Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trav S.D. on The Blood Brothers

Although Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin has closed, we've still got three more performances of The Blood Brothers present...FREAKS FROM THE MORGUE, playing over at the Kraine on East 4th Street in Manhattan.

Trav S.D. has just written some very kind words indeed for the show, calling it "by far the best" he's seen of the series. Wow. Thanks, Trav!

The next performance is tonight at 8:30. Get your tickets.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Post-Moonbeam Thoughts

And once again, a show has gone up into that Great Production in the Sky. We just closed Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin (along with Brian Silliman's brilliant and beautiful Savior) mere hours ago, and I miss it already. It was a very short run indeed, but quite a sweet one, in my humble, jaw-droppingly-biased opinion.

The last few days before we opened the show, I had the same problem that I always have with a show of mine just before opening: I started worrying about if the show made sense to anyone who wasn't me. Like I said, I get this way with every Nosedive show, but in this case I found the feeling much more pronounced.

This is not meant as a slight on the cast, director, or Ben VandenBoom (who more or less served as our One Man Crew, Stage Manager, Designer and Set Builder). If anything, I felt they were helping make my very odd script make more sense. But in a way, Captain Moonbeam is a piece that seems to go out of its way to offer mixed signals to the audience.

The show pretty much tells a story about grief & childhood trauma giving way to alienation then mental instability through the lens of a comic book superhero origin story. In other words, in a sense we're telling a tragedy taking place in the mundane real world by using the storytelling cues and methods of thrilling fantasy adventure tale.

So, no. As you can see, I wasn't just being abstractly paranoid. We were telling a story with deliberately conflicting cues.

The one downside to acting in this piece is that it meant I'd be backstage for 99% of the show, which meant I would have to take audiences at their word as to how they responded to it (when I'm sitting in the audience for my shows I can kinda tell if people are feeling it or not). So not only could I not see the crucial/pivotal scenes in the show, I couldn't see how the audiences were responding.

Silly me for volunteering to be in the cast.

Fortunately, based on talking to audience members afterward, the story appears to have been properly conveyed. That is to say, people got what we were trying to do with it. (Whether they liked it or not is a different story.)

Having said that, more than one person suggested it was (is) incomplete, something I had contemplated myself. It's a short piece - only about 25 minutes - and there are several places I've thought of where it can be expanded easily. Hell, after the first table read with the cast, I added about five minutes to the script.

So, yeah. This is definitely a piece I'll return to and expand upon.

I want to again thank Leigh Hile for being a particularly excellent director on this, doing so much research on this show to give it an emotional depth and weight not found in the text alone (word on the street is she's a shitty waitress, but I can attest she's a freakin dream to work with in the theatre world), Ben VandenBoom, who did about 99.9% of the behind-the-scenes work on this (I was really a producer-in-name-only on this show), Pete Boisvert for taking production photos and mocking up all those comic book panels (while he was already bogged down with doing everything for The Blood Brothers) and the rest of the cast, Jordan Ungerer, Rick Cekovsky and Christopher M. Czyz, who made insanely fast costume- tone- and age-changes seem effortless.

And of course, I want to thank the Brick Theater for allowing us to participate in the Comic Book Theater Festival and to everyone who came out to see it. You bitches are all awesome.

Well, awright. Enough Reminiscing. We've still got Blood Brothers to tend to, and there's still a lot of preproduction work to for Infectious Opportunity.

Resting only for a moment,

James "Navel-Gazer on the Run" Comtois

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bloodbeam Saloonchpin

So we've got a pretty full Saturday. The Blood Brothers show is today at 5:30 over at the Kraine Theater in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, over at the Brick Theater in Brooklyn, Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin is today at 5.

So no, you physically can't go to both. Or can you...?

Because it just so happens that if you can't choose, excerpts of both will be at the Saturday Night Saloon: Last Call tonight at 8.

That's right. We're overbooked. Because we're looking out for you. Either that, or we just don't know how to organize a schedule. You know. Whichever.

Usurping your weekend,

James "Theatre Tyrant" Comtois

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trav S.D. on Savior & Moonbeam

And Trav S.D., that delightful Jerk-in-Progress, offers up some very kind words for Savior & Captain Moonbeam.

Thanks, Trav!

Anyway, we've got another show tomorrow (Friday) at 7. See you there.

Apparently well-cast as crazy,


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nytheatre.com Reviews Savior & Captain Moonbeam

Wow, that was fast. We just opened the double-bill of Savior & Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin (featuring the animated short "The Confetti Myth") last night, and Ed Malin's review is already up on nytheatre.com. Check it!

Gotta say, last night was a whole lot of fun. Brian and I were pleasantly surprised at tech to see just how well our pieces fit together as part of an entire evening.

And even with Gavin Starr Kendall's very funny animated short film buffering our one-acts, the whole night is a little under an hour. To quote Brian: you can't beat that with a stick. You can try, but you will fail.

So get your tickets. There are only three shows left.

Inspiring you to do good,

James "Good Citizen" Comtois

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Captain Moonbeam Opens This Tuesday

Hey, folks! Just wanted to give everyone the head's up that Nosedive's entry in the Brick Theater's Comic Book Theater Festival, Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin, is opening this Tuesday at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg!

Since this is a very limited run (four performances), if you haven't got your tickets yet, now's the time to do so.

Captain Moonbeam is also playing as part of a double-bill with Brian Silliman's Savior, featuring Mac Rogers and Kristen Vaughan.

Tonight, of course, is our second performance of The Blood Brothers present...FREAKS FROM THE MORGUE, over at the Kraine Theater.

See you there!

Puttin on his cape,

James "Dandyman" Comtois

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saturday, June 25 - The Saturday Night Saloon: Last Call

It pains me to report that the Vampire Cowboys has decided to give up its space, the Battle Ranch, up to the Great Space in the Sky.

After rehearsing there and performing so many serial plays as part of the Saturday Night Saloon for so many years, the Ranch has felt like just as much of a home to Nosedive Central as it was to the Cowboys. I'm definitely gonna miss going to this space.

But alas, nothing lasts forever, especially in New York.

So, for everyone who would like to celebrate the life the mourn the death of the Ranch, the Vampire Cowboys are presenting The Saturday Night Saloon: Last Call on on Saturday, June 25:

As always, the party's free, the all-you-can-drink beer (or until we run out) is only $5, and the shows are always crazy fun!

Why drink at a bar when you can party it up at The Saloon?

For this one-night only event, the Saloon features performances, poetry, and pieces by some of the Saloon's most beloved All-Stars:

James Comtois, The Blood Brothers (Pete Boisvert & Patrick Shearer),
Dustin Chinn, Jon Hoche & Robert Ross Parker,
Mac Rogers, Brian Silliman, Crystal Skillman, and more!


405 Johnson Avenue, 2nd Floor
(2.5 blocks from Morgan stop off L train)


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Important Update on Blood Brothers Run

Hey, folks. Quick update. Due to a scheduling snafu, the Tuesday, June 21 performance of The Blood Brothers present... has been canceled.

However, all is not lost. This Friday's performance, however, is still on. Plus, this means that you no longer have to choose between seeing Blood Brothers that night, or going to the opening night performance of Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin, playing across the river at the Brick Theater.

Onwards and weirdwards,

James "Still Overbooked" Comtois

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Blood Brothers Up and Running

Awright. The Blood Brothers is now up and running, so I can breathe a little easier. Only a little easier, mind you, since we've still got some work to do on Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin before we open next week, but there you are.

Sitting in the audience on Saturday, having spent the last 20 hours or so (give or take) in a state of anxiety over the show's opening (especially since how opening would go was out of my hands), it was such a nice feeling to have my stress and anxiety slowly and steadily dissipate as the show played out. In fact, this may have been one of the best openings for a Blood Brothers show in the history of the series.

(And okay, fuck it. It was particularly nice to watch the guy sitting in front of me squirm in discomfort and cover his eyes during Steph Finn's performance of "Daddy's Bad Medicine," one of the short pieces I wrote for the evening.)

So congratulations to the cast and crew for making this happen. You guys brought it.

I also have to offer much kudos to Mr. Ryan Andes for stepping up and doing a fine job understudying for Patrick as one of the brothers Blood. Having to open a show as understudy is never a fun thing, but you brought the magical sauce, Mr. Andes.

The next show is this Friday at 6 p.m. at the Kraine. Get your tickets.

Trying to get off-book for
Moonbeam for tomorrow,

James "Clumsy Actor" Comtois

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Monday, June 06, 2011

The Blood Brothers present...FREAKS FROM THE MORGUE Opens This Saturday!

Have you ever wanted to know what goes on in your child's bedroom after you put them to bed?

Have you wondered just how bad post-partum depression can get?

Have you always wanted to know how much a pig can eat before it gets full?

If so, then you're in luck, because the answer to these horrible questions – and more – will be answered when our first show of the summer, The Blood Brothers present...FREAKS FROM THE MORGUE opens THIS SATURDAY AT THE KRAINE! So get your tickets now!

As always, we promise creepy new plays based on true stories, violence, thrills, gore, disturbing nudity, gory violence, morbid humor, and of course, violence and gore.

So, y'know. Bring the kids.*

All shows are at the Kraine Theater on 85 East 4th Street (between Second and Bowery). Tickets are $20 ($15 for students) and may be purchased online or by calling 866-811-4111.

Saturday, June 11 @2pm

Friday, June 17 @6pm

Saturday, June 25 @5:30pm

Tuesday, June 28 @8:30pm

Saturday, July 2 @2pm

Sunday, July 3 @8pm

Dousing the audience in kerosene,

James "I Mean, 'Stage Blood'" Comtois

*Seriously, do NOT bring the kids. Not because it'll traumatize them (it probably will, but hey, they're your kids and therefore your problem), but because if you're the kind of parent who regularly takes children to shows like this, we don't want to know you. We just create plays about depraved individuals, we don't wanna go hang out and have drinks with them.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Crystal Skillman, Comic Book Theater, & The Brooklyn Rail

Crystal Skillman interviews a bunch of us theatremakers about the Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival in The Brooklyn Rail. And yes, you get to read me blather on pretentiously about comic books and writing comic book-like pieces for the stage. Check it the hell out.

I'm off to go see Ms. Skillman's Cut, which has been getting some lovely attention from the press. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Anyway, enjoy your weekend, folks. I'm gonna try to figure out how I'll be getting around sans L train these next two days.

Using this as an excuse
to stay home all weekend,

James "Nice Try" Comtois

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin Catches the Eye of The NY Press

Well, check this out! The New York Press is being very nice to us of late. Not only have they singled out The Blood Brothers present...FREAKS FROM THE MORGUE in its Summer Theater Guide last month, but they've also just named Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin as one of The Five Most Interesting Shows at The Comic Book Theater Fest. Huzzah!

Both of these shows have very limited runs, so I'll mention it again: it's probably a good idea to buy your tickets for Blood Brothers and Captain Moonbeam now.


James "Sexygross" Comtois

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