Cattywampus

Incubator Arts Project, New York, NY
As part of the Other Voices Festival
January 5-21, 2012
Written and directed by Robert Cucuzza

Musical score by Juli Crockett and Michael Feldman

 

With

Jenny Greer as Chrissie

Jillian Lauren as Julie
D.J. Mendel as Donnie

Musicians
Mike Iveson (keyboards) and Jacob Loeb (guitar)

 

Costume Designer: Alice Tavener

Scenic Designer: Rick Martin

Lighting Designer: Ellie Rabinowitz

Choreographer: Jordana Che Toback

Stage Manager: Marisa Blankier

Production Supervisor: Andrew Slater
Festival Producer: Shannon Sindelar

 

Produced by Transit Authority/Studio Cucuzza

"a raw and raucous updating of August Strindberg’s classic"

"the production has a ferocity that gives it bursts of energizing life."

"With its ripely vulgar language and intensely physical acting style, the production doesn’t lack for surface attractions."

"[Chrissie is] played with amusing, surly truculence by Ms. Greer"

"a tangy stew of vulgarities and colloquialisms that is often funny but mostly unprintable in a family newspaper"

"Mr. Mendel hurls himself into his role with an abandon that impresses."

"Ms. Lauren’s Julie exudes a haughty sexual allure..."

"...a lurid romp..."

— Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

"A disturbingly dirty redrafting of the 1888 August Strindberg tragedy "Miss Julie" 

"...an unsettling yet riveting look at the combustive power of sexual heat fueled by social-class differences and psychological instability."

"the production derives its lifeblood from D.J. Mendel's tour de force turn as the gritty blue-collar worker"

"While Cucuzza's astute dialogue captures the rhythms, idioms, and uneducated syntax of Donnie's working-class speech in a fashion that is both frighteningly real and entertainingly comic, Mendel's alarming physicality, exploding with rough, sudden moves, fleshes out the role with raw brilliance."

"Mendel's nuanced acting and Cucuzza's shrewd direction"

"the atmospheric score is terrifically chilling"

— Lisa Jo Sagollo, Backstage

"a meticulously careful and intriguingly stylized updating of the piece"

"I enormously respected and enjoyed the craft involved in rethinking, line by line, a classic into a strong, idiosyncratic modern piece of theater, brought to life by three equally strong and idiosyncratic performances"

— Loren Noveck, nytheatre.com

 

Four out of five stars

"August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, has been suped up for maximum mayhem by outré writer-director Robert Cucuzza"

"raw poetry of Cucuzza’s Appalachian-tinged dialogue"

"Playfully—sometimes excessively—probing his characters’ ids and egos, Cucuzza is abetted by the ample, fearless skills of his cast"

— Helen Shaw, TimeOut NY

 

"...a great and rather edgy idea that is going for laughs more than intellectual insight"

"...all three actors...were marvelous, never overplaying their hand with the material."

"...sharp-witted with a keen perspective"

— OutWest Arts

"...a dynamite mock-Western score of trumpets and guitars..."

"Mendel is a deft physical comedian"

"The blue collar slapstick and jokes about Ford Pintos and screw-top wine gave the play the appearance of kitsch, but under the surface it roiled with violent class tension."

"Jenny Greer as Chrissie, Donnie's passed-out girlfriend, also had a knack for understatement. Towards the end, she sobered up just enough to get the entire audience laughing."

— Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly

This Stage profile

NY Press Clips

LA Press Clips

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REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
As part of the New Original Works Festival
September 15-17, 2011
Written and directed by Robert Cucuzza

Live score by Juli Crockett and Michael Feldman

 

With

Jenny Greer as Chrissie

Jillian Lauren as Julie
D.J. Mendel as Donnie

Musicians
Michael Feldman (keyboards), Juli Crockett (guitar), Dominic Rodriguez (drums)

 

Costume Designer: Alice Tavener

Scenic Designer: Dorothy Hoover

Lighting Designer: Ellie Rabinowitz

Choreographer: Jordana Che Toback

Stage Manager: Marisa Blankier

Photography: Steve Gunther
Festival Curator: George Lugg

 

Produced by Transit Authority/Studio Cucuzza

Son of Semele, Los Angeles, CA
September 15-17, 2011
Written and directed by Robert Cucuzza

Live score by Juli Crockett and Michael Feldman

 

With

Jenny Greer as Chrissie

Jillian Lauren as Julie
D.J. Mendel as Donnie

Musicians
Michael Feldman (keyboards), Juli Crockett (guitar), Kristy McInnis (drums)

 

Costume Designer: Alice Tavener

Scenic Designer: Dorothy Hoover

Lighting Designer: Ellie Rabinowitz

Choreographer: Jordana Che Toback

Stage Manager: Hector Machado

 

Produced by Transit Authority/Studio Cucuzza