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Scars are an aide-mémoire for Riti Sachdeva. As metaphor they fix a truth in our collective memory by fusing two apt objects. The scar etches on the body a trace of its trauma; Parts of Parts & Stitches is a raised embroidery on the fabric of history, a trace of the scar of left by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

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Rachel Rouge, a.k.a. Lucy Johnson

What is more fun than having sex? Talking about sex.

By far.

Thank Eros (the porn god) that we live in an age of discourse and technology, where folks from the middle classes can get their jollies amplified and fine-tuned into art.

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Paul Nugent at The (Irish) Cell

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with two one act plays at The Cell theater.

Larry Kirwan’s “Blood” is based on the actual disappearance of James Connolly for three days in January of 1916, some months before the Easter Rising. Connolly’s three day trip “through hell” (from the program notes) should ring some church bells for the literary minded theatergoer. Like Dante, Connolly makes his trip through the Inferno of revolutionary Irish politics before ascending on Easter to participate in the (re)birth of the Irish nation.

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Henry (Aidan Redmon) and Annie (Synge Maher) share a moment

Tom Stoppard has been keeping it real since 1982 when “The Real Thing” premiered in the West End. Now you can catch the realness courtesy of the Boomerang Theatre Company at The Secret Theater in Long Island City.

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In The Seeing Place Theater’s production of Chekov’s Three Sisters the birch trees, rendered abstractly on a back wall of the dilapidated ATA Sergeant Theater on 53rd Street, are uncanny sentinels, observers whose angular geometry comments on the gap between the characters’ hopes and the shifts they are forced to accept to cope with life’s capricious freaks. The company strives for a similar effect in the props and staging. The first thing you notice when you take your seat are labels in the place of theatrical property: a piece of paper with “Book” in black marker, a wooden bench labeled “Olga’s Bed” and a wooden block tagged “CLOCK.” Director Brandon Walker amplifies these Brechtian touches by requiring the stage manager to sit upstage from the actors and give cues to a tech sitting in the booth throughout the performance.

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Claudio: Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato?
Benedick: I noted her not, but I looked on her.

Much Ado About Nothing is a joke. That is, the title is a pun. It’s like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and George pitch a show to some TV execs, who ask what the show is supposed to be about. Nothing?! Who would watch that? In Shakespeare’s day matters of the heart (and the comedies that represent them) are trivial, light, ephemeral business that don’t deserve too much attention. Somebody sings, there are dancers — and yet when kids are in love they get so serious about it! Romeo and Juliet is tragic precisely because the play started out as a comedy, but rather than getting over the teen-angst, high school drama and getting on to getting it on, the characters end up killing each other. It’s like My So Called Life all of a sudden morphs into The Wire.

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