A  



 



'Why is our hazy atmosphere a prism that refracts the white light of love into a rainbow?'
Written in 1836, Leonce & Lena is a sensually romantic comedy about pyrotechnics of the heart. emotions explode during a prince and princess's relationship, unsettling the universe with its power and promise

MytholoJazz adds a musical twist to Greek myth and Chilean legend accompanied by the original compositions of jazz piano virtuoso D.D. Jackson.

   

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 
 

Despite obscurity during his own time, Georg Buchner is now credited with helping create both expressionism and naturalism for the stage. This production of Leonce and Lena makes it clear that he should get some credit for theater of the absurd as well.

Though it's hard to connect with the relentlessly foolish characters, the production nevertheless delivers this rarity - overshadowed by Danton's Death and Woyzeck - with great flair under Lenard Petit's direction.

The play was written by Buchner in 1836 for a literary competition, but it failed to meet the deadline and was returned unread. Had the judges shown more leniency, they'd have found the story of Prince Leonce (Jonathan Fielding) of the kingdom of Poo Poo, who spends his days counting grains of sand and trying to look down upon his own head. All he has learned through such experiments is that "horrible idleness…is the root of every vice," he says. "Why do I, of all people, have to know that?"

His father, King Peter, (Dalane Mason), is even more useless in his peacock-feather crown, moving his limbs only with the aid of servants who use long poles to manipulate him like gondoliers. The king can't dress himself, but he does manage to get Leonce betrothed to Princess Lena, (Keirin Brown) of the kingdom of Pi Pi.

This only leaves the prince feeling "like a lamb that's going to be sacrificed." So he and his friend Valerio (Carman Lacivita) disguise themselves as beggars and hit the road in search of a woman "infinitely beautiful and infinitely unintellectual."

Given those qualifications, it seems that the prince and Lena are indeed meant for each other. And since she's fleeing the wedding too, it's only right that they meet and fall in love incognito.

Mr. Petit cultivates a dotty, slapstick atmosphere by encouraging silly gestures and unexpected acrobatics from his well-tuned cast. Kathleen Anderson Milne's set, Chad R. Jung's lighting, and Laura Anderson Barbata's eccentric costumes underscore the play's larger-than-life nature with color and form. Buchner was to go on to more serious and substantial work, but this piece preserves a time when he would seem obsessed with nothing but fun.

Dallas Morning News

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Hailed by the village Voice as "one of the most innovative musicians of his generation," pianist/composer D.D. Jackson and his trio to perform Jackson's struttin' original music that seamlessly blends with Gonzalez's brilliant comic spark and vibrant performance style. Directed by Lenard Petit

First, audiences journey into Hades with Jazz Orpheus. In his search for his lost wife Eurydice, Orpheus swings and serenades his way through the ordeals of the underworld. In the second story, Delgadina, a kind-hearted girl befriends a magical red snake, who gives her a "Midas" touch. Generous with her gift and courted by a King, Delagadina is nearly destroyed by a jealous witch who proves no match for her enchanted guardian.

 

"With speech, sound, mime, dance and above all, inspired imagination, Mr. Gonzalez has the gift of creating magical worlds and drawing his audience into them. A palpable delight." New York Times

 

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A Christmas Carol Told by the Spirit of Charles Dickens

 

Charles Dickens's beloved holiday story is brought to life in a tour de force solo performance by Lenard Petit, In A Christmas Carol Told by the Sprit of Charles Dickens Mr. Petit appears as the spirit of Charles Dickens, who in the reading of his classic novella, creates a magical world of characters, from past, present, and future, and brings to life this time-tested story of a cold-hearted miser who finds redemption on Christmas Eve. With original music composed and performed by Sean Hagerty. Directed by Meg Pantera

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Sal Cacciato

Review by Peter Filichia For The Star-Ledger


We all missed Charles Dickens’ famous lecture tours of America in 1842 and 1867.
But at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, we’re getting the next-best thing.
Here’s Lenard Petit, who, thanks to a beard and a 19th-century black suit, looks rather like Dickens. Petit takes the stage not just to read “A Christmas Carol” at a lectern as Dickens once did, but also to genuinely perform it. In the process, Dickens is, to use an expression from one of the author’s most venerated works, “recalled to life.”
For Petit animatedly covers the intimate stage at Mile Square, using 18 voices and enacting the familiar story in which Ebenezer Scrooge straightens out. Petit is a demure Ghost of Christmas Past, a fiddling-while-his-company-burns Fezziwig and, not at all incidentally, a rough-and-tumble Scrooge — at least until the last 10 minutes of the 90-minute show. That’s when, of course, the character finds his humanity.
This version, by Petit and director Meg Pantera, offers more genuine Dickens than most. Theatergoers should think of this “Christmas Carol” as an audiobook that offers some fascinating visuals.
Petit runs his fingers through his Beethovenish hair to establish that a ghost has arrived. Then he moans through Marley’s agony and makes Scrooge cry for mercy, especially when he hits rock bottom. In Scrooge’s happier times, when he’s “dancing” with the heavy-set Mrs. Fezziwig, Petit extends his arms in front of him as far as they’ll go; somehow this gesture makes us “see” her.
Even when Petit simply reads from the book (which doesn’t happen often), he imbues his recitations with lovely diction and plenty of passion. He adds drama by slamming shut the book to punctuate some sentences. At other times he releases the tome from his hands and lets gravity take it where it may. All performance long, he aptly speaks in the histrionic way for which 19th-century performers were famous. And while Petit is technically reading, we become confident that his looking at the page is just a formality; he knows this material cold.
All that’s onstage is a chair on a rug, in front of three ornate curtains. What’s amazing is how many uses Petit and Pantera find for that chair. Just when a theatergoer might think he’s seen it in every possible position, Petit and Pantera find another one. As for the curtains, they allow Petit to walk behind them so he can emerge as a completely different character.
In these times of attention deficiencies, some may fear that one actor won’t be able to hold their interest. They could well be surprised — especially with the help provided by Laura Cornish’s effective lighting.
Modern technology allows for one asset unknown in Dickens’ day: Sean Hagerty samples some recorded sounds that create a terrific stereophonic effect throughout the small theater. Hagerty also plays the violin with great gusto and often underlines a passage with a nifty pizzicato.
One of these musical passages allows Petit to leave the stage to take a well-deserved drink of water. That, however, happens only once. By the time Petit gets to “God bless us, everyone!” a theatergoer may well be saying “God bless you, Lenard Petit.”

 

 

 

 

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................