It’s been a moment since we last performed our hit-musical Mission Drift. However, we were thrilled to see that The Guardian named it one of the 50 best theatre shows in the 21st century. Check it out (and the other works that made the list) here.
Wednesday, January 18 at 9pm
Tickets are $10
Our friends at the New Ohio are launching a new film festival for indie theatre artists branching out into film, and we’re delighted to have The TEAM Makes A Play, Paulette Douglas’ documentary about the making of Mission Drift included as part of the inaugural lineup. If you haven’t caught a screening in the past, the film follows the 3+ year saga of developing our original musical about American Capitalism: living in a foreclosed home in Las Vegas, workshopping in New York (including at the old Ohio), London, and Portugal, and the (many) ups and downs in between.
Tickets are cheap and the seats are limited. We hope you can join us!
To check out the rest of the line up, click here.
Remember that time we spent 3+ years making a musical about American Capitalism?
Filmmaker Paulette Douglas traveled from NY to Vegas to Europe and back with us, and the resulting documentary is finally making its NYC debut. Join us June 26th (details below) for the NYC premiere screening, and stay after for a talkback with the cast, a beer with us at the bar, and a performance by our darling, Obie-award-winning composer Heather Christian.
The TEAM Makes A Play
Thursday, June 26 at 7:30pm
The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street
$15 advance / $20 door / $10 students
As of June 5, however, we’ve witnessed a complete and utter hashtag takeover by our audiences at the National Theatre Shed, with overwhelmingly positive (and often profanely so) comments about the show. Here’s a collection of some of our favorites thus far (in truth, they all make us blush):
In June 2013, the TEAM took Mission Drift across the pond to The Shed, the National Theatre’s temporary theatrical space on the South Bank in London, where it was met with great enthusiasm and positive reviews. Check out what the London press had to say about Mission Drift and the TEAM:
“A theatrical tornado, and a sideways glimpse into America’s tarnished, weary soul.”
The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner also gave us this fantastic tweet immediately after the performance
Mission Drift @NationalTheatre is a thing of fierce skittering beauty, skewering capitalist expansion through story of desert mirage. #stage
“It’s thrilling, it’s explosive, it burns with the heat of flashing neon and sun-soaked desert sand.This is unapologetically exciting theatre.”
“American capitalism really is a mindfuck of a subject, and if you’re going to attempt to address its entire history in a couple of hours then you really need a mindfuck of a play…Mission Drift is a whirlwind of song and sound and surreal vignettes that conveys the dizzying mania of America’s rise with an energy that’s part sickening, part exhilarating.”
“Intelligent or indulgent, bold or bewildering? It’s probably all of them at times. The dizzying theatrical bravura of the piece, however, keeps you fascinated and on edge throughout.”
Mark Shenton, The Stage
A “ mesmerizing drift through the legend of the American ‘frontier’.”
“A raunchy roster of songs that twist and subvert the diamante-studded Vegas vibe.”
“A riotous and wickedly enjoyable fable of the creation and destruction of the American Dream in Las Vegas.”
“Mission Drift gets under the skin of American capitalism, while dazzling with its expansive ambition. With this pulsing piece the TEAM has given the capital its most politically potent musical since London Road.”
“This is fiercely intelligent stuff.”
During the final week of the Mission Drift run in New York City, Heather Christian and I went over to the NPR Studios. We were both extremely excited, but Heather can testify to the fact that my face almost shattered I was so giddy. With eyes wide we followed Margot Adler as she gave us a tour of the studio. Almost everyone was out to lunch, but it didn’t matter. I saw the desk of Robert Krulwich. And we even waved at Zoe Chace and Chana Joffe-Walt from Planet Money.
We sat down with Margot and discussed the work, which she’d seen previously.
CLICK HERE to listen to the awesome story that she put together.
Here we are, a little past the halfway point of our 4-week NYC run. If you haven’t seen the show yet, or are wondering what your opinion of the show should be, here’s a roundup of some of the things that have been written about Mission Drift so far in the New York City press:
Of all of the art inspired by the global economic crisis, perhaps none is as lusty and energetic as Mission Drift, the new musical by New York theater company the TEAM.
Drifting Into American Myth, The Wall Street Journal
Mission Drift…succeeds in staging a staggeringly ambitious saga. The liveliest lesson on desire, destruction, and economics that you’ll see in many a year.
There’s a lot about the company’s new project to take heedless, heady pleasure in… Pleasures aplenty.
The New York Times
Mission Drift examines heady concepts without ever losing its heart. Thanks to strong writing and powerful performances, the TEAM never forgets to have empathy for their subjects… Mission Drift captures the zeitgeist while daring to suggest hope for the future.
An example of a theatre company at their most muscular, tackling what theatre should be tackling… to the hauntingly remarkable musical atmosphere of Heather Christian.
Exactly what I want the theatre to do to me: take me someplace I don’t know how to get to on my own.
And a great little piece about the trials and tribulations during the genesis of Mission Drift in the New York Observer: After Three Years at Sea, the TEAM Drifts Home
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a fast and furious, crowded and amazing haboob of theatre and live performance of all varieties. There are, literally, 2,500 acts ranging from stand-up comedy to modern dance, bagpipe rock groups to sword swallowers. And of course, theatre ranging from highly compelling nearly wordless solo shows to (several) productions of Nunsense The Musical to Shakespeare and everything in between.
For the casual Fringe attendee, it can be daunting. More than likely, it feels, the show with the catchy title and interesting postcard graphics that you’re considering seeing this afternoon because they’re aggressively papering the house in an effort to convince reviewers that it is already popular and well liked so get on the right side of history–is going to be a painful way to spend a seemingly endless hour and ten minutes. But there are gems out there. You know there are. You have friends who have seen them. Or you’ve heard about them in the international press, or perhaps even caught one in it’s post-Fringe afterlife courtesy of a gem-hunting theatre producer. But where are they? They could be anywhere.
And thus there arose such a demand for reviews and other wheat-from-chaff sorting mechanisms that a reasonably well covered show running the duration of the festival might walk away from Edinburgh with a dozen or two published opinions of their hard work. Because there are in fact dozens of organizations, newspapers, magazines, websites, bloggers, leaflets, etc., who are in the business of trying to help a choice-weary public fill their afternoons with fringe fair. But now, of course, instead of having 2,500 shows to choose from, the casual observer may have 10,000 reviews to sort through. If only there was some further level of filtration, some triple-distilled extra-smooth way of learning what, at the end of the doggone day, is worth seeing…
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me, your humble TEAM blog, to be of service:
Mission Drift review in Scotland’s (Glasgow’s) The Herald (MD starts five paragraphs down)
If you are hungry for more reviews of Mission Drift or other Fringe fare, the printing presses and the internets are your oysters. More postings and filtrations will live here as they come in, and of course there is always the “Press” section of this very website with a perhaps more complete list of things people have written.
When we were in Las Vegas last summer, Libby and I conducted a short series of interviews – with each other – about our experiences there. The idea was to do this periodically so that we could have a running commentary of the evolution of our impressions over the month that we were there. And also to upload them to the internet in some form so that people could track our tomfoolery along with us. In listening to them now, a few salient points emerge:
- We don’t really know what a podcast is.
- Podcasts are fun. We will need to do more of these.
- Both of us, separately and on different days, ate corn dogs.
And with no further ado, please enjoy the first three TEAM podcasts!
I have had many firsts working with the group of misfits commonly known as The TEAM. I broke another person’s bone for the first time in a TEAM rehearsal. I performed as a professional actor on an international stage for the first time with The TEAM. And then we went to Las Vegas for a month together and I conquered a number of personal firsts including: my first visit to Las Vegas!, my first trip to a casino, my first time gambling for higher stakes than nickel-ante kitchen table poker, my first (and only) can of FourLoko, my first non-ironic uttering of “it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat”, and my first visit to a strip club (The Library, it was called. It contained shockingly few librarians sexy or otherwise), as well as a few other firsts that I shan’t mention here due to the limits of propriety/legality.
And now as promised, here is the Sardine Post: the photo- and video-documented experience of a boy who grew up 18 years landlocked sampling his first ever tin of sardines.Given the stakes of this adventure, I knew it was important to give myself every advantage. The sardines were purchased at a sardine specialty shop in what appears to be the sardine capital of the world—Lisbon, Portugal.
After exploring the various styles of tinned sardines – smoked!; with lemon!; with tomato!; with spicy tomato! – I decided on a pack of whole sardines nestled in good old dependable olive oil. Once purchased, the guardians of sardine culture carefully wrapped my new prize in a lovely themed paper and tied it off with a bow. They did this not because a gift, but as if to suggest that any opportunity to enjoy sardines or other ugly tinned aquatic life was in itself a gift, an occasion to be celebrated by eating some sardines.Libby also had some knowledge to lend, a recent initiate into the world of sardine enjoyment herself. On the big day, she assembled for me all the necessary accoutrements – freshly sliced bread, a metric ton of lemon slices for squeezing atop the slimy bastards, and a small pile of sea salt in case there wasn’t enough ocean left in their fishy little bodies.
The result? Aside from one mid-chew surprise, thumbs up all around. But don’t take my word for it from the calm, cold light of the day after. Please enjoy this new and improved video, artfully shot and sound mixed by Mikaal Sulaiman, in the living room of our flat in Edinburgh.