Stars Rising in Bushwick, RoosevElvis by The TEAM
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RoosevElvis (“Rose-of-Elvis”), is a slash fiction of a weirdly post-modern historical sort. Pinging across all genres of narrative; pop, creative non-fiction, buddy flick, new queer theory (and a few more isms), the latest production by this vanguard company, The TEAM, does not disappoint.
Experimental theater is challenging in the way that any nerd culture is; unless you are really on the inside, way too much can fly over the head. But for the less adventurous theater goer who is sticking a toe way-off off Broadway, RoosevElvis will appeal to you too. Weaving together two story threads, one about a down and out butch lesbian, played by Libby King, who falls in love on a weekend date with a spunky bi woman played by Kristen Sieh, the other narrative is slashed against a homoerotic counter relationship between Teddy Roosevelt (played by Sieh) and Elvis Presley (played by King.) RoosevElvis is told from the point of view of Ann, the butch, with the sub-story between Roosevelt and Elvis living inside her imagination (or at least that could be one interpretation.) What is less ambiguous is the command performance by King and Sieh who carry the whole production by weaving in and out of their characters and counter-characters seamlessly.
RoosevElvis opens with Roosevelt and Elvis speaking into a radio microphone as if giving an interview about their own biographies, trading life anecdotes, all of their likes and dislikes, as if sparing in a boxing ring, which they end up doing later in the production. The two make such an unlikely pair, with Roosevelt coming across as a effete intellectual and Elvis the hip swinging lug (slight exaggerations of their iconic American images) that comedy is inherent in the script with out the need of any punch lines. The characters deftly spar across the stage through historically biographical reflections and witty one liners.
The TEAMS work is built on the American experience in various anarchic interpretations, often using political and cultural history as a jumping off point. Often defined by robust physicality and inventive staging, props and multimedia The TEAM productions move quickly bouncing between humor, wit and touching sentiments.
In a big box office theater town link New York often praiseworthy small theater productions can go unnoticed. Hopefully this won't be the case for The TEAM's latest production. The company has not surprisingly received much acclaim abroad. Catch the closing of RoosevElvis this weekend at the Bushwick Starr, where new art and performance is born.
Sunday, November 3rd
Performance at 5pm
Party at 7pm
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door (cash only)
Buy advance tickets to the party
The Bushwick Starr
207 Starr Street, Brooklyn [between Irving and Wyckoff]