Abrons Art Center to Stage Tony Torn's UBU SINGS UBU, 4/9-26
Actor/director Tony Torn and Julie Atlas Muz star in Ubu Sings Ubu, an immersive theatrical mash up of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi and the songs of experimental cult band Pere Ubu. Adapted from a version of the original French text, and run through the Google Translate™engine, Torn and company are fueled by the giddy, angular new wave rock of Pere Ubu, the cult band whose name and style were inspired by the play. Torn, who co-directs with Dan Safer of Witness Relocation, plays Pere Ubu while Muz is Mere Ubu, in a bizarre parody of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in Poland instead of Scotland.
"I first fell in love with the band Pere Ubu in high school, when my brother Jon brought the song 'The Modern Dance' over to our friend Daniel Pinchbeck's house and we threw it on the turntable," says Torn. "The music led me to the insanely scatological play Ubu Roi, and from thence into a career in experimental theater. I first thought of doing a production like this over thirty years ago. And now it's time to put up or shut up."
Torn's adaptation process is as irreverent as Jarry's text. "Jarry's script is a scatological school boy prank," Torn explains. "He wrote the play to make fun of his high school physics teacher. The stupidity of Google Translate™ matches the intentional stupidity of the play... which is super exciting to me." In adapting the sprawling original text for a more intimate production, Torn (in collaboration with co-director Safer and poet Nicole Peyrafitte, who earned the unique title of "Merdreturge" for her work) feels he has discovered something hidden inside the famously scatological epic. "It's a love story... a disturbing and outlandish one, but very real."
Ubu Sings Ubu, features Tony Torn (Jay Scheib's The Disinherited, Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's on Broadway); Julie Atlas Muz (Whitney Biennial artist and Miss Exotic World!); and features Ubu Sings Ubu Band, a live Pere Ubu cover band, led by music director Vera Beren (Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble) on keys/theremin/oscillator, with Matt Butterfield (600 Highwaymen's THE RECORD) on guitar, Emmitt Joe George (the Strap-Ons) on bass, and Patrick "Paddymyke" Conlon (Agents of Karma, G.C.B.E, Work of Art and The Natural Mystics) on drums and is adapted and co-directed by Tony Torn (Door Wide Open, Reverend Billy and The Church Of Stop Shopping); co-directed and choreographed by Dan Safer (Witness Relocation); produced by Presence Productions; video by Kaz Phillips Safer, sets and costumes by Deb O, and lights by Jay Ryan.
A special performance of Ubu Sings Ubu will take place Tuesday March 25 at 9 PM. The Ubu Sings Ubu Band performs live at Joe's Pub in a special concert preview, with special guest, Tony Award winning musician STEW!
STEW is widely known for Passing Strange for which he received the 2008 Tony award for 'Best Book of a Musical.' Wrote lyrics and co-composed music for the same. Two-time Obie winner: 'Best New Theater Piece' and, as a member of thePS acting family, 'Best Ensemble.' A four-time Tony nominee, Stew leads, along with his collaborator Heidi Rodewald, two critically acclaimed bands: The Negro Problem and Stew. Works: Post Minstrel Syndrome (TNP 1997), Joys and Concerns (TNP 1999), Guest Host (S 2000),The Naked Dutch Painter (S 2002), Welcome Black (TNP 2002), Something Deeper Than These Changes (S 2003) and the cast album of Passing Strange (2008).
More informations and tickets are available at
http://joespub.publictheater.org/en/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/Joes-Pub/Ubu-Sings-Ubu/. All other performances will take place at Abrons Art Center: 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street) New York, NY. For more information, visit http://www.abronsartscenter.org/performances/ubu-sings-ubu.html.
Tony Torn is an actor and director known for his extensive work with Reza Abdoh and Richard Foreman, and for being the founding director of Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping. Tony recently made his Broadway debut as Rusty Trawler in Truman Capote'sBreakfast at Tiffany's. Other recent credits include The Church of Warren Buffet with Toxic Dreams, in Vienna, Austria, and Jay Scheib'sPlatonov, or The Disinherited at the Kitchen. His short film The Left Handed Way won multiple awards at the 48 Hour Film Project, Asheville, his web series The Grand Inquisitor was featured by Adobe Software at the SXSW festival, and his feature film Lucky Days (co-directed with Angelica Page) won best feature at the Coney Island Film Festival. He is currently developing Ubu Sings Ubu with co-director Dan Safer, an adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu trilogy featuring the music of cult band Pere Ubu. He manages Torn Page, a salon space and classroom in Chelsea.
Julie Atlas Muz is an acclaimed and prolific conceptual performer and choreographer in New York and sucker punches the boundaries between performance art, dance and burlesque with dark, twisted, come-hither performances that have secured her place in the underworld of nightlife as well as the bastion of the art world. On any given night in New York City, you can see Julie Atlas Muz peeling off the outlandish costumes she dons, covered in fake blood in the basement of a gay bar or co-hosting America's Favorite Burlesque Gameshow This or That! on public access-in essence, expressing her bawdy, irreverent and unexpected sense of humor. Muz has presented her work at P.S. 122, HERE, the Performing Garage and Art at St. Anne's Warehouse, chashama, LaMama, the Kitchen, and Dixon Place. You can see Julie Atlas Muz perform regularly in New York at the Galapagos, the Slipper Room, the VaVaVoom Room, the Coral Room, the Marquis, Mo' Pitkins House of Satisfaction, Rififfi and a host of other locations. Muz has been awarded Artist- in-Residency status from Chashama (2002), Joyce Soho (2001), Mondo Conne Artist-in-Residency at Dixon Place (2000) and Movement Research Artist-in-Residence (1998-99). 2004 Whitney Biennial Artist and a 2005 Valencia Biennial Artist. Muz has worked with Wallace Shawn, Greg Pak, Steve Staso, Michael Moore Pavol Liska and recently appeared in Law and Order as a lap dancer. Muz has danced for award-winning choreographers Sarah Michelson, Sally Silvers, Cydney Wilkes and others.
Dan Safer is Artistic Director of the acclaimed dance/ theater company Witness Relocation and works as a freelance director and choreographer. Recent credits include the world premiere of Chuck Mee's Eterniday with WR at La Mama; an original dance/theater/music adaptation of Moby Dick at NYU Abu Dhabi; Blue Wizard / Black Wizard by Dave Malloy and Eliza Bent at the Incubator Arts Project; and choreography for Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with Philadelphia Orchestra and Ridge Theater. His work has appeared at venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theater de Chaillot in Paris, Les Subsistanes in Lyon, and theaters and festivals in Thailand, Poland, Russia, Romania, Australia, and all over the US of A. He was a 2007- 9 recipient of the Six Points Fellowship (Performance) and has won two NY Innovative Theater Awards. Time Out NY called him "a purveyor of lo-fi mayhem" and he thought that was really awesome. He used to be a go-go dancer and once choreographed the Queen of Thailand's Birthday Party. Dan is the Head of Movement Training at NYU/ Playwrights Horizons Theater School and has recently taught at Princeton University and The Norwegian Theatre Academy. Dan also dreamed of staging Ubu in High School.
The Abrons Arts Center is the performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. The Abrons supports the presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their creative development through educational programs, commissions, and residencies; and serves as an intersection of cultural engagement for local, national, and international audiences and arts-workers.
Each year the Abrons offers over 250 performances, 12 gallery exhibitions, 20 residencies for performing and studio artists, and 100 different classes in dance, music, theater, and visual art. The Abrons also provides New York City public schools with teaching artists, introducing more than 3,000 students to the arts.