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Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 All For One Festival shows I want to see

I know I said I'm giving up theater until I find a new job, but for $20 as a birthday treat (days free=getting to do stuff I wouldn't normally be able to) I'm planning to check out a few of these shows in November, when I'm also hoping to head out of NYC for a bit to visit Portland, Maine and Los Angeles, somewhere I've never been and somewhere I've been going since I was little (to visit family). Anyway, you can see all the shows they're putting on; these are 5 that particularly caught my eye (descriptions via AFO site, click on titles to get to the official page, where you can read bios and buy tickets):

Deb Margolin, Good Morning Anita Hill

Full Title: "Good Morning Anita Hill It's Ginni Thomas I Just Wanted To Reach Across the Airwaves and the Years and Ask You To Consider Something I Would Love You To Consider an Apology Sometime and Some Full Explanation of Why You Did What You Did With My Husband So Give It Some Thought and Certainly Pray About This and Come To Understand Why You Did What You Did Okay Have a Good Day."

Who are we at the moment we flip someone the bird; show the middle finger to a stranger? And what is tragedy? Is it possible that one definition of tragedy involves the realization that, in order to address an oppressor, or seek redress from him successfully, we must descend to his level? Here's what happens when a middle-aged Jewish woman confronts her road rage at the 20-year-old intersection of young motherhood and the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings. With a fair amount of Bristol Palin tossed in.

Mary Dimino, Scared Skinny

As a chubby Italian-American child growing up in Queens, Mary Dimino was warned by her mother that playing in a sandbox could lead to venereal disease, and cautioned by her "perverted" knife-wielding grandmother to stay away from all boys and dogs. Eating sausage and pepper sandwiches for lunch (with a cannoli for dessert), she suffered acute humiliation from her peers. Yet when she was only 8 years old, the realization of Mary's dream, to one day be skinny, was foretold by a Ouiga board. Still an obese virgin at 26, Mary had an epiphany when she overheard two "guidos" from Brooklyn making merciless fun of her. Angry and determined, she faced her fears and after a number of false starts, finally fulfilled the destiny of her Ouiga board. One hundred and fifteen pounds later, Mary Dimino tells the amazing and hilarious story behind her remarkable achievement.

Gioia De Cari, "Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze

Created as a response to former Harvard President Lawrence Summer's now infamous suggestion that women are less represented in the sciences because of innate gender differences, "Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze" is a true-life tale that offers a humorous, scathing, insightful and ultimately uplifting look at the challenges of being a professional woman in a male-dominated field. Performed barefoot on a bare stage with only a chair and a small table, writer/performer and "recovering mathematician" Gioia De Cari brings to life more than 30 characters in a hilarious and deeply touching performance that has earned raves from critics and stirred audiences to standing ovations. "Truth Values" is an ideal conversation starter about issues concerning women in math and science.

PJ Walsh, Over There - Comedy Is His Best Weapon

"Over There - Comedy Is His Best Weapon" illustrates the hardships and hilarity of PJ Walsh's journey - from a screw-up kid convinced there's no chance of war who enlists in 1990, all the way to the White House. It's his career in stand-up, though, that causes him to face his mortality in the belly of a C-130 flying over Afghanistan. This poignant narrative intertwines the solemnity of war with Walsh's keen eye to see comedy in the ebb and flow of every day events, while tackling larger issues such as war and growing up.

Jeff Grow, Creating Illusion

Magician Jeff Grow explores the diverse facets of the art of illusion, whether for entertainment or manipulation, beauty or deception. The tools of the conjurer are seen all around us. Elegant sleight of hand and surreal mind reading mix together to explore the tools of the art of creating illusion.

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