This Season at La MaMa: Dance-Theater and a Puppet Rock Opera
For its 61st season, La MaMa Experimental Theater Club will present more than 40 productions from eight countries, including the in-person stage debut of a pandemic-era virtual play, several puppetry productions and a dance-theater-music work.
“This artistic community is coming out of a time of huge limitation, of deep questioning,” said Mia Yoo, the artistic director of La MaMa. With “Remake a World” as its theme, she said, the season asks, “What are the paradigm shifts that will help us reimagine?”
The 2022-23 offerings include the return of the acclaimed 2021 large-scale puppet production “Lunch With Sonia” (March 16-26), which Laura Collins-Hughes, a New York Times theater critic, called “achingly beautiful”; the U.S. premiere of “Radio 477!” (March 9-19), a Yara Arts Group production inspired by songs by the Ukrainian composer Yuliy Meitus and adapted from the 1979 revue “Hello, This is Radio 477!”; and “Last Gasp: Recalibration” (Oct. 13-30), a version of a piece that the theater duo Split Britches created and recorded on Zoom and premiered digitally in 2020, which will have its live stage debut at the Ellen Stewart Theater.
Also on the lineup after pandemic postponements is the world premiere of Elizabeth Swados’s musical “The Beautiful Lady” (dates to be announced). Directed by Anne Bogart, the poetry-heavy piece is set in an artists’ cafe during the Russian Revolution.
Come winter, John Kelly will present a new dance-theater work, “Underneath the Skin” (Dec. 1-18), about the fantastical life of Samuel Steward, a gay novelist and tattoo artist, combining movement with Steward’s words, tattoo designs and illustrations.
The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater will present “The Conference of the Birds” (Feb. 2-19), a rock opera about humans yearning to fly, as part of La MaMa’s February Puppet Slam.
The world premiere of “Broken Theater” (April 20-30), by Bobbi Jene Smith — formerly a member of Batsheva Dance Company — considers a performer’s dissolving boundaries when an audience leaves.
And the original home of La MaMa, at 74A East Fourth Street, where a multiyear $24 million renovation is underway, will open temporarily on Nov. 10 for a gala. Until the reopening, all La MaMa performances will be staged at 66 East Fourth Street, in the Ellen Stewart Theater and the Downstairs Theater.
Attendees are no longer required to show proof of vaccination; masks, however, are required. For more information, visit lamama.org.