Friday, December 12, 2008

Review: Chair

It should be no surprise that Chair, the new Edward Bond play freshly opened at the Duke on 42nd Street, is no cheery romp through the Garden of Earthly Pleasures. Bond has a well-earned notoriety for writing brutal, terrifying plays and Chair certainly lives up to that reputation. Bond's theme here is the dehumanization of the individual by the state, and he pursues this theme with a steadfast resolve.

Director and longtime Bond collaborator Robert Woodruff keeps the tone of the play cool and distant throughout. Featuring a brutally minimalist set designed by David Zinn, the stage is stripped down to appear almost naked. Mark Barton's light design complements this bleakness with a cold, crisp palette. Long, blank white walls are broken up by child-like crayon drawings, scribbled on large pieces of paper. A small table and a few chairs give something of an anchor to the set, but the sparse expanse seems to engulf the actors throughout the show.

The horror of Chair doesn't come in spurts of blood or passionate emotion. Rather, the dread imbued in the audience is a barren and empty one. In a play where kindness is a capital offense, our connection to humanity is the first casualty.

(continues here)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Master of Horror Portfolio

Spent the last week or so putting together a final portfolio of scripts, reviews and photos from The Master of Horror to submit to King's people. I have the graphic design pieces posted up on The Master of Horror page on the Nosedive site now.

Next up: Adding show pages for the remaining missing shows (Hellcat, Allston, Ruins, etc) and starting work on the graphic novel projects.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Season's Greetings from Nosedive

No Carol this year, but Scrooge and his spectral buddies wanted to wish all of you happy holidays nonetheless...

Nosedive Site Updates

When I initially relaunched the Nosedive website in August, it included detailed pages for a handful of our most recent shows - all three Blood Brothers installments, Colorful World and Nervous-Boy. I wanted to include more of our previous productions, but I had to shift my focus to directing Master of Horror with Patrick.

Fortunately, since MOH closed a couple of weeks ago I've been fighting off the post-show blues by getting back into the site redesign. Last night I finished up work on new production pages for A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol, Suburban Peepshow, Dying Goldfish, Mayonnaise Sandwiches and The Awaited Visit. It was a lot of fun to go back and look closely at these productions again. Our company photographer Aaron Epstein has always done amazing work for us... I particularly enjoy some of his more surreal photos on Peepshow, Mayo and Awaited Visit.

There are a handful of shows left that are missing production pages, including Hellcat, Ruins and Monkeys. That last one is going to be interesting, as we have no photos, video, reviews or other evidence of production. I hope to get these and all other production pages up by the end of the year. Once those are finished, I'm looking to add expanded company bio pages and a graphic design gallery in the new year.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Voted before work this morning. My polling station is PS 375 in Brooklyn, aka Jackie Robinson School. It was pretty packed... the line outside went around the block two corners. There's a large courtyard in front of the school where the poll workers were trying to organize the front of the line by Election District.

Unfortunately, the organization effort didn't go so well and the courtyard quickly filled up completely. The cops had to chain off the gate to the courtyard and let it clear out before letting the rest of us on the street in. I was the cut off, stuck right at the front of the line that was kept waiting. I got to hang out with a handful of annoyed cops who were trying to sort through the school employees and senior citizens who need to get through the line. Everyone seemed in pretty good spirits though, patiently determined to wait the lines out. This is what high turnout looks like...

I believe the election is going to turn on registration, turnout and enthusiasm. In two words: Ground Game. I think Obama is going to do even better than expected.

Found some really interesting Obama art around the web in various places... thought I'd throw a few up here for Election Day. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Skeletor, a Gladiator and the NonaMonster walk into a bar...

Check out some photos from the Halloween show of Master of Horror.

Only one night left for the Master of Horror. If you haven't caught it yet, get a ticket fast...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Room With No Doors

There's something incredibly visceral and immediate about watching horror on stage. In film and television the special effects may look more realistic, but the audience has a psychological distance from the action. When you're watching a horror play, you're trapped in the same room as the monsters and madmen. Blood sprays across the stage, sometimes splashing the audience, and there's no escape for the viewer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blood Brothers: Master of Horror Photo Gallery

Got the production photos for Master of Horror cleaned up and posted on the Nosedive site. Aaron did a fantastic job shooting for us (as always).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Master of Horror is Open

The Blood Brothers present...
The Master of Horror

Endtimes Underground at The Gene Frankel Theatre
24 Bond Street (between Bowery & Lafayette)
October 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30-31, November 1, 2008
Thursday through Saturday, 7:30pm

Buy tickets here!

by James Comtois

Quitters, Inc.
by Qui Nguyen

In The Deathroom
by Mac Rogers

Paranoid: A Chant and The Last Waltz

adapted from the short stories of Stephen King


Rebecca Comtois — Michael Criscuolo — Jeremy Goren
Jessi Gotta — Marc Landers — Marsha Martinez
Christian Toth — Ben Trawick-Smith

directed by Pete Boisvert and Patrick Shearer

stage managed by Stephanie Cox-Williams and Ben VandenBoom

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Speed Demons at the Grand Saloon

This weekend , Vampire Cowboys brings back its extremely popular series, THE SATURDAY NIGHT SALOON, a monthly party at THE BATTLE RANCH featuring brand new genre-bending serialized plays by NYC's hottest indie theatre artists. The shows hit every first Saturday night of the month from September to January. It's always free, the all-you-can-drink beer (or until we run out) is always only a mere five dollars, and the shows are always inventive. So why go drink at a bar when you can party at the Saloon?

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th, 2008 at 8pm
405 Johnson Avenue (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
(2.5 blocks from Morgon stop off L train)
For a map, CLICK HERE!

Featuring six all-new exciting serialized plays by:
James Comtois
Co-Artistic Director of Nosedive Productions
Author of Pinkie*; Colorful World; The Adventures of Nervous Boy

Megan Mostyn-Brown
Author of The Secret Lives of Losers; Girl; Going After Alice

A Rey Pamatmat
Member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab
Author of Deviant; Beautiful Day; Thunder Above, Deeps Below

Robert Ross Parker
Co-Artistic Director of Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company
Author of Jimmy Starshooter Must Get Laid*

Mac Rogers
Member of Gideon Productions
Author of Universal Robots; Hail Satan; Fleet Week

Webb Wilcoxen
Author of Patsy Stufflebean Meets The Kentucky Demon*; The Fairy Tale Project; Billy Sleepyhead
MC'd by Jeff Lewonczyk & Hope Cartelli

Saturday Night Saloon Schedule:
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Saturday, October 4th, 2008
Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Show and New Site

Two really exciting pieces of news to announce. First off, we have the official green light for our Blood Brothers show. The show is called The Blood Brothers present... The Master of Horror, and it's going to be a real doozy... we've received the rights for our playwrights to adapt a series of Stephen King stories for the stage! We're all very, very excited about this opportunity, of course. Been negotiating for the rights for most of the summer, and we're psyched to finally go public with our plans.

If you want to find out more about The Master of Horror, you can keep an eye for more details... at the all new and improved Nosedive website! Yup, after 8 years we've finally dumped the frames and gone all javascripty on ya. The site has been relaunched as of last night, and I'm pretty tickled with the results. We'll be adding older productions in the coming months, as well as the latest info on The Master of Horror as it becomes available. For now feel free to take a look around, kick the tires and bask in the drop down goodness.

Patrick and I are going back for round two of auditions tonight... Hopefully we'll have the cast list and press release out in a couple of days. It's gonna be an exciting fall...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Review: 2 By Sinner

2 By Sinner
reviewed for

Good surrealism is hard to pull off. It's all too easy for it to come across as too abstract, too self-conscious, or just plain too weird. It's exciting, then, to catch the polished and well-crafted 2 By Sinner, which achieves a near perfect balance, avoiding these pitfalls.

The title of the evening refers to John Sinner, a surrealist painter and theatre artist from Los Angeles. Sinner pulls triple duty in the evening, writing, directing, and sharing acting duties with Betsy Moore in two short plays.

If you're in the mood for tightly executed surrealism, it would be well worth your time to check out 2 By Sinner. It's certainly a strange evening of theatre, but Moore and Sinner carry the audience through with great skill.

(continues here)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review: Too Much Memory

Too Much Memory
reviewed for

An adaptation of an adaptation, Too Much Memory is a modern retelling of the tale of Antigone. Loosely based on Jean Anouilh's World War II-era take on the Greek myth, co-writers Keith Reddin and Meg Gibson firmly plant the conflict between Antigone and Creon in the present, with reflections on enemy combatants, suicide bombers, and the restriction of civil liberties in a time of war.

On balance, Reddin and Gibson's adaptation is an effective and engaging political thriller. The acting is of truly high caliber, especially the performances by Heisler, Moran, Cancelmi, and Ray Anthony Thomas as the soldier Jones. Gibson directs the play with energy and zeal. Although the play dances right up to the line of political polemic, it avoids triteness through it's emotionally honest portrayal of the characters' humanity. In his opening monologue Moran's Chorus describes an obligation to speak up in an oppressive political environment. Too Much Memory speaks loudly, and knows exactly what it wants to say.

(continues here)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

As You Like It

Got to see Boomerang's production of As You Like It this past weekend. Directed by Matt Johnston, there are a ton of Nosedive folks involved. A really fun, lighthearted production... I enjoyed it a lot. Performance info below, or click here to check out some photos from Saturday's performance.

Boomerang Theatre Company presents

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Matt Johnston

Starring Rebecca Comtois, Michael Criscuolo, Jessi Gotta, John Greenleaf, Paul Hamilton, Brian Moore, Eli Schneider, Maria Silverman, Alisha Spielmann, Christian Toth, Matthew Trumbull, and Scott Williams

Performed FREE and outdoors in Central Park
(enter at West 69th Street and Central Park West)

Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm, July 19th - August 10th

"Rosalind is banished and dressed as a boy. Orlando is on the run but smitten by a girl he saw fleetingly at court. Phebe is in love with Rosalind's male persona. Touchstone is in love with Audrey the milkmaid. Audrey...well, she's none too bright. But that's okay, because Celia is in love with bad boy Oliver. And among all this lovin', Jaques wants none of it. Shakespeare's beloved play about the power and verity of amour, presented free and out of doors in lovely Central Park!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: Striptease Into the Trip to Bahia Blanca

Striptease Into the Trip to Bahia Blanca
reviewed by Pete Boisvert for

As the audience gathers before the show, we are told that the performance of Striptease Into The Trip To Bahia Blanca begins immediately upon entrance to the theatre. Moving into the darkened space, a figure is vaguely discernible. A woman sits onstage wearing sunglasses and an exotic hat, holding a bouquet of flowers awkwardly to one side. Above her is a projected video image of an unblinking eye, staring out at the audience. An audio track plays a quiet cacophony of voices, guitar music, and various bits of sound collage.

The evening proper consists of two one-act plays by Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro, both of which center around the character of an actress. We begin with The Trip to Bahia Blanca, where a diva basks in the glow of a successful performance.

(continues here)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Truth About Barack Obama

The Truth About Barack Obama
Rumors the Obama campaign shouldn't try to correct.
By Christopher Beam

The Barack Obama presidential campaign introduced a new site last week,, that it hopes will debunk persistent myths about the senator: that he's a Muslim, that he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. As we have argued before, restating the myths often reinforces them, no matter how persuasively they've been refuted.

Rather than restate untruths about Obama, the campaign would do better to start some rumors of its own. Here's a template e-mail the Obama campaign might consider disseminating.

From: [Redacted]
To: [Redacted]

There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.

Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.

Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.

A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.

Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.

Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.

Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.

There's only one artist on Barack Obama's iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.

Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.

Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.

Barack Obama's new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.

Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.


Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Nosedive Productions presents...

Colorful World

A New Play by James Comtois

The 78th Street Theatre Lab, 236 West 78th St., 2nd Floor
May 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31
Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m.

Tickets available at TheatreMania.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vamps at the New York Comic Con

I got to go to the New York Comic Con today to help out with the Vampire Cowboys booth. Never been to a real comic book convention before. It was pretty insane... row after row of hardcore geekery. Got some fun photos of the Cowboys and various folks who came in costume.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Colorful World Postcard Art

Spent the last week or so in epic Photoshop session, pulling together postcard and promotional art for Colorful World. Lost track at about 30 hours... We ended up with two different designs.

The Spectrum design was originally intended for teaser art, but it proved very popular with the company and cast members. I really like the sense of mood and tone in it, and it incorporates the light spectrum metaphor which is at the center of Overman's character. Patrick's face is really haunting...

The Dossier design is much more closely related to the show... Much more "superhero" in concept. It was a hell of a lot of fun to design the little details. We ended up splitting the print run, ordering 2500 of each... first time Nosedive has put two different show cards out.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Meager Prawn Naps

Monkeys Write The New York Times

The New York Post Knows To Prey

Village Voice Goal: Evil Vice

The Daily News Wields Nay

Thou Acerbic Gin, Chicago Tribune

The Miami Herald Made Him Rail

Aping Hosts Town, The Washington Post

The Daily Mail Madly I Ail

Coming in May: Colorful World

Nosedive Productions presents...

A new play by James Comtois

Directed by Pete Boisvert

Abe Goldfarb* — Jessi Gotta — Marc Landers
Jason Liebman* — Mac Rogers — Patrick Shearer
Ben VandenBoom — Christopher Yustin

*Denotes member of the Actors Equity Association

The 78th Street Theatre Lab, 236 West 78th St., 2nd Floor
May 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31
Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m.

In 1988, the world discovered a man who was indestructible, impervious to pain, and able to destroy a tank with his mind.

In the early- to mid-nineties, a craze where vigilantes dressed up in flashy costumes and fought crime took the nation by storm.

Now it's 2005. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are still standing. Hurricane Katrina has decimated New Orleans. The Iraq War is coming to a close. And several former costumed crimefighters realize their marks on the world are more akin to those of has-been rock stars.

This is Colorful World, Nosedive Productions' latest full-length production that takes on the superhero genre. Far from a pulpy comic book-style romp, James Comtois and Pete Boisvert (The Adventures of Nervous-Boy) envision a world radically changed by the arrival of an invincible man, and not necessarily for the better.

Colorful World will be performed at the 78th Street Theatre Lab (236 West 78th St. at Broadway) May 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31 (Thursday through Saturday). All shows are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $18. Subway: 1 to 79th Street; A to 81st Street; or 1 2 or 3 to 72nd Street. Tickets available at TheatreMania.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Chicken Poop Trebuchet

Every night Joe Weston-Webb loads chicken droppings into a 30ft catapult and primes a cannon that used to fire his wife with a railway sleeper, all in the name of security... Mr Weston-Webb, 70, has rigged up Britain's biggest anti-burglar device after being targeted by vandalism, break-ins and even an arson attack... The businessman has even put up a sign outside his property reading: "WARNING. These premises are protected by Smart Poo and railway sleeper projectiles."

h/t to Gizmodo

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Hope In Hell

This really tickled me. Taken from Morpheus' duel with Choronzon in Sandman #4. Ah, the crossroads of politics and comic books... Feels like home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dance of the Bullfrogs

An excellent high-speed video of bullfrogs feeding, created by the Vancouver Aquarium. Really cool stuff.

(h/t Boing Boing)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eddie Izzard at Union Square Theatre

Celebrated Shay's birthday by catching Eddie Izzard in concert last night. Hysterical show, funny as hell. Got a bunch of good pics up on Picasa.

Eddie Izzard at Union Square Theatre

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nosedive's Boxcar Social!

Nosedive's Boxcar Social
at The Vampire Cowboy's Battle Ranch
111 Conselyea Street, #2L, Williamsburg
Saturday, February 16th, 7pm-11pm.
Magic! Comedy! Poetry! Booze!
$5 Cover, $2 beers, and $1 Jello Shots