Posts Tagged ‘New York

19
Nov
17

Don’t Feed The Indians: My Review

Don_t Feed The Indians 1In order to gain entry to the Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective’s production of Don’t Feed The Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant at the legendary La MaMa’s Downstairs Theatre you must first pass through a sideshow. Your guide through this living tableau of indigenous fallacies and misrepresentations is a tall well-dressed ponytailed huckster in braids and sunglasses. You’re given gold chocolate coins to toss in the baskets of the presented freaks in order to feed the Indians an enticement to perform for you. There’s the half-naked, half breed singing warrior brave, the firewater drinking alcoholic homeless veteran of many wars, and of course the cigar smoking tobacco selling old woman indecipherably chanting away, all there for your enjoyment before you take your seat in the theater for the main event.

The carnival atmosphere, beautifully created by set designer Ann Mirjam Vaikla, lighting designer Cecilia Durbin, and costume designer Sheldon Raymore, continues on inside. What follows is an absurdist collection of songs, skits, and parables about expected racial archetypes and the insufferable lengths to which Native American actors must go through to fit into those molds or find themselves without professional employment. Loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, the story presents the onstage performances and backstage dramas of a Native American family of performers trying to satisfy an audience starving for those stereotypes while dealing with the personal costs of living up to the lies imposed upon them to match the forced expectations of the Eurocentric crowd. This is a twisted variety show with the punch of an in-your-face moral message that’s meant to amuse, but make one squirm in the process.

Don_t Feed The Indians 2There are bits exposing the racism of supposedly tried and true entertainments like Disney’s Peter Pan and the musical Annie Get Your Gun. Indian Casino shows are also on display here with an emcee from hell and the comedic stylings of a beaded borscht belt husband and wife team that present the irony of double edged self-deprecating humor. Television is properly skewered as well with a very funny use of Keeping Up With The Kardashians to exemplify the cost that individuals pay when living a lie. These are all set against real and touching revelations of autobiographical sacrifices made in the act of attempting against all odds to live an artist’s life including depression, family conflict, forced rape, and the loss of leaders and elders as the fight for equality and acceptance rolls ceaselessly on.

Don’t Feed the Indians was conceived, written, and directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock Nations), with musical direction by Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk Nations) both of whom serve double duty in the cast as well turning in some of the funniest and touching work of the show. The balance of this talented all Native American ensemble includes Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw Nations), John Scott-Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Tribe), Danielle Soames (Mohawk/Kahnawake Nations), Henu Josephine Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk/Kuna/Rappahannock Nations), Joe Cross (Caddo/Nation of Oklahoma), Tony Enos (Cherokee Nation), George Stonefish (Delaware Chippewa/First Nation) and Gloria Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock Nations). Each of these actors delivers performances ranging from spiritual ritual, broad slapstick, and heart wrenching sadness with utmost skill and grace.

Don_t Feed The Indians 3This is a production whose heart is in the right place and whose cause is righteous. The overriding message is everything here and that’s not only laudable but also commendable. That being said this is also a production whose heart and cause cries out for some focus in the telling. The script is in need of editing and the production overall is in need of tighter direction. The old adage of less is more is apt here. Many of the target points are being missed in the scattershot delivery of scene, after scene, after scene with the encroaching feeling of repetitiveness around every corner. A sharper focused beam would shed even more light on these all important issues and would greater serve to correct the injustices being presented. One would hope that the production and artistic teams of Don’t Feed The Indians will return to the stage after having polished this diamond in the rough once more.

La MaMa
Downstairs Theatre
66 East 4th St
New York, NY 1003
http://lamama.org/
212.352.3101
$25 Adult Tickets; $20 Students/Seniors + $1 Facility Fee
Nov 2 – Nov 19, 2017
From an original post on TheaterScene.

Photo credits Maya Bitan.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

14
Nov
17

Big Apple Circus: My Review

Big Apple Circus 1 - Photo credit Juliana Crawford

Hidden away in the corner of Lincoln Center Plaza’s Damrosch Park is a grand tent. It sits on the stage right side of the Metropolitan Opera House. Covered in gold stars on its surface, and filled with genuine stars within, the large blue big top is surrounded by a caravan of black wagons emblazoned with gold lettering proclaiming the return of the Big Apple Circus to its metropolitan home.

Not too many cities in the world are able to boast of having a circus named after them but New York City can proudly make that claim. That honor was almost lost a season or so ago. The Big Apple Circus was in debt, insolvent, and declared bankrupt. The Grand Tour, it’s last named production, was to be its final appearance. After some clever moves, including changing from a non-profit status to a for profit status, and along with some bold investors who saw the value in saving this rather unique icon, the circus was reborn. Under new ownership, with stunning new and returning headliners this cultural gem has made a triumphant return to New York City just in time for its 40th anniversary season.

Famous for its European-style one-ring presentation, where no seat is more than fifty feet from the performers, this intimate setting puts the performers almost within reach and makes their breathtaking feats all the more dramatic. Under the leadership of new Ringmaster Tyron “Ty” McFarlan the circus is in laudable hands. Formally of the now sadly defunct Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus host McFarlan brings with him the commanding presence of a three ring circus master tempered with a charming one ring sensibility that guides audience and performers through a marvel of a show.

Big Apple Circus 2 - Photo credit Juliana Crawford

This is a tight, fast paced, extravaganza of great talent that includes the married dynamic duo of Dandino & Luciana, who combine speed, acrobatics and daredevil grace on roller skates. There’s the award-winning contortionist Elayne Kramer, master juggler Gamal Garcia, the balancing skills of Jan Damm on the tricky Rola Bola board, and the acclaimed acrobatics of The Anastasini Brothers. Circus trainer and presenter Jenny Vidbel, performs beautifully in the ring with sixteen hoses and ponies, and some very lucky rescue dogs. For over ten years Big Apple Circus has maintained a vital no wild or exotic animals policy. The talented animals that appear with her are all a part of this third generation animal trainer’s own family.

Circus royalty is featured here as well with record-breaking legends Nik Wallenda and The Fabulous Wallendas wowing the crowd with their famous seven-person pyramid on the high wire and The Flying Tunizianis executing their daring quadruple somersault on the trapeze. This is the first time in circus history that both legendary feats are being performed in the same show. Joining these daring acts are the comedy hijinks of Grandma the Clown. This marks the return of the Big Apple Circus icon and Barry Lubin the man that brings her to life. Lubin is a member of the International Clown Hall of Fame and the first professional clown to perform on all seven continents. This is Grandma’s twenty fifth season and this time she’s paired with sidekick, Joel Jeske. The well teamed pair are a joy to watch and fill the tent with sheer comedic bliss.

Big Apple Circus 3 - Photo credit Juliana Crawford

The production team assembled for this 40th Anniversary season is another stellar compilation. Director Mark Lonergan, is a three-time Drama Desk Award nominee and his skills serve this production well. Choreographer and associate director Antoinette DiPietropolo keeps the action moving at a quick pace. Giving everything a grander than usual look is Tony Award winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter and Scenic Designers Rob Bissinger and Anita LaScala. Drama Desk Award nominated Costume Designer Amy Clark delivers the fun of sparkle and spandex. Special mentions must also go to Crew Chief Matthew “Toystore” Zimmerman and the ever present Ring Crew, along with Music Director Rob Slowik, Conductor Rob Slowik and the Band.

It should also be noted that Big Apple Circus will continue its four decade commitment to audience and community outreach programs. Circus of the Senses offers special enhanced experiences for guests with autism, visual, and auditory challenges. The special performances include ASL interpretation, assistive listening devices with live audio commentary, before and after show touch therapy experiences, and a Braille program book. Sensory-friendly performances for Autistic audience members will feature lower light and sound levels, a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, and a “calming center” that can be accessed at any point during the show. Also, as part of the Circus for All initiative, eleven performances throughout the ten-week run will offer $10 tickets for every seat in the house to underprivileged children and underserved schools.

Big Apple Circus 4 - Photo credit Juliana Crawford

Though updated and freshly polished the Big Apple Circus is still, at its core, entertainment at its finest. The finale brings the full complement of performers center stage and as they enter the ring en masse one is reminded that this circus is a multi-generational institution. One that generations of guest families have returned year after year to enjoy as well. On both sides of the ring circus life is family life. Everyone responsible for the 40th Anniversary Edition of the Big Apple Circus should feel proud of not only rising from the ashes but for soaring like a phoenix as well. New Yorkers should also attend filled with pride that their circus is home again and in truly fine form.

Lincoln Center
3 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
bigapplecircus.com
$37.50 – $129
212.257.2330
Through Jan 7, 2018
From an original post on TheaterScene.
All photos credited to Juliana Crawford.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

29
Sep
17

In & Of Itself: My Review

Photo Sep 28, 2 01 07 PMSome believe that “the oldest profession” is an idiom that conjures up mental images of brothels and clandestine encounters. Others believe that the expression goes back further in time. It harkens back to the time when we as hominids gathered around the fire and told stories of the hunt. It takes us back to the time when we painted our first art on cave walls so that we could convey our stories. Some would say that it was in that time that real theatre was first born. There’s vivid art on display on the walls at the Daryl Roth theatre, and magical storytelling occurring on its stage, and both are being beautifully manipulated by a writer, performance artist, and master magician all in the form of Derek Delgaudio.

Photo 1 - Photo Credit Edward MedinaWhen you enter his performance space you encounter your first wall. It’s a wall filled with row, after row, after row of small white cards that all have the words I Am emblazoned at the top. Below that they each have a different descriptive word or phrase. Doctor. Mom. Cougar. Imagineer. Best friend. A big deal. The one that got away. The choices seem almost endless. The magician wants you to pick a card. Do so. There’s revelation in your choice. It’s about who you think you are. It’s about who you’re meant to be for the next seventy-five intermission less moments.

You then enter the theatre itself, going deeper into the magician’s chamber of secrets. As you take your seat you encounter the other wall. On stage is an imposing solid wall of wood boards with six window boxes of various sizes set into it. Each of these smaller individual chambers contains an item, a thing, a device that will each serve to tell a story that contributes to the whole. Revealing what they are wouldn’t be fair. That would be giving away some of the magic. In fact, telling you much more wouldn’t be fair to both you or to the magician. Telling you wouldn’t give away how the illusions are achieved but it would reveal the secrets of the story and story is everything here.

Frank Oz, Derek Delgaudio

Frank Oz, Derek Delgaudio photo credit Matthew Murphy

What can be said is that through the course of the evening magician Delgaudio will load each of those six chambers with a story and an illusion. Every time he does so, he pulls a trigger and fires a shot right through himself and the audience. That’s not hyperbole. It’s the truth. It’s in the telling of the tale. Delgaudio, producers Neil Patrick Harris and Glenn Kaino, and director Frank Oz have masterfully designed, crafted, and presented a supremely beautiful mix of life lessons learned, and illusionist skills mastered, all of which merge into a series of perfect entertainment moments.

Though he stands alone on-stage this magician still has his assistants. An artistic collective known as A. Bandit designed a set and performance space that is deceptively simple and cunning all on its own. On stage, there is only a wall, a ladder, a table, and a chair but this production design begins the moment you walk in the front door. The same can be said of lighting designer Adam Blumenthal’s work. The wall of white cards is lit in a bright white wash that gives them a surreal and inviting glow that draws you towards them. His illuminations during the show itself helps to illustrate each magical move Delgaudio makes. Mark Mothersbaugh, founding member and front man of the indie-pop band Devo, sets the mood with a mesmerizing original score and sound designer Kevin Heard accentuates the tone of the production and helps to make inanimate objects spring to life. Individually they all shine but collectively they form a foundation that creates an environment in which Delgaudio can further manipulate the senses.

There are the great magicians that everyone remembers because they have name recognition. Thurston. Blackstone. Houdini. Henning. Copperfield. For those in the know, Derek Delgaudio could be closely compared to a mix of the elegant stage style of Channing Pollack, the profound close-up skill sets of Rene Lavand, and the storytelling genius of the recently lost Eugene Burger. Comparisons are made here for reference but Delgaudio is a master magician all to himself. His presentation and style is for a new generation and stands entirely on its own. His relationship with the audience is everything and he achieves that by being funny and sad, understanding and coy, charming and mischievous, and at times painfully honest. Delgaudio, the magician, becomes whatever he needs to be to help us along on this most personal journey.

Photo Sep 29, 4 35 19 PM

Derek Delgaudio photo credit Matthew Murphy

By the time Derek Delgaudio is done with the telling, concluding with a mind boggling final ten minutes you will never ever forget, you will be transfixed and transformed. At that conclusion, when he asks you to stand up and believe in who you are, who you chose to be represented by that white card you picked out when you first walked into his domain, do so. Stand up. Believe in yourself and do it. He wants you to. You won’t regret it and you’ll become a part of this master’s final illusion. You’ll become a part of the touching, heartfelt, glorious, empowering magical story he tells so well.

Daryl Roth Theatre
101 East 15th Street
New York, NY 1003
$30 – $148
www.darylroththeatre.com
212-375-1110
April 5 – Dec 30, 2017

From an original post on TheaterScene/The Fire Island Sun.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

28
Sep
17

For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday: My Review

Photo Sep 29, 4 50 56 PMTwo time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee author Sarah Ruhl wrote For Peter Pan as a gift to her actress mother Kathleen Kehoe Ruhl who, in real life, joyously played Pan long ago. The play opens with Ann (Kathleen Chalfant), representing the embodiment of Ruhl’s mother, parting the closed curtains and stepping out to sweetly regale us with dulcet memories of her character’s Pan performance. The moment was so natural and well-acted that one wasn’t sure if this was part of the show or the beginning of a welcome to the Playwrights Horizons theatre.

Ruhl has set her semi-autobiographical drama, with hints of humor, within a framework of three movements. The first movement has us waiting in a hospital room with the family as they wait for their patriarch George (Ron Crawford) to shuffle off this mortal coil. It’s a long wait. With many lingering silences. Too many of them. In between those silences we are introduced to each remaining member of the clan. They include sister, Wendy (Lisa Emery), and brothers Jim (David Chandler), John (Daniel Jenkins), and Michael (Keith Reddin). It’s in these first moments together that we feel the hints of familial love and festering sibling rivalry that permeate their lives.

At the obvious conclusion of the vigil deceased dad sits up and gets out of bed. He takes a walk to the front door of the family’s Davenport, Iowa home where he’s greeted by the also deceased family dog, nicely played by adopted canine Macy making her New York theatrical debut. George and the pet then go inside. The father will physically yet silently haunt the remainder of the play like a specter at the awkward feast to follow.

For Peter Pan

David Chandler, Ron Crawford, Daniel Jenkins, Lisa Emery, Keith Reddin, and Kathleen Chalfant (Photo Credit Joan Marcus)

After a clumsy set change, all done to a live trumpet solo of “When the Saints Come Marching” in, we arrive at the second movement and the family dinner table. It’s there with handfuls of Chex Party Mix and copious amounts of Jameson whiskey that the now orphaned siblings truly let the catharsis fly in a verbal wake of suddenly forced adulthood.

This family venting is filled with remembrances both joyful and melancholy, growing expressions of sibling discontent and disconnect, a good dose of political regret for being both not enough or too liberal, and not enough or too conservative, in a world gone mad during the Clinton administration, and it’s all blended together with a healthy mix of Irish Catholic guilt.

It’s here that author and ensemble shine. These are all actors of a certain age and their real life skills and professional experience provide them with the tools to take what would at first glance appear to be a clichéd scene and make it sing off the page.

The third movement is somewhat magical but extremely perplexing. Its childhood fantasy rooted in the reality of age as the Pan story plays out in the children’s bedroom. Each sibling has a part to play. Ann returns to her crowing self as Peter, siblings Wendy, John and Peter become their namesakes, and brother Jim becomes a fabulous Captain Hook, even the family dog takes a turn as Nana but nothing here can help save this lost elderly children’s theatre-like conclusion.

Awkward moments abound in a crash of forced analogies, confusing concepts, and the technical requirements of attaching flying harnesses to both people and a bed. The clearly audible mechanical sounds of the pulley systems that make the magic of flight possible were painfully apparent. Whether this was deliberate to increase that feeling of encroaching reality or the theater space is just too small to absorb the mechanics involved will remain a mystery.

The end of all this returned us to a touching moment. With her brothers and sister choosing to return to being grownups Ann, as Peter, is left alone on stage to once again recall her original performance. She remembers the real magic of that moment. She remembers the audience, her friends smiling faces, and her father coming up the aisle to bring her a bouquet of roses. Ghost dad does just that and speaks for the first time with words of support and encouragement to a young Ann as she embarks on the rest of her life. This then allows Peter to take flight once more leaving the pains of the real world behind.

Photo Sep 29, 4 54 54 PM

Kathleen Chalfant David Chandler (Photo Credit Joan Marcus)

There’s a lot to be said about the Peter Pan myth and its connections to youth and lost youth, to living life and finding death, to hanging on and letting go. Unfortunately, this time, like a clumsy lost boy, the obviously gifted Ruhl overloads her quiver with tried and true tropes and takes aim at societies every day foibles, the structure of family, all the stages of death and dying, and the truths of how we can be our own worst enemies, but she ends up missing all the marks by half.

Under the direction of Ms. Ruhl’s frequent collaborator, Les Waters, the production is at times a tedious mix of misfires and missed opportunities and yet at others one can almost see the distant shores of Neverland, the mermaids and Indians and pirates that inhabit that magical place, and one can truly try to believe that if we clap hard enough Tinkerbell will live again.

The physical production is supported by scenic designer David Zinn, costume designer Kristopher Castle, lighting designer Matt Frey, original music and sound designers Bray Poor and Charles Coes, animal trainer William Berloni and flight and fly director Ryan Bourque.

 

Playwrights Horizons – Mainstage Theater

416 West 42nd Street
Tickets: $59-$99
http://www.playwrightshorizons.org
212-564-1235
August 18 – October 1, 2017

From an original post on TheaterScene/The Fire Island Sun.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

24
Sep
17

Casanova

Photo Sep 16, 11 42 53 PM“Sit,” the old woman instructed. “I have someone I wish to introduce to you.”

Completely mesmerized by what was happening, Gwen and Larry took their seats as they were told.

“I only accept newborns and I keep them for six months. I am the first mother to all my children.”

Mariya slid the lid off of the box.

“I must warn you,” she said as she leaned back in her chair, “this one is a charmer.”

The kitten slowly, and cautiously, raised its head outside the box. His big, soulful, blue grey eyes were devastating.

“I named him Casanova.”

As if on cue, the kitten placed his two front paws on the edge of the box and raised himself up with a long stretch.

“His birth mother died bringing him into the world and he is the only surviving member of his litter.”

Casanova had a solid black coat, with white fur on his paws, belly, chest, and throat. Gwen thought his facial coloration made it look as if he was wearing a black mask over his eyes and head. Larry had the same thought, but also noted that the coloration of his lower jaw and chin gave the cat a jaunty goatee beneath his disguise.

“He was born all skin and spine, but he’s coming into himself very nicely,” Mariya remarked as she lifted Casanova from the box and placed him on her lap.

The little Tuxedo cat had oddly matched features. Long pointy ears framed a small elegant face. He had a long, thin tail and long, gangly legs attached to a stout body. At first glance he seemed incomplete, but upon further thought it became obvious that he would grow to be quite an attractive fellow.

It was also obvious from the volume of his purring that Casanova dearly loved the only mother he ever knew.

“He’s perfectly healthy and six months old today.”

The old woman scooped him up from her lap, walked over, and placed him in Gwen’s. Then Mariya whispered in her ear.

“Look into his eyes and you will see that my Casanova is a lover, not a fighter.”

He was purring in Gwen’s arms, but as his mother returned to her seat without him the low rumble became less, and less, and less.

“We’ll take him,” Larry blurted as the purring stopped completely.

Gwen and Larry Talbot purchased Casanova and boarded a train for the return trip to Woodstock. Larry would remember how all the cats in the shop watched in silence as they took Casanova from them. Trees of cats with staring eyes. He would also recollect the deep kiss he shared with his wife on that train. It would be the last sincere kiss of both their short lives.

CasanovaEighty million cats are owned in the United States. Most are introduced to homes without a seconds thought. Most come from friends and family. Others are found and adopted with little thought of where they come from. Cats in turn love their new homes but a rare few will not bend to the will of others. Amazon bestselling author Edward Medina now introduces you to the story of one such cat.

Raised by a gypsy, adopted by a broken couple, and driven by the light of the moon, Casanova is a cat with dreams and desires. He craves his freedom, longs for escape, and is willing to kill to achieve his goals. Set in New York City and the Upstate New York towns of Woodstock, Accord, and Sleepy Hollow this dark horror follows Casanova on his journey to return home and fulfill his destiny.

“Casanova is a story with as many twists and turns as there are feline rouges. A great little story that is as suspenseful as it is creepy, as funny, in places, as it is dark. – William Cook author of Blood Related

“One of the signs of a good story is the images in your head that persist long after the story is told. This is where Mr. Medina excels. He tells you his tale and then your imagination begins to write the next chapter. After reading Casanova you may not see your cat the same way again.” – Amazon Reader

Casanova debuted in the Top Five on the Amazon bestseller list for Short Stories Horror and has earned 14 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, authors, and bloggers.

Casanova is available on Amazon.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

28
Feb
14

The Corpse of Madeline Hill

photo by Eric HahnNew York State’s Hudson Valley is fertile ground for specters and legends of all types and lineages. Everyone knows the story of Sleepy Hollow. Not far from the Headless Horseman’s territory, in Ulster County, New York, you’ll find the small town of Accord. You’ll miss it if you drive by too quickly. Accord has one of these stories. Accord has one of these cautionary tales wrapped around a haunting event. A tale that’s meant to remind us that love is eternal, and that evil and hate are real, and both come with death not far behind.

Follow any of the winding two lane roads that run through Accord and you’ll find an eerily peaceful spot. All roads lead here. No matter which set of turns you take. Ask anyone in town and they’ll all tell you the same thing. They’ll say that all roads lead to Whitfield Cemetery.

Once you arrive you’ll find all the things that would make this a traditionally peaceful spot. Several small groups of trees are scattered about. They cast enough of a shadow to add a proper air of respectful solemnity to the surroundings. No walls nor any fence or gate encircles it. Whatever unrest exists here is free to come and go at its pleasure.

Seven hundred and fifty-seven souls call Whitfield Cemetery home. Revolutionary and Civil War veterans reside there. As do doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, carpenters, housewives, husbands, children and infants. Some lead exemplary lives, others not so much, and some didn’t have time enough for either. You’ll find generations of local families buried here. Whitfield Cemetery is also the place where you’ll find the corpse of Madeline Hill.

This distinguished lady was laid to rest, if you could call it that, in the lone grave at the top of the small hill on the far side of the cemetery. Everyone calls the hill Madeline Hill, but no one really remembers why. Over time everyone just came to assume that the hill itself was named after some woman. At one point there were so many different versions of her tale that everyone was confused. Or perhaps they had been misdirected by the still living will of the woman buried in the hill. Then one day, no one really knows when, the citizens of Accord all just forgot to tell each other the story anymore.

It was once widely believed that if you put your ear to the ground at Mistress Madeline’s grave you’d hear the beating of her heart down below. If you were brave enough to do it. Deadly things happen at this particular grave. The last set of citizens who whispered about that fact, are buried on the other side of this particular graveyard.

Whitfield Cemetery has had many caretakers. None of them stay very long. One of those anonymous many wanted a small souvenir of the well known resting place he cared for before he left for good. He took a hammer and chisel to her tombstone. All he wanted was a chip. No one was sure what happened next but he was found with the chisel buried in the back of his skull. The chisel wasn’t what killed him. Apparently he had been stung to death by a swarm of mosquitoes first. The chisel came after.

Father Curran drove all the way up from New York City after having heard the story of Madeline Hill. He brought a bottle of sacramental wine to forgive Madeline her sins and consecrate her resting place in order to bring her peace. But this is a place of neither rest nor peace. As he uncorked the bottle the glass shattered. Both his wrists were sliced open. He bled to death right on the spot, with his body laying six feet above the unforgiving mistress below.

The last time anyone tried to disturb her grave was in 1962 when the Felix brothers made their foolish attempt. As the shovel pierced the ground above her corpse, one brother had a massive heart attack that killed him instantly. The other brother tripped over his own feet as he ran for help. He struck his head on her tombstone, and snapped his neck. The Felix brothers had heard the tale that Madeline had been buried with a rather rare and unique bottle of spirits and that simple found fact lead to their deaths.

Stories are powerful. The ones that come with a warning are most important. The story of Madeline Hill has faded away. People have forgotten about it. This is most unfortunate. It’s rather frightening actually because stories like this one should never be forgotten.

The Corpse of Madeline HillAmazon Bestselling author Edward Medina has discovered another unique and frightening story to share with you.

The art of making wine is the art of capturing time in a bottle. It’s about taking living elements at the glory of their being and causing their demise in the most sublime way possible. The art of making wine is the art of capturing life and death in a bottle. The Corpse of Madeline Hill is a tale of luscious wine, eternal love, brutal murder and savage revenge set in the New York State wine regions. This short story also serves as proof that the best revenge is aged revenge.

“Madeline Hill is not a woman to be ignored. It doesn’t matter that she’s dead. She will be heard and her revenge felt long after her death. I encourage you to read The Corpse of Madeline Hill because it is honestly one of the best short stories that I have read in a long time.” – Lucinda Rose author of Blood Child

“Edward Medina is gifted beyond measure in the art of storytelling. The Corpse of Madeline Hill jumps from the pages and swarms the senses in the best revenge tale I’ve read in years. Amazing.” – Amazon Reader

The Corpse of Madeline Hill debuted in the Top Five on the Amazon bestseller list for Short Stories Horror and has earned 12 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, authors, and bloggers.

The Corpse of Madeline Hill is available on Amazon.

Edward Medina

Edward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

12
Jun
13

Awilda


Awilda Lips

Awilda made an observation last night that made her laugh out loud on the subway. Chicken in a can shouldn’t come in liquid. It’s just wrong. We accept it with tuna. Fish are meant to be in liquid. Chickens are air breathers. Awilda often had thoughts like that. Quick random shots through the dark that made her laugh out loud, or cry quite a lot. She liked to laugh. She didn’t like the crying at all. The laughing helped her forget the dark things. The crying reminded her that the laughing was a lie.

Awilda killed her first vampire when she was six years old. He was a child just like she was. He attacked her and she stabbed him in the heart. Just like that. Nice and easy. She was young, but she knew exactly what he was. She had seen the movies. She knew Bela Lugosi when she saw him. So Awilda killed him and buried his body in the abandoned building where it happened.

There were questions. There were police and an investigation. The boy was a friend, of a friend, of a friend, so no one really talked to her about the incident. They couldn’t find him for a long time and then the questions stopped. They never found the body. Just a few years ago the building was demolished. They built a church on that spot. Awilda laughed a lot when she heard they had done that.

Awilda was a demure young lady of twenty-six now, with an indefatigable mind in a myriad of places. She was very pretty. Not too thin. Not too heavy. She was a bit on the tall side with lots of leg. Her flesh was creamy white with light pink tones. The vampires loved her for all those lovely attributes. They were all foolishly drawn to her because of them. Awilda was her own secret weapon.

She loved her full breasts. She loved the weight of them in her hands. She was also quite fond of her derriere. It was round and plump. Whenever she couldn’t sleep she would lay on her side, close her eyes, and slowly breathe three deep breaths while she caressed all her curves. The sensation would always lull her into dreamtime. Awilda loved her body. She started to develop her shapely presence when she turned thirteen. That’s when she killed her second vampire.

He toyed with her mind. He put his hands on her. Awilda could feel his nails trying to cut into her. She could feel his teeth on her neck. She punched him where it counted, and while he writhed in pain she reached into her backpack for what she needed and staked him. Awilda had learned to carry a knife and a stake with her at all times.

She was so angry that it had happened again, that she cut his head off and burned his body. Just like she read in the books. She wanted to make sure he wouldn’t come back again. There was another investigation and a lot more questions. She had just met him. She really didn’t know him. She stupidly never suspected him. No one came looking for her when they found his charred remains downtown in the East Village.

Awilda started riding the trains into the city when she was ten. She came from a big family and she got ignored quite a lot. At first Awilda thought it was her fault. Perhaps there was something wrong with her. Perhaps she wasn’t worthy of their love and attention, or any special consideration. She felt isolated, but there was no true solitude. Awilda had things on her mind. Awilda was going to get out of that home as soon as she could.

She came to see the MetroCard as an escape key. The minute she hit the city she could feel the vampire energy. She could see their eyes on her. Awilda could hear their minds calling to her. There were lots of them. She didn’t want to stop going into Manhattan. She truly loved the colors, the smells, and the sounds of the city. So she learned to take precautions and carry more protection. Awilda also decided she needed to start making plans in order to curtail this infestation.

Awilda2

Awilda’s story was originally intended for an anthology submission, but Amazon bestselling author Edward Medina fell in love with her, and decided to keep Awilda all to himself.

Now it’s time for him to share her with you.

The story of Awilda is an urban paranormal trip through the mind of a dedicated hunter. A hunter specifically designed to kill a very particular form of vampire. Believing it to be her mission since birth, Awilda puts a meticulously planned set of events in motion in order to eradicate the world of this infestation. Good girl by day, holy terror by night, Awilda is not the type of woman you’ll soon forget.

“Rarely has a character so quickly mesmerized me as the elusive, sensual, bibliophile Awilda. She is both protagonist and antagonist, lovable and tragic. The author counters humorous quips with startling violence. There is an effortless lyrical rhythm to his story that practically sings off the page.” – Amazon Reader

“Awilda is innocence lost, a conflicted mind, plotting and cold, psychologically damaged, librarian by day and femme fatale by night. if you enjoy short stories, the paranormal, vampires, and insight into the contrasting dark world of a calculating, yet seductive killer, then Awilda is worthy of your reading list.” – Glenn Starkey author of Amazon Moon

Awilda debuted in the top five on the Amazon bestseller list for Short Stories Horror and has earned 20 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, authors, and bloggers.

Awilda is available on Amazon.

Alice Author Pic

Edward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.




Edward Medina Author

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