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June 2015 Archives

Le Poisson Rouge, located at 158 Bleeker Street, New York NY, is proud to present a Nepal Relief Concert featuring some of the most esteemed names in jazz. The concert will begin at 7:00 PM and run until 11:00 PM. The cost to attend is $25 and $15 for students with ID. All proceeds will be donated to UNICEF and Handicap International. Reservations can be made online by visiting www.lepoissonrouge.com or by calling (212) 505-3474.

11236474_10205949170260872_3783136205959574603_n.jpgFollowing the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal, flautist Jamie Baum, Manu Koch and others resolved to organize a benefit concert, and in consultation with the founder and organizer of Jazzmandu, Navin Chettri, reached out to bands who had performed at the festival as well as other allies in the jazz community. The night, hosted by WBGO's Simon Rentner,  promises a wide variety of delights: the ever-intriguing compositions of Claudia Quintet; KJ Denhert's funk and soul, Joel Harrison and Anuparm Shobhakar's mix of North Indian classical music and jazz; Goonj's earthy Indian-based groove music, Beat Kaestli's French-flavored jazz vocal; Pawan Benjamin's visionary saxophone immersed in Nepalese traditions; and the renowned mother/son Laugart team leading their Cuban quartet. These eight bands, five of which have performed at Kathmandu Jazz Festival (Jazzmandu), will perform for approximately twenty minutes each.

Two of the bands will feature jazz legend Dave Liebman, honored guest on soprano saxophone. Liebman has listened to and been inspired by Indian music since the 1960's and has played on the continent several times with his own groups. 


Pola Rosen (PRimage.jpg): Where did you get the idea for the first play, "Jack In The Box"?

Celeste Makoff (CM): I wrote it when I was 16 and a student at Interlochen, which is a performing arts boarding school. I had to turn something in for a class and I remember I wrote down a few words I really liked, with one of the words being 'box'. I've never written a play like that since but I came up with the idea and wrote it one sitting.

PR: Did the concept of that play come from any trigger in real life?

CM: At the time I didn't know it but definitely. I wrote it while my parents were splitting up. It wasn't intentional, but now I see it.

PR: What are your thoughts on the play?

Jonathan King (JK): What drew me to the play was that everyone has their own boxes where were box ourselves off. I also was drawn to the idea of confession- confessing to someone who can't confess or push back against what he's been given. It just struck me.

PR: Where did you two meet?

CM: We met in California. We worked together for the first time on a show named "Dissonance".

PR: One of the things that I was thinking about was that the only thing that got Jack out of the box was a bribe- something that he wanted to own that he didn't have and that made him lift off the cover. What is your sentiment about bribery in life? What is your message about material things?

CM: I think as you're growing up you realize that material possessions don't mean as much as non-material possessions. For me, a big part of getting older was realizing that gifts from people don't mean anything if the relationship is incomplete.

PR: The other thing that came to me was the use of confessions. He's in this box and then suddenly he hears these confessions and all these things come out about people. Were you privy to that in your life?

CM: Yes, I find that people open up to me pretty easily and share things with me. I also think that most people who are growing up with parents who are separating get caught in the middle. It's so easy to get caught up with that at that age.

PR: What's your perspective on what she's writing about?


JK: I actually share the experience of receiving gifts and confessions. I think that there's something about growing older and realizing that what you want is not what you actually need. In the play, the boy wanted something else but it wasn't something he needed and in some ways, his pursuit of that sets off an unforeseen chain of events for him. I also like to think of what happens to Jack after the box- what does he do with all of this information that he didn't ask for?

PR: What is your plan for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?

JK: We certainly want to continue collaborating. I've rediscovered directing through this experience. I have mostly been an actor but in college I spent my last year studying directing so it's wonderful to come back to the process. It fits with my intellectual pursuits. In five years I'm hoping to keep doing this- bringing works to life. I have a drive for this and to make people connect with stories.

CM: I just graduated from Tisch in January. I want to get into writing for television. I want to stay within the world of writing for theater and television because TV is a lot like theater. It's also the golden age for TV. During this process I saw that this is really what I want to do.

PR: Who is your favorite director?

JK: I admire Julie Taymor because she really brings in a flavor when she directs. It's all art direction. She has a vision and a message with that vision. It's not just the lights and the costumers are not incidental- everything has a meaning. Even when she takes previously published works she creates a whole new world.

CM: Ivo van Hove is my favorite director. Angels in America is my favorite play (with Tony Kushner as my favorite writer) and seeing his version of it at Brooklyn Academy of Music was just amazing.


"Bottled Up" runs June 5th and 6th at 7:00 PM and June 7th at 2:00 PM at DCTV Center, 1st floor, located in Tribeca at 87 Lafayette Street. 

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