TOO MUCH SUN

The plays of Nicky Silver expose the hypocrisies of heteronormative society—i.e., family life—through the lens of queer disruptor: the attractive young son, brother-in-law, or next door neighbor transgressing acceptable boundaries in contemporary takes that have been frequently and favorably compared to the works of Joe Orton.

TOO MUCH SUN—in its local premiere, directed by Bart DeLorenzo—revolves around one of Silver’s signature monsters-of-ego: a stage actress, Audrey Langham (Diane Cary), who, in her opening scene, hilariously upbraids her director during rehearsal and walks out the theater. (The play was written for Linda Lavin, who played Audrey in the 2014 New York production at the Vineyard.)

Rather than go on with the show, Audrey repairs to the Cape Cod cottage of her estranged daughter Kitty (Autumn Reeser) for a little rest and recreational husband-hunting. (She’s hoping to land number six.) Audrey’s fall from grace seems to trigger similar acts and revelations from her immediate cohort: her son-in law Dennis (Bryan Langlitz), and father and son neighbors Winston (Clint Jordan) and Lucas—the wild card (Bailey Edwards).

Silver is a rare farceur whose work is always welcome. This time around, Silver’s characters are under a titular spell, addled by the heat and showing little ability to sustainably overcome a pervasive sense of apathy and exhaustion. TOO MUCH SUN is a transitional work for its author, his last “New York play” before moving to London last year.

TOO MUCH SUN

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm.

Sunday at 2 pm.

Through April 28.

Odyssey Theatre

2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

From top: Diane Cary in her Too Much Sun opening monologue, Odyssey Theatre, 2019; Bailey Edwards (left), Cary, Bryan Langlitz, and Autumn Reeser; Cary and Clint Jordan; Reeser; Langlitz and Edwards; Cary and Reeser. Photographs by Jeff Lorch.

FIRE AT BABY COMPANY

“Every time I enter a new room I scan for other queers. Maybe it’s a hunt for fleeting solidarity, maybe safety—not that the two are opposed. I didn’t know I did this until I didn’t have to, when I arrived in a place—[Fire Island]—where queer and its variants was the baseline. It is a profound experience, one I will never take for granted, even as I know the exclusions it enacts.

“This is a very personal show, in the sense that it has no pretensions of thoroughness or coherence. A series of friendships and encounters organized around a shared experience of finding one’s place. Just some people inhabiting a tiny speck of the world and—to borrow a phrase by Douglas Crimp, another friend from the island—misfitting together.” — Ryan McNamara*

McNamara brings Fire Island to Manhattan with a new exhibition of work by Travis BoyerJack BruscaTM DavyRaúl de NievesNicole EisenmanK8 HardyKia LabeijaMatthew LeifheitHanna LidenTiffany MalakootiSamuel RoeckPaul Mpagi SepuyaDevan ShimoyamaA.L. SteinerWolfgang TillmansCajsa von Zeipel, and himself.

FIRE*

Through April 14.

Baby Company

73 Allen Street, New York City.

*”Misfitting together” is a quote from Popism: The Warhol Sixties, by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett (1980), referenced by Douglas Crimp in his book “Our Kind of Movie”: The Films of Andy Warhol (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 157, note 29:

“I [Warhol] was reflecting that most people thought the Factory was a place where everybody had the same attitudes about everything; the truth was, we were all odds-and-ends misfits, somehow misfitting together.”

From top: Ryan McNamara, Cemical Compound (6/8/2018), 2019, wood, plaster, paint, psilocybin, amyl nitrate, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, Truvada; Wolfgang Tillmans, Far away inside (Echo Beach), 2017, inkjet print; Matthew Leifheit; Meat Rack Gathering, 2018, dye sublimation print on aluminum; Nicole Eisenman and Tiffany Malakooti, Remarkable Lesbian Chess Set, 2016, clay, wood, and paint; A.L. Steiner, Untitled (Rachel on bay, Pines), 2016–2019; Fire installation view with K8 Hardy‘s jockstrap collection—Look Pines, 2016, fiberglass mannequin, metal base, cloth, enamel paint, synthetic wig—in foreground; Devan Shimoyama, Untitled, 2015–2018, dye-sublimation print on aluminum (2); Cajsa von Zeipel, Boy’s Tears, 2019, styrofoam, fiberglass, aqua resin, plaster; Travis Boyer, Le Fountain, 2019, embellished and dyed wool blanket on beeswax, wood, and steel frame; Jack Brusca, Pines Pavilion Logo, 1980, acrylic on canvas; Kia LaBeija, New Legend Lucky 007 on Fire Island, 2018, digital inkjet print.

SOUL OF A NATION SYMPOSIUM

Thelma Golden and Kellie Jones—joined by CAAM‘s departing deputy director and chief curator Naima J. Keith—will participate in the first panel of the SOUL OF A NATION SYMPOSIUM at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo.*

The symposium marks the opening day of the SOUL OF A NATION exhibition at The Broad. Panel 1—which runs from 10:35 am to 11:50 am—will turn on the subject “The Politics of Black Exhibitions.” UC Irvine associate professor Bridget R. Cooks will moderate.

For complete information on the day’s speakers and panels, see the link below.

SOUL OF A NATION SYMPOSIUM

Saturday, March 23, from 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Aratani Theatre

244 San Pedro Street, downtown Los Angeles.

*On April 1, 2019, Keith will join LACMA as the vice president of education and public programs.

From top: Betye Saar, Rainbow Mojo, 1972, acrylic painting on cut leather, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, photograph by Robert Wedemeyer; Roy DeCarava, Mississippi freedom marcher, Washington, D.C., 1963, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives, © Roy DeCarava; Barkley L. Hendricks, Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People — Bobby Seale), 1969, oil, acrylic and aluminum leaf on linen canvas, © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks, courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Superman S–Shield © and ™ DC Comics, used with permission.

THE WOLVES

In Sarah DeLappe‘s THE WOLVES, we listen in on a girls’ soccer team as they go through their pregame stretch and practice sessions, trading high school gossip, snark about their education (“Why would you, like, watch a documentary?”), and disdain for their alcoholic coach—a rapid-fire, scattershot mix of earnest support and toxic insult.

During the play’s first half, DeLappe—who is still in her twenties, and for whom teenspeak is clearly a love/hate proposition—does not cut her subjects any slack. The girls tie themselves into so many careless, clueless verbal knots that THE WOLVES might initially be mistaken for an anti-Millennial tract. But the streams of quotidian wordplay that link the girls soon work a similar magic on the audience: moment by resonant moment, we are bound in the instant.

Near the end of the piece, tragedy—unforeseen and, as the girls point out, totally avoidable—strikes the team, after which they reunite for one more game. The furious updates and competitive status checks give way to an elegiac mood of reflection. Losing none of their individuality, the girls find their emotional footing in the group. “We are the Wolves!,” they jump and cheer, and we are together.

The excellent cast—directed by Alana Dietze—perfectly captures the arrogance and awkwardness of adolescence. This Los Angeles premiere production of THE WOLVES—a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize—will be on the boards for another month.

THE WOLVES

Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays at 8 pm.

Sundays at 4 pm.

Through May 6.

Echo Theater Company

Atwater Village Theatre

3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles.

From top: Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson (left), team captain Connor Kelly-Eiding, and Jacqueline Besson in The Wolves; Besson; Kelly-Eiding and Makeda Declet; Ellen Neary (left), Katherine CronynDonna Zadeh, and Minzi; Neary, Zadeh, Caitlin Zambito, Minzi, Declet, Johnson; Neary and Zambito; Zambito. Photographs by Darrett Sanders.

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA AT TEAM

The work of Paul Mpagi Sepuya can be seen on both coasts this spring, with a solo show at Team Gallery and a joint exhibition with Sheree Hovsepian at Team Bungalow.

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA—THE CONDITIONS

Through April 13.

Team Gallery

83 Grand Street, New York City.

SHEREE HOVSEPIAN and PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA

Through April 21.

Team Bungalow

306 Windward Avenue, Venice Beach.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, The Conditions, from top: Mirror Study (0X5A7394); A Portrait (0X5A8325); Drop Scene (0X5A8165). Sheree Hovsepian and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, from top: Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Portrait Study (_1980812); Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror (_2100693). Images courtesy the artist and Team Gallery.