Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review: Last Life

The self-proclaimed "fightsical" Last Life (which premieres as part of the Brick Theater's current Fight Fest series) is a violent, post-apocalyptic tale of the quest for revenge following a cataclysmic loss. Co-created by director Timothy Haskell and playwright Eric Sanders, this collaborative effort plays intriguingly with form and structure and offers numerous visceral thrills, but often fails to connect together in a coherent way.

The intentionally fractured and disjointed narrative recounts the sadistic death throes of a small group of survivors who battle each other for control and dominance following an unnamed Armageddon. The play begins with Vadir (Taimak Guarriello, who rabid fight fans will recognize from Berry Gordy's cult classic kung-fu flick The Last Dragon) dramatically vowing to seek vengeance on his enemies. Vadir is being held captive by a rogue's gallery of hostile characters—including the frenzied leader Fenrir (Jo-anne Lee), her drug-addled sister Urir (Soomi Kim), the brutal torture expert Alcindor (Alyxx Wilson), and a cannibalistic psychopath with extensive facial skin grafts aptly known as SkinFace (Aaron Haskell).

(continues here)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

now that the blood has dried...

Well, another Blood Brothers has come and gone. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us again this year. Patrick and I (and the entire Nosedive crew) had a blast putting The New Guignol together.

I have a couple of things lined up for the next few months. In mid-December I'll be directing the fourth episode of Entrenched, Nosedive's entry in the Vampire Cowboy's Grand Saloon. I've been incredibly impressed with the work Patrick, Adam Swiderski and Matt Gray have done with the previous episodes in the series... I'll definitely have to bring my A-game.

I'm also planning on finally finishing the revamped Nosedive site. When I relaunched it a year ago last August, only the last half dozen shows had individual pages. I've expanded it to include many of the earlier shows over the past year, but there are still 5 early Nosedive shows that don't have pages up. Additionally, in anticipation of the Nosedive 10 year anniversary coming up in early 2010, I have a number of graphic design projects kicking around in the works.

And sleep. Boy, am I catching up on a lot of sleep these days. Running back to back from Infectious to Brokenhearteds to Blood Bros was amazing, but it wore me the hell out. Wouldn't trade it though... Immensely proud of all three shows.

In the meantime, check out some of the excellent production photos from the New Guignol (taken by our fantastic designers, Daniel Winters and Sarah Riffle). Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One Week Until The Blood Flows...

The Blood Brothers present...

The New Guignol

The Brick Theatre

575 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, October 28th - Saturday, October 31st, 8pm

new plays by
Danny Bowes - James Comtois - Mac Rogers

Ryan Andes* - Becky Byers - Rebecca Comtois
Jessi Gotta* - Stephen Heskett - Robert Leeds*
Marsha Martinez - Ben VandenBoom - Cotton Wright*
*appears courtesy Actor's Equity Association

directed by
Pete Boisvert - Rebecca Comtois
Stephanie Cox-Williams - Abe Goldfarb
Matt Johnston - Patrick Shearer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The New Guignol

We've had the basic details up on the Nosedive site for about a week now, but I thought I would add an update here as well. Patrick and I have been madly combing through news articles the last 6 months, searching for the perfect source material. Scripts are coming in from the writers now, and what we've seen so far has been incredibly exciting. I've got high hopes for this fourth installment of the Blood Brothers series.

The Blood Brothers present...

The New Guignol

Featuring new plays by Danny Bowes, James Comtois and Mac Rogers
directed by Pete Boisvert and Patrick Shearer

The Brick Theatre

575 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, October 27th - Saturday, October 31st, 8pm

More details coming soon...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brokenhearteds in Rehearsal

We're four days in to rehearsals for The Brokenhearteds, and things have been clicking along nicely. This show is a very different experience for me... For the first time in about seven years I'm not producing myself, so I'm able to keep my focus solely on the direction. The cast is excellent... I've watched most of these guys in various Vampire Cowboys shows for years now, and it's great to get a chance to work with them first hand.

Here's the postcard for the show. Not my work... our lighting designer Daniel Winters did the photography and graphic design for the card. I love how it came out.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Torture Garden

A poster from one of the original Grand Guignol plays. Ran across this when I was poking through some old e-mails from the first year of Blood Brothers. We based the final effect in What Color Is The Sun? on a historical description of the Ribbon of Flesh effect from Choisy's production of Le Jardin Des Supplices.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Infectious Opportunity opens today!

A quick reminder that Nosedive’s latest production, Infectious Opportunity, opens at the Brick Theater this weekend as a part of the Antidepressant Festival.

I am immensely proud of how Infectious has turned out. After seeing the tech rehearsal last night I can say with confidence that this is going to be one of the best shows Nosedive has ever staged. The cast is an amazing ensemble of actors that will knock your socks off, the design is a bold, eye-catching step forward for the company and James has written one of his most challenging and rewarding scripts to date. To put it simply, this show rocks.

Since we’re performing as part of a larger festival, the show dates are a bit more unconventional than usual. We have two performances this week on Sunday, June 7th at 5pm and Tuesday June 9th at 8pm, after which we go on a three-week hiatus. We come back for two more performances to close out the festival at the beginning of July (Wednesday, July 1st at 9pm and Friday, July 3rd at 7pm).

Because of this large gap between shows, we need to get all of our word of mouth out there off of the first two shows. Therefore, I strongly urge (read: plead with) you to come to one of the first two performances if you are able to. If you have to catch one of the later shows, I would recommend buying your tickets well in advance, as they are very likely to be sold out performances.

Seriously. This is not one to miss.

Hope to see you at the Brick,


Wes Farley, a screenwriter known for having HIV, is enjoying national attention with his latest film. There’s only one problem: he's faked his illness for the past 10 years to boost his career, and is now slowly comprehending the drawbacks of his plan. With the help of his friend Josie, Wes revisits his past and sees how an ill-advised white lie early in life ensnared him in his current situation.

Part of the Antidepressant Festival at the Brick.

Get your tickets here!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Infectious Opportunity

Nosedive Productions
in association with The Brick Theater

Infectious Opportunity

A new play by James Comtois
directed by Pete Boisvert

Wes Farley, a screenwriter known for having HIV, is enjoying national attention with his latest film.

There’s only one problem: he's faked his illness for the past 10 years to boost his career, and is now slowly comprehending the drawbacks of his plan.

With the help of his friend Josie, Wes revisits his past and sees how an ill-advised white lie early in life ensnared him in his current situation.

Rebecca Comtois ~ DR Hanson ~ Daryl Lathon* ~ David Ian Lee*
Ronica Reddick* ~ Andrea Marie Smith ~ Matthew Trumbull*

Sunday, June 7th at 5pm
Tuesday, June 9th at 8pm
Saturday, July 1st at 9pm
Friday, July 3rd at 7pm

Part of The Antidepressant Festival

Tickets on sale soon!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Soul Samurai Wrapup

Last night was the final performance of The Vampire Cowboys and Ma-Yi's production of Soul Samurai. Working on this show has been an absoulute blast. I always say the thing I love about the Cowboys is that they never make bad shows. They truly stepped up their game this time though, delivering one of the msot amazing nights of theatre I've ever seen (much less had the chance to work on). Thank you to Qui, Robert, Abby and everyone else at VC and Ma-Yi for the chance to work on such a great show.

Over the last week I worked with Stage Manager Kat West to mix up some images for a production CD as a a cast gift. Below are a few of the design pieces.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nosedive's Disturbing Burlesque

Nosedive's Disturbing Burlesque

Lovely Ladies. Bastard Host. Disturbing Company.

featuring unwholesome performances by
Dirty Diva ~ Madame Rosebud
Nasty Canasta ~ Sapphire Jones

hosted by
Bastard Keith

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
Doors open at 9pm ~ Show at 10pm
$20 Admission

Under St Marks Theatre
94 St. Marks Place, between 1st & Ave A

All Proceeds From This One-Night-Only
Fundraising Event Go To Nosedive's Spring Play,
Infectious Opportunity

Friday, January 09, 2009

Speed Demons - Rust In Peace

Last Saturday the Vampire Cowboy's held their final installment of this season's Grand Saloon, including Nosedive's episodic Faustian Road Trip serial, Speed Demons. As always, we had a blast working with the Cowboys on this project. I wanted to take a moment to thank the cast and crew of Speed Demons for making this such an exciting project to work on. Our fantastic cast of actors included Christopher Yustin, Daryl Lathon, Leah Carrell, James Comtois, Jon Hoche, Nick Micozzi, Scott Williams, Christian Toth, Stephanie Cox-Williams and Qui Nguyen.

Additionally, Speed Demons was an interesting new experiment for me as a director. Because of conflicts with Master of Horror, I only directly the first and final episodes of the series. The three episodes in between were directing by Matt Johnston, Abe Goldfarb and Patrick Shearer, each of whom brought their own unique style to the series. It was fantastic to see what each of them made of their episode, and a really unique challenge to try to bring all of the elements they established together for the final episode.

I also wanted to single out several Nosedivians who really went to bat for us on this project. Speed Demons relied heavily on music and sound effects throughout it's run, and Patrick Shearer provided an amazing sound design for each episode (as he always does). Marc Landers, Ben VandenBoom and Qui Nguyen made sure we got a video record of each performance, which we were able to post on our website in more or less real time, so that audience members could catch up on any episodes they had missed. Stephanie Cox-Williams performed triple duty as an actor, stage manager/showrunner and prop and car designer.

And most of all, I want to thank Abby Marcus, Qui Nguyen, Robert Ross-Parker and the rest of the Vampire Cowboys for including Nosedive in this exciting project. We look forward to working with them again in the near future! In the mean time, go check out the Cowboys new full length play, Soul Samurai, which is opening February 14th.

(I've included videos of the Speed Demons episodes below, for your viewing pleasure...)

Speed Demons — Episode 1

Video by Ben VandenBoom

Speed Demons — Episode 2

Video by Marc Landers

Speed Demons — Episode 3

Video by Qui Nguyen

Speed Demons — Episode 4

Video by Marc Landers

Speed Demons — Episode 5

Video by Marc Landers