Internet
while gearing his show opens in six days,

James "Multi-Ditherer" Comtois

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Patrick Lee Dies at 51

Reviewer and blogger Patrick Lee passed away earlier this month at the age of 51, according to

Lee was the creator and writer of, co-writer and co-founder of Show Showdown, and a regular contributor to

To write that reading this news blindsided me this morning is too much of an understatement.

Although we spoke on the phone once and exchanged pleasant emails over the past few years, we never had the chance to meet in person, since our schedules kept causing us to just miss each other. (He had come to review a Nosedive show, but I was off reviewing another show; we were scheduled to attend the same event once, but I had to cancel at the last minute.)

My thoughts are with his friends and loved ones.

-James Comtois

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Nosedive's The Little One opens next week

Hey, gang. Your docent for the depraved, Little Jimmy Comtois here, reminding you that Nosedive's vampire show, The Little One, opens in one week.

I have to say, even though I'm biased and all, this show's pretty damn awesome. It is, after all, about fighting, biting vampires (not the brooding, sulking, abstaining-from-feeding-off-humans kind).

With that in mind, it may be a good idea to get your tickets, if you haven't already.

We're playing for four weekends (June 17-July 10, Thursdays through Saturdays) at the Kraine Theater on 85 East 4th Street in NYC at 7:30 each night. Tickets are $18.

See you there, cats and kittens.

Sharpening his fangs,

James "Bleeding Gums" Comtois


Nosedive Productions Presents

The Little One

A new play by James Comtois
Directed by Pete Boisvert

Ryan Andes - Becky Byers - Rebecca Comtois
Stephanie Cox-Williams - Jeremy Goren - Stephen Heskett
Melissa Roth - Patrick Shearer - Christopher Yustin

The Kraine Theater
85 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Ave.)

June 17 - July 10
(Thursdays through Saturdays)
All shows at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $18

Publicity by Emily Owens PR

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010


(Since I'm working on a play about vampires at the moment and since one of my half-dozen readers asked why I stopped writing reviews for movies, I figured now would be as good a time as any to write up my thoughts on a film I just watched in my Netflix queue that was released in theatres earlier this year.)

Daybreakers takes place in 2019, when vampires are now in the majority and humans are an endangered species. That vampires now rule the world is made clear during the opening credit sequence, which shows a completely abandoned city during the day, then a metropolis teeming with fanged commuters getting their blood-filled coffee on their way to work after darkness falls.

In this vampire-run city, Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a hematologist and reluctant vampire seeking to create a synthetic blood replacement, since the human population is dwindling and recent reports suggest that the vampires' food supply (received mainly via comatose farmed humans) will be depleted by the end of the month. Reports also show that vampires become deformed feral monsters after only a couple of weeks of being deprived of human blood (complete with pointed ears, claws and bat-like wings).

The concept of vampires brought forth in Daybreakers is an inventive one, and one that makes perfect sense if vampires did in fact exist. In a short period of time, yes, vampires would radically outnumber humans, since all the humans would eventually either die or become converted. This means that the vampires' food supply would become scarce, then eventually extinct. The problem is also exacerbated when you consider that vampires are traditionally immortal, which means you now have to deal with feeding a species that will only grow in population but never die out.

Edward hopes that a blood replacement will put an end to the hunting and farming of humans. His boss Charles, however (played with demonic precision by Sam Neill), cares about profits and the bottom line, and still believes in capitalizing on the farming and selling of human blood for consumers willing to pay a little extra "for the real thing." What I particularly enjoyed about Neill's character is that he's much more of a corporate monster than a traditional one, fangs aside. This is one of the many nice touches that the movie offers, showing it is interested in conveying ideas rather than just showing off a penchant for gore (although wow, there is plenty of gore as well).

Edward eventually meets up with a band of humans led by Willem DaFoe who think they may have found a cure for vampirism. And here's where the movie brings in its most "take it or leave it" through-line. I won't reveal what the supposed cure is, but it may stretch the viewer's suspension of disbelief, even for a movie about vampires.

There are also a number of subplots in Daybreakers, including a through-line dealing with Sam Neill and his estranged (human) daughter, another concerning Ethan Hawke's strained relationship with his brother, and a whole subplot involving the government's callous handling of the starving feral vampire population. However, the movie doesn't feel overstuffed and handles these threads well (albeit somewhat truncated).

I admire the ideas and social commentary scattered throughout the movie (particularly in scenes like the one where a mini-riot breaks out at a Starbucks-like vendor when it changes its blood-to-coffee ratio). True, the commentary isn't exactly subtle, but then again, neither is the commentary in the films of George Romero.

I also admire that the film's writer-directors, Australian brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, delay the perfunctory shoot-em-up ending for as long as possible to continue doling out intriguing details of the world they've created (and might I add that the movie looks nice and slick, with the central city resembling elements of the cities found in Brazil, Blade Runner and Minority Report, yet still maintaining its own look). I also liked the cars and how they're set up to enable daytime driving.

Although I understand why, I think the reviews for Daybreakers were a tad unfair. No, it's not a mind-blowing work of art. Yes, it's a tad overstuffed. Yes, it's concept of a "cure" for vampirism is more than a little iffy. And yes, the final 10 minutes are as uninspired as its first 10 minutes are inspired. But despite these flaws, it's got a lot more going for it than many critics had led me to believe (hence me not seeing it in theatres during its original release). It's got a higher level of ambition than most mainstream horror films have had in the past decade. It has a new angle on the vampire tale. It has enjoyable performances (particularly from Neill and DaFoe). It has fun ideas. And hey: it also has lots of gore.

Liking his social commentary
to be chock-full of ultraviolence,

James "Lowbrow Philosopher" Comtois

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Nine Days and Counting...

With nine days before we open, rehearsinations for The Little One are trucking along quite nicely. Pete and the cast are bringing some awesome to the proceedings, and I think folks who come see this are going to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

Yes, I'm biased. But I also often get bored and fidgety when I sit in on rehearsals, even when they're going well. It's pretty much a given: it's just the way I am (and pretty much why I'll never direct anything with a run-time longer than 15 minutes).

I was neither bored nor fidgety last night.

We've still got a lot of work to do, obviously. Tonight, the righteous Qui Nguyen is coming in to choreograph the fights, and the following evening the gang will practice running the show with all the special effects that Stephanie built, designed and tested over the weekend. (I got to see a few of them in action and oh yeah, they're quite hot.)

And let's not forget tech and bringing in the work of the set, lighting and costume designers, which will be done over the weekend and the first half of next week.

So, yes. There's still a great deal of work to be done. But we're in good shape and things are coming together nicely. I'm looking forward to having people come and see this.

Nine days and counting...

Poopin' on hobos,

James "Ole-Timey Vagrant" Comtois

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Monday, June 07, 2010

The Little One: The Governor

Patrick Shearer as Gogol in The Little One.

"Wot da fuck is you on about, love?"

Opening Thursday, June 17 at the Kraine Theater. Tickets on sale now.

Always on about something,

James "Suave Blatherer" Comtois

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Since I Don't Have Much to Say at the Moment...

...and Nosedive's supremely kick-ass vampire play, The Little One, opens in less than two weeks, why don't you take this time to buy your tickets?

That is all. Have a good weekend, folks. I'll catch y'all on the proverbial flippety.


James "Wordsmythe" Comtois

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mid-Week Blather

Well, folks. I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day Weekend, as I did. Of course, the extended weekend has meant a slightly increased workload at my day job (or at least, slightly tighter deadlines to file my stories), hence the light-to-nonexistent posting this week.

Having left the cast and crew alone for the first two weeks, I sat in on last night's rehearsal for The Little One to assess the damage (heh, heh). The cast—and second act overall—looks to be in very good shape two weeks out (last night's rehearsal was a run of the second act; I didn't mean the first half was crap). I also think I know where to make cuts in the script (mostly due to over-writing/over-explaining, something I'm often guilty of).

Tonight the gang runs the first act, so I'll be sitting in on that as well and see where we are with this whole vampire play.

Dithering and blathering,

James "Chatter-Chatter Bang-Bang" Comtois

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