Eighth Annual Under the Radar Festival Launches at the Public Theater Jan. 4

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04 Jan 2012

The Public Theater's eighth annual Under the Radar Festival, filled with experimental theatre works from across the globe, launches Jan. 4 with two titles: Waterwell's Goodbar, the play with music based on Judith Rossner's 1975 novel "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," and a dramatic look at late writer Susan Sontag in Sontag: Reborn.



The 12-day event runs through Jan. 15 at the Public and various partner venues across New York City. Mark Russell produces UTR with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Goodbar, which had its world premiere summer 2010 at East River Park under the direction of Tony Award nominee Arian Moayed, is a collaboration with the glam rock band Bambï. The original cast reunites for the UTR staging, which tells of a New York City schoolteacher with a dangerous sexual appetite.

Here's a look at the 2012 UTR productions:

Goodbar
Jan. 4-15  at the Public
Created by Bambï and Waterwell
Based on "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" by Judith Rossner
Music by Jimmie Marlowe, Lyrics by Kevin Townley
Directed by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely
Featuring Bambï: Hanna Cheek, Cara Jeiven, Jimmie Marlowe, Tobi Parks and Kevin Townley

"Created in collaboration with NYC glam-punk band, Bambï, Goodbar blurs the boundaries between music and theatre while tackling one of the most controversial cult artifacts of the '70s: 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar.' Riffing wildly on the novel by Judith Rossner, Bambï & Waterwell crank the amps up to 10 and launch a full frontal assault on modern myths of sex, independence, and persona. Goodbar also integrates video performances by Ira Glass, Moby, Bobby Cannavale, and many others."

Sontag: Reborn
Jan. 4-15 at the Public
Based on the book by Susan Sontag and edited by David Reiff
The Builders Association

"Sontag: Reborn draws from cultural critic Susan Sontag’s journals, tracing her academic and personal journey from the age of 14 to her emergence as a singular public intellectual. In Sontag: Reborn performer Moe Angelo's actions and words are magnified and transformed using a richly visual media environment to depict the workings of Sontag's prismatic mind. Sontag: Reborn creates an elegant portrait of a magnetic personality under careful construction."

Super Night Shot
Jan. 5-8 at the Public
Gob Squad Arts Collective

"Precisely one hour before you arrive, Super Night Shot begins. In a military-style brief, Gob Squad declares a “War on Anonymity” and takes to New York City streets armed with video cameras, embarking on a set of comic and surreal adventures that celebrate unexpected encounters with strangers. You give them a rousing hero’s welcome as they return to the theater, and the footage of the fantastical mission is mixed live into a four-channel widescreen film."

Word Becomes Flesh
Jan. 5-15 at the Public
Presented in Association with 651 ARTS
Conceived and Directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project

"Presented as a series of letters to an unborn son, Word Becomes Flesh confronts fatherhood in urban communities and the mythology of the black male body — from cotton field to athletic field and all the spaces in between. Marc Bamuthi Joseph reinvents his 2003 solo performance for a new generation with an ensemble cast, using spoken word, music, and contemporary and hip-hop dance."

Camille O'Sullivan: Feel
Jan. 6 at the Public
Camille O'Sullivan

"An award-winning actress, architect and painter, Irish/French chanteuse Camille O'Sullivan is one of Ireland's most unique artists. With five-star sell-out seasons in London, New York, Sydney Opera House, and Edinburgh, this charismatic performer presents the work of Nick Cave, Jacques Brel, David Bowie, Tom Waits, and many others in her very own distinctively theatrical style. Presented in collaboration with Culture Ireland."

El pasado es un animal grotesco (The past is a grotesque animal)
Jan. 7-15 at the Public
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and Performance Space 122's COIL Festival
Written and Directed by Mariano Pensotti

"Epic and cinematic in scope, with a slowly revolving stage, El pasado… tracks the lives of four young Argentinians in a bittersweet fragmentary chronicle of a decade (1999-2009). What began as a story pieced together from damaged photographs left behind in a photolab evolves into a fast-paced record of the past, both true and imaginary."

Alexis. A Greek Tragedy
Jan. 4-14 at LaMaMa
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and La MaMa Motus
Directed by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò

"In 2008, 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos became an icon of youthful rebellion after he was shot by a policeman, triggering an unprecedented storm of protests against the corrupted political system in Greece. In their continued search for a modern Antigone in present-day resistance, Motus emerges with this documentary theatre piece of uncompromising theatricality. Alexis is their poetic call to action."

The Plot is the Revolution
Jan. 9 at La MaMa
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and La MaMa Motus
Directed by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò
With Silvia Calderoni and Judith Malina

"The Living Theatre’s Judith Malina and Motus’ Silvia Calderoni create an encounter between two Antigones — spanning generations and experiences — united in the belief that theater can incite political transformation."

Lick But Don't Swallow!
Jan. 4-15 at La MaMa
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and La MaMa biriken and Damgacı
Directed by biriken
Written by Özen Yula

"An angel comes down from heaven but finds herself in the body of a porn star. The clock is ticking – who can she save? Or is it just a dream of a porn star to save herself and the world? A hybrid of comedy, video, and existential inquiry, Lick But Don't Swallow! was only performed once in Istanbul, due to protests by a fundamentalist newspaper."

The Table
Jan. 5-8 at La MaMa
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and La MaMa Blind Summit
"A cantankerous puppet Moses trapped on a table! Some disembodied heads at a romantic dinner! A tank salesman! All unfolding in a visual journey inspired by Beckett, the Bible, and Ikea."

In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
Jan. 5-14 at La MaMa
Co-presented by The Public's Under The Radar Festival and La MaMa Stefan Zeromski Theatre
Directed by Radostaw Rychcik

"All songs are about love, and they're all like wolves. Backed by live music from the Polish cult band Natural Born Chillers, this interpretation of late French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès' In the Solitude of Cotton Fields imagines a raw encounter between a Dealer and a Client with the swagger of an Eastern European punk-rock concert."

Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech
Jan. 5-14 at the Japan Society
Presented by Japan Society as part of The Public's Under The Radar Festival chelfitsch Theater Company
Written and Directed by Toshiki Okada

"Chelfitsch Theater Company returns to New York to perform Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech, the quirky triptych created by the internationally acclaimed playwright/director Toshiki Okada. Hot Pepper… captures the empty and ungrounded nature of Generation Y in Japan today through three humorously absurd scenes set in a corporate break room."

The Bee
Jan. 5-15 at the Japan Society
Presented by Japan Society as part of The Public's Under The Radar Festival Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre/Soho Theatre, London/Noda Map
Co-written and directed by Hideki Noda

"Manga comic strip-like frenzy turns into a thought-provoking nightmare in Hideki Noda's The Bee, co-written by Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan and inspired by a story by Yasutaka Tsutsui. This gripping production tells the tale of an ordinary Japanese businessman who turns savage after returning home to discover that his wife and son have been taken hostage. Within a minimalist set and an eerily beautiful soundtrack, the cast, composed of four members, including the director himself and Olivier Award winner Kathryn Hunter, seamlessly shifts between characters."

Chimera
Jan. 5-15 at HERE
Presented by HERE as part of The Public's Under The Radar Festival
Created by Suli Holum and Deborah Stein

"Welcome to the world of Jennifer Samuels, who has just discovered that she is her own twin. Inspired by a real-life horror story, Chimera takes you on a journey from the frontiers of modern science to the seeds of ancient mythology. Co-creators Deborah Stein and Suli Holum have launched a highly theatrical exploration of medical chimerism — the phenomenon of containing two different sets of DNA within one body — in order to explore what happens when technology shatters our ideas of who we think we are."

Gob Squad "Resource Room" at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
Jan. 6-28 at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
Presented in Association with the Goethe-Institut New York
Gob Squad Arts Collective

"In an unprecedented month-long residency Berlin-based Gob Squad will bring two shows and a visual exhibit/resource room to New York. This is a rare chance to encounter this talented company with their humorous, poignant, and provocative take on the human condition. Gob Squad is curating an interactive 'Resource Room' that covers their unique methods of making performance and details their history of groundbreaking events."

Tickets for productions at the Public can be purchased by phoning (212) 967-7555 or by visiting PublicTheater.  Tickets for all other UTR productions can be purchased directly from the respective venues.