Downtown theatre's Talking Band will debut four new musical theatre pieces in a collective piece called Black Milk Quartet, opening Jan. 23 at New York City's Ohio Theatre. Performances began Jan. 20 for a run through Feb. 6. Band member Paul Zimet directs the evening.
All four stories in Black Milk Quartet center around individuals captured by a great passion. The prologue, Gina Leishman's Actaeon, tells the Greek myth in which a young hunter stumbles upon Diana, goddess of the hunt. Black Milk by Ellen Maddow watches a woman go mad as she falls for an invisible lover. A supermarket executive obsessed with his stripper wife's infidelity with a con artist is the subject of Harry Mann's Price Slasher. Dan Froot's Colored Glass reveals what happens to a quiet lover of books and music when he meets a woman at the library.
The four pieces' casts are drawn from Robert Aronson, William Badgett, David Duffield, Dina Emerson, Cecilia Engelhart Lopez, Jack Ferver, Marcy Jellison and Maddow.
Designing the shows are Christine Jones (set), Carol Mullins (lighting) with shadow images by Eric Bass and Finn Campman.
Tickets are $12 and available by calling (212) 696-8594. The Ohio Theatre is located at 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets. Talking Band was founded in 1974, by former members of Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre: Maddow, Tina Shepard and Zimet. The group focuses on music's influence on theatre, with all the actors in the pieces also doubling as musicians, and textured languages often approaching singing. Over the years, Talking Band, has worked with top-notch designers and puppeteers, including Julie Taymor, Janie Geisner and Theodora Skipitares.
-- By Christine Ehren
and Sean McGrath