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Antigone In New York
The Elizabeth Theater
Detroit, MI
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Antigone In New York
     Set and written in 1993 Antigone In New York was selected by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best plays of the year.  The story involves a homeless Puerto Rican woman who wants to steal the body of her lover from a state run burial site for John Does' and bury it in her beloved Tompkins Square Park.  She and two other immigrant accomplices', one from Russia the other from Poland, end up with the wrong body and a myriad of problems.

     Antigone In New York addresses the homeless problem in New York City from nearly 20 years ago and yet still remains in our minds today.  In our modern job market that seems to be taking a turn for the better, AP Economics Writer, Christopher S. Rugaber wrote on September 27, 2012 that:

"The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average [of americans seeking unemployment benefits], a less volatile measure, declined 4,500 to 374,000.  That's the first drop in six weeks.  Weekly unemployment applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs.  When they consistently fall below 375,000, it typically indicates that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate."  

     Despite this positive light at the end of the tunnel in a country that was nearly turned upside by one of the greatest recessions in its 236 year history and in a society where thousands of citizens have banned together as the bottom 99% versus the top 1% we still very often forget the bottom of that 99% who make less money than what most people consider the very bottom (approximate 15.1% of Americans are defined as "poor") and  "1%" of the entire American population are by definition homeless. (Wikipedia.org)  To a homeless person, the 99% are holding the world's wealth.

     Even in an example of a vibrant job market, Ken Korczak, an independent writer published on the examiner.com, wrote on September 18, 2012:

Homeless shelters in Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota, are now turning away hundreds of people per day because they have no more room
Yet, at the same time:
North Dakota has the best economy in the United States with the unemployment rate at a stunningly low 3%!
In Grand Forks where homeless people are going begging and finding a bridge to sleep under, there are an estimated 1,000 job openings on any given day. There are an estimated 20,000 job openings across North Dakota, according to the North Dakota Job Service.

     Polish-born Janusz Glowacki helps his audience to take a look at the apathy humans feel, by nature, toward those who are less fortunate, no matter what level of wealth we place ourselves in.  This aids in our ability to ignore the problem of homelessness in America.  Antigone In New York compels its audience to face the gravity of the homeless situation.

     In the spring of 2004 Wayne State University Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance PhD candidate, D. Christy Houston directed five undergraduate actors and four undergraduate designers at The Studio Theatre (downstairs from the Hilberry Theatre) into the world of Janusz Glowacki and his Antigone In New York.  This winter, eight years later, Jerry Belanger and his Elizabeth Theater has brought back four of the five actors with designs based off the original student designs.  This time under the direction of local award winning actor and director, Chris Korte and the addition to the cast of recent WSU alum, Patrick Loos, they will look to recreate the journey that has stayed with them for nearly a decade.  

     The Park Bar and The Elizabeth Theater was originally an abandoned storefront in the city of Detroit and purchased in 2004 by then recent Wayne State University Theatre alum Jerry Belanger (who appeared as Policeman in the 2004 WSU production of Antigone In New York and will make a couple TBA appearances as the same role for this production).  He spent the next two years renovating 2040 Park Avenue and the neighboring 1930s era Cliff Bells at 2030 Park Ave.  The Park Bar (which is also home to the Bucharest Grill) opened its doors in December of 2006.  Since then the Park Bar has become home for visiting Tiger Fans, Lions Fans, Downtown Locals, Fillmore Theatre patrons, Fox Theatre patrons and local musicians who have either played in the upstairs or been to a show in the constantly developing upstairs venue.  

     On December 2, 2011, five years after the Park Bar opened, Jerry Belanger's vision of a flexible performance venue, which was originally conceived while he was a Theatre student on the foot steps of Old Main on Wayne State University's campus located near-by, opened its first theatre production, The Tempest (nominated for Best of the Bard and Best Costume design at the 2012 Wilde Awards and Best Trio in The Rouge's Gallery).    In addition to being the home for the theatre company the theatre is also be available to rent for private events as well as continue to host Detroit's local music, dance and other performing arts events.

     The cast of Antigone In New York includes: Patrick Hanely (Southfield, MI as Immigrated Russian Artist, Sasha), Gregory Harris (Midtown, Detroit, MI as The Dead Guy, "Paulie"), Patrick Loos (Midtown, Detroit, MI as Policeman), Joe Kvoriak (North Rosedale Park, Detroit, MI Immigrated Polish Epileptic, Flea) and Sarah Switanowski (Corktown, Detroit, MI as Anita, Immigrated Puerto Rican in search of her dead lover).

     Tickets are $25 and are available by calling the Park Bar Box Office at 313-444-2294, emailing tickets@parkbardetroit.com or by visiting www.parkbardetroit.com. The box office is open to take ticket orders Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. or leave a message and your phone call be returned as soon as possible.
For more information, please call 313-444-2294 or visit the Park Bar web site at www.parkbardetroit.com.

Discussion

Location

The Elizabeth Theater (View)
2040 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
United States


Categories

Arts > Other
Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre
Comedy > Other
Food > Beer, Wine, and Spirits

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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