Just One Week Left to Catch the 'Must-See' ARIAS WITH A TWIST!
It takes a lot to get me to go below 42nd Street, but this weekend, the treck down to the Abrons Arts Center was worth it - and then some! Our evening began with one of the best New York City meals that I've ever had, at the uber-hip Beauty & Essex on the Lower East Side with amazing sharing plates of delicious food prepared by chef Chris Santos (also of the equally wonderful Stanton Social restaurant). The cocktails weren't bad either. After being extremely well fed, with spot-on service and unexpected glamour we made our way on over to the Abrons Arts Center, just a few blocks away, for a night to remember.
This was my first experience with the multi-talented Joey Arias, but like a true convert, I can't wait to go back and catch this show again before it concludes its New York run, as well as to see what wonders he and the amazing Basil Twist will surely come up with next.
With equal parts of humor, spectacle, talent and wonder, each item in Arias' sketch filled show topped the last, combining the wizardry of Basil Twist's direction and design, with some of the most talented puppeteers in the world and a star like none other. Having been 'liberated' back to New York after 5 years of starring in the Las Vegas hit ZUMANITY, performance art was brought to exciting and unexpected heights.
Abrons Arts Center and Barbara Busackino have brought the critical and popular hit ARIAS WITH A TWIST back to New York City for a limited encore engagement that runs through Saturday, October 15. This bigger-than-life cabinet of curiosities was created by seductive songstress Joey Arias, who stars, and Basil Twist, who directs and designs. Tickets range from $25- $65 and are available online at www.AbronsArtsCenter.org, or by phoning (212) 352-3101 Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street, between Pitt Street and Bialystoker Street on New York City's Lower East Side.
Arias with a Twist had its world premiere at HERE Arts Center on June 19, 2008 and played an 8-month, critically-acclaimed, extended, sold-out run. Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote, "Eat your heart out, Madonna. The chanteuses who play Madison Square Garden and football stadiums have never experienced the imaginative heights of spectacle with which Basil Twist surrounds Joey Arias." The show then played an international tour including stops in Los Angeles, Stockholm & Paris.
This updated version of the original deliriously madcap fantasy once again features the soaring song stylings of demented diva Joey Arias surrounded by an eye-popping theatrical extravaganza conjured by a team of puppeteers under the direction of Basil Twist. Channeling lurid celluloid dreams, macabre nightmares and bizarre premonitions, the adventure begins with an alien abduction and concludes with a stupendous Busby Berkeley-esque finale. Along the way, the throaty chanteuse belts out pop, rock and jazz standards - in addition to some original tunes by Alex Gifford - as Twist and company work their magic with vintage marionettes, anatomically correct puppets and fantastical scenic elements.
Arias with a Twist features costumes designed by renowned fashion and fragrance designer Thierry Manfred Mugler, and costume execution by Chris March of "Project Runway" fame. The lighting design is by Ayumu "Poe" Saegusa, sound design is by Greg Duffin and video design is by Daniel Brodie. Arias with a Twist combines projected animation, exquisite puppetry and ingenious stagecraft for an exhilarating and unprecedented theatrical spectacle not to be missed.
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The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.
Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)
As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.
Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week.
Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also writes weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.
In December of last year, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.