I have been writing on theater since 1982. A graduate from Manhattan College B.S. A member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both English and Science. I have produced 12 shows on and off Broadway. I've seen over700 shows
"Adjust The Procedure"
"Adjust The Procedure' Robert Massimi. Member Dramatists Guild and The Drama League. Many of the current virtual plays being produced are thrown together and seem willy nilly, however, " Adjust The Procedure" was written for and directed for virtual theater. In its efforts, Jake Shore makes better work of it than the virtual as usual style I have seen so far. Set on a university campus somewhere in lower Manhattan, New York (the play mentions Chamber Street); there are four characters, all of whom are affiliated with the university. These four characters have different personalities which adds to the many different positions that they take. The play is set in Zoom meetings with sometimes two characters, other times three actors and for a brief period, with all four being on the call. The crux of the play shows us the inner workings of a university; how universities are a very big business. With the Covid pandemic, we see four different points of view as how to deal with the many problems this pandemic has caused.
"Pretend It's a City"
Netflix has a way at certain times of putting out what I call a hidden gem. A hidden gem too me is that off off Broadway play that is really entertaining; a movie downtown that no one has spoken about but is really artistic; a restaurant that is off the beaten path, yet excellent. What is entertaining at times with Netflix is that they can do many different shows about many pithy things. "Pretend It's a City" is one of those pity, pragmatic series.
"An Imperfect Murder"
Sometimes you watch a performance and wonder what you are watching, or why the movie was even made. It so happens that "An Imperfect Murder", originally named "The Private Life of a Modern Woman" is one of those movies. In the short time frame of its duration... only and hour and fifteen minutes long, we see a famous actress who is haunted by a nightmare involving her ex-boyfriend, she begins to question her reality and whether the incident took place.
"Christmas Carol, OY! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Ramadan".
In what bills itself from ages 5 years old to 105 years old, "Christmas Carol, OY! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Ramadan" is more to keep children's attention I think rather than an adults. It is not because of the plays plot, but rather because of the marionette's. The Theater for the New City is famous for shows with puppetry (Bead and Puppet as well as others). Like Bread and Puppet, this play is based on radical undertones; poking fun at religion and capitalism, "Xmas Carol" has a very thin plot at best and is loosely based on Dickens "A Christmas Carol".
"The Professor and the Madman"
When I read "The Professor and the Madman" a few years ago, I loved it. The story is one of those over the top crazy but true stories. Netflix this month is presenting the 2019 movie adaptation of the book. Mel Gibson bought the rights to the movie some twenty years ago and he has once again teamed up with Farhad Safrina (Apocalypto, 2006) to direct and produce "Madman".
Robert M. Massimi. Theater put forth in these peculiar times. An immersive play that involves just one person, seated at a desk and working as a temp for an actuary firm. Like going to the office, you are given a desk, a computer, a phone and of course a Brother printer. Not an easy field to work in, being thrown into a desk as a temp with no knowledge of how an actuary does his job is part of the fun. The audience member is given instructions on how to answer messages, given further instructions on the computer and receives some of the wackiest of information via the Brother.
One Man, Two Guvnors.
Robert Massimi. Last evening I watched "One Man, Two Guvnors" on PBS. Having been starved for theater; especially as a drama critic, I was excited to watch what was a Tony winner back in 2012. The shows synopsis: Francis Henshall (James Cordon) finds himself working for both a gangster and a criminal in hiding, both of whom are linked in a web of schemes, extortions and romantic associations. To prevent discovery, Francis must do everything to keep his two guvnors apart.
A Non Globalist's Society.
People are talking about voting November 3erd. What is being said is "this is the most important election ever". The truth is, they're right, it is. I have watched American jobs being shipped overseas since the 1970's. I have watched American factories leave cities like: Troy, N.Y., Paterson, N.J., Detroit, Michigan and East St. Louis. The opt word for this is globalization; the idea that being part of the greater world is for the greater good. Since the 1970's , both parties have gave away good paying factory jobs to places like :China, Korea, Vietnam, Shri Lanka and India. Many of these politicians have lined their own pockets doing so and all the while hurt our country.