RoosevElvis

RoosevElvis (Re-MX’d) at New York Live Arts on March 16

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After sold-out performances in London, Boston, Minneapolis, and Michigan, we are thrilled to be bringing RoosevElvis back to New York! Created specially for Live Ideas, RoosevElvis (Re-MX’D) is a concert-style re-imagining of the production, showcasing “two performances of enormous conviction” (The Telegraph) in this special one-night-only performance.

Thursday, March 16 at 8pm
Tickets $15 – $30

Buy Tickets

Live Ideas is an annual humanities festival of arts and ideas, exploring the ideas, controversies and thinking informing a different bodily-oriented theme each time out. Curated by trans-genre artist Mx Justin Vivian Bond, the 2017 series examines the idea of a world without binaries–across gender, politics, theology, sensory perception and race–featuring a lunch time reading series, an afternoon film program curated by Dirty Looks, Happy Hour panel discussions on trans-theology, afrofuturism, activism and social justice, caregiving and choral workshops, genre bending performances, and ends with a queer punk rock dance party.
For the full schedule:  newyorklivearts.org

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RoosevElvis in Boston: the reviews are in!

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The Boston Globe:

“Funny, thoughtful, affecting…the excellent performances of actors Libby King and Kristen Sieh, and [Rachel] Chavkin’s clever direction, carry the day.”

WBUR The Artery:

“Strange, charming and highly likable…a straight-ahead, full-tilt voyage through man- (and woman-) hood.”

TheaterMania:

“Not your ordinary take on history or gender…[an] imaginative, theatrical collage.”

Boston Events Insider:

“Weirdly brilliant…surprisingly emotional…wildly entertaining.”

A limited number of seats and standing room have been released for our final 13 performances at A.R.T. Book now!

RoosevElvis London reviews are in!

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★★★★
“An exhilaratingly bumpy ride into the myth-making landscape of America…The pleasure is in the piece’s highly developed sense of the ridiculous…It’s a joyride into the construction of identity, and one with unexpected emotional resonance.”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

★★★★
“Combines witty cultural literacy with a tender intimacy… anchored by two performances of enormous conviction – a technically dazzling one from Sieh and a subtle, profoundly emotional one from King that lays bare the soul of America as a land full of heroes that is also a very lonely place to be.”

The Telegraph

★★★★
“The juxtaposition of President and popstar encapsulates something vital about masculinity…Image is key too: the way we present to the world, the identities we construct online, and our failure to measure up to our sense of self or our sense of others. It is, amongst other things, one of the best portraits of depression I’ve ever seen.”

Matt Trueman, What’s On Stage

“Two brilliant comic performances, born from rigorous research and intense acts of gender-bending empathy, make this a surprisingly easy sell from the get-go…when a company as talented as The TEAM serve an all-you-can-eat-feast, it’s worth adjusting your waistband.”

Time Out London

Photo: Helen Murray

And we’re off!

The TEAM is headed both West and East this week!

RoosevElvis Royal Court pic

RoosevElvis is loading in at the Royal Court as we speak (check out that gorgeous neon marquee action!) and Teddy and Elvis are departing for England tomorrow. We begin previews next Wednesday and are ecstatic about the month ahead. U.K. friends: book tickets on the Royal Court website if you haven’t already!

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The TEAM’s very own Jake Margolin is simultaneously gearing up to represent the company in St. Louis County, MO as part of #Every28Hours.

Every 28 Hours is a national theater event inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Jake will spend the next week, in conjunction with artists and theater companies from across the nation, generating over 60 one-minute plays in response to the systemic oppression of black people in the United States. For more information, check out the Every 28 Hours Facebook page.

It’s going to be a busy week in both cities! Check back on the blog, InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for more updates.

 

RoosevElvis London Premiere Announced!

Royal Court RoosevElvis image

Big news! We are so very excited that RoosevElvis is headed to The Royal Court Theatre in October for its official London debut. Tickets are on sale to the public beginning Friday, July 17th.

For more information, visit: http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/roosevelvis

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We Like to Party.

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Stick on your sideburns! Come croon and swoon with RoosevElvis one last time for a hip-shakin’ celebration!

Join the TEAM to celebrate the closing night of RoosevElvis, their critically-acclaimed production running now through November 3rd at The Bushwick Starr. Following our final performance, join us onstage and on the roof for a fantastic final hurrah, featuring raffle prizes, Mt. Rushmore photo ops, rooftop views, and (always) exceptional company.

…Did we mention admission includes all the beer and wine you can drink?

Sunday, November 3rd

Performance at 5pm
Please note: tickets to the party do not include admission to the performance.
Buy tickets to the performance

Party at 7pm
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door (cash only)
Buy advance tickets to the party

All proceeds benefit the TEAM.

The Bushwick Starr
207 Starr Street, Brooklyn [between Irving and Wyckoff]

Raffle prizes include:

Atlantic Theater Membership and wine vouchers;
Four lessons with vocal coach Danielle Amedeo;
A print by Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan;
A pair of tickets to see Cheri at Signature Theatre;
Dinner for 4 at Riverpark and a private tour of Riverpark Farm;
A custom made cake by Kristen Sieh;
A “Treat Yourself” basket;
Two bottles of G’Vine boutique gin;
Two, 1-hour audiobook tutorial sessions with Jessica Almasy;
A stitch + bitch knitting lesson with the head of sweater design at American Eagle;
A personal investing lesson with Will Hunter and copy of The Little Book that Beats the Markets by Joel Greenblatt;
A bottle of wine and Coq Au Vin cooking lesson with Libby and Jaime King.

And more still to be announced! If you can’t join us but still want to enter the raffle, absentee raffle tickets can be purchased here. Just shoot us an email with the items you’d like to enter to win!

RoosevElvis Reviews Are In!

RoosevElvis is far too empathetic a play to lend itself to cold deconstruction…[It’s] the company’s most intimate work that I’ve seen, and also its warmest…a lot fresher than most new plays you’ll see this season.

“…researched to the teeth, [RoosevElvis] offers a spirited and insightful commentary on two archetypes of American masculinity, while finding teasing ambiguities within both that suggest that machismo is a shaky existential choice.”

– Ben Brantley, New York Times

“..More buoyant than theatrical material has any right to be…RoosevElvis‘s velocity sweeps us into gorgeous, buoyant nonsense without our noticing…The audience laughs—not with recognition or self-satisfaction, but with the purest kind of astonished delight.”

“This glorious show is strong precisely because it focuses, at long last, on individuals. It fully, totally revels in King’s gravelly, bourbon-soaked tones; it exploits to the last degree Sieh’s titanic comic gifts…Some astonishing scenes, several the best I’ve seen this year, are the result.”

– Helen Shaw, Time Out New York

“a stirring, absurd, and grandly human historical-cosplay road-trip fantasia…a big-hearted and affecting examination of that most American of faculties: imagining yourself as bigger, grander, and more, no matter how little you might be.”

Village Voice

The most awesome buddy comedy in American history…in typical TEAM fashion, it explores so much more, from the limits of hero worship to the impossible standards of masculinity in America, and all with thrilling athleticism and unfailing intelligence.”

– Theatermania

Command performance[s] by King and Sieh who carry the whole production by weaving in and out of their characters and counter-characters seamlessly…[they] deftly spar across the stage through historically biographical reflections and witty one liners.”

– Grace Moon, velvetparkmedia

Photo by Sue Kessler.

Updates from the Road II: RoosevElvis

Here’s the second installment from assistant director Kevin Hourigan’s RoosevElvis road journal.

Read about the first half of the trip here. You can see more pictures from the trip in our Facebook album.

elvis and alice hair salon

Day 5
We have hit the height of our sleep deprivation. Accordingly, we have been operating heavy machinery, shooting guns, and driving for long stretches. We have reached the point where the boundary between wakefulness and sleep has blurred. The benefit is that we have been able to do an immense amount of dreaming in the daytime.

Our pursuits have been as follows:

We woke up and drove to Lincoln, Nebraska to do a shoot at a meat processing plant. Libby has set us up with a whole series of contacts to get some really incredible material shot in the Lincoln area (her hometown). When we arrived at the meat processing facility, we were greeted with a warm welcome by Larry, the owner of the establishment, and his daughter Lisa, an old friend of Libby’s. He gave us complete access to the floor. We were bowled over by his eagerness to support us and our project.

Several of the meat workers were in several of our shots. They were tremendously gracious in teaching Libby how to use the machines and in diverting their workflow to accommodate our shoot. When we wrapped, we looked for our keys to the car, and Lisa handed Libby a pair of keys encased in a vacuum sealed packaging. It was a funny prank.

After a short stop for burritos, we headed to Lisa’s salon, Lason. Again, we had the location mostly to ourselves. There was one other stylist working in the salon, Jason, who answered all of our questions. We wanted to use Jason in the shoot, but he was working with clients, so I was cast as the hair dresser. We ran a little over at the salon, but Jason was very lovely and let us stay after he left. Once we wrapped, we made a mad dash to Lisa’s house to beat Sunset.

We arrived at Lisa’s at the height of magic hour. We entered, and Libby was reunited with her four best friends from Nebraska in the golden light of sunset. Lisa’s neighbor gave us a lesson in gun safety and stood by as the ladies fired off. Turns out both were a pretty good shot. We wrapped with Ann, alone, just as the sun set.

We retired to Lisa’s house where a full spread of barbecue food awaited us. Skewers of meat and shrimp, grilled chicken, potato salad and coleslaw. It was a midwestern feast. We stayed on for an hour or so, ate, and took a moment to relax before heading back to Grand Island.

Day 6

We rose early to catch the light of the sunrise. We shot behind Libby’s cabin in Grand Island, in the brush surrounding the dried bed of the Platt River. It was a serene and almost surreal location – very beautiful. We even got some shots of Kristen kayaking pretty expertly across the nearby pond.

We finished up the shoot and went back to the cabin to attempt to wake up and move out of Grand Island. First step: tick check. Results: four ticks found. All safely removed. Luckily, Nebraska does not host deer ticks, which are the carriers of Lyme disease, but I will make sure to get the necessary incident reports.

We packed up and hit the road. Before leaving Nebraska, we needed one last shot: a long shot of the women eating at the diner. We went to Coney Isand, a local diner famous for their hot dogs. While Libby and Kristen shot this long scene, one of the waitresses told us about the evil spirits and haunting she encountered in the Badlands. As was the case with all the other locations we shot, all of the staff at the restaurant were incredibly gracious, sweet, and so supportive. We stuffed ourselves with hotdogs and milkshakes and then hit the road for good.

We made it as far as we could, stopping only a few times to switch drivers, or to get food or gas. As the sun started to set, we sought the refuge of a motel. Our criteria: the shittiest, most dilapidated motel we could find, with a romantic little door frame which we could shoot both from the outside and the inside. We found our dream in the Cortes Motel.

There was an almost fully naked obese man sitting practically pressed up against his window in the motel room next to us. Luckily, I think our videographer was able to avoiding framing him in any of our external shots, though we considered his enthusiasm a good blessing for our project.

We wrapped around 2:00am and went to bed. The road to Memphis awaits us.

Day 7

We arose yesterday morning and quickly packed our bags, eager to complete the final leg of our pilgrimage to Graceland, the mecca.

We zipped through Missouri and Arkansas, stopping only occasionally for gas and bathroom/snack breaks. We were surprised by the amount of Pro-Life propaganda we encountered on the road. The scenery was otherwise quite pleasant.

As we neared the Arkansas border, we passed through Mammoth Spring, a gorgeous little spa town, and a honky-tonk specialties store sitting right on the Arkansas border. We found a restaurant built in a converted gas station serving some pretty intense Southern food, so we figured it was a good match. We pulled over to grab a quick meal.

When we got back on the road, we filmed some extended driving scenes with Elvis/Teddy. The acrobatics involved in this shoot were among the most impressive physical feats of the week, both for the level of physical skill required and for the sheer disregard for the law that some of these activities demonstrated. Libby spent some of the trip totally backwards, leaning on the dashboard, and at other times, she or Kristen shared the passenger seat with our videographer AND all of his camera equipment.

As we got closer to Memphis, we let Ann take the wheel, solo. We abandoned the front rows  of the car and rolled sound and video continuously as we approached Memphis. All sat in silence, with only the comforting sound of the GPSlady’s voice filling the car. This was the final leg of the journey. Next stop Graceland.

Before anyone realized it, we were driving through downtown Memphis. In no time, we were turning onto Elvis Presley Boulevard. We approached Graceland. No one could have expected the sight that greeted us. All along the sidewalk is a stone wall ranging from 4’-6’ high. It is clear that the wall has become a major sight of devotion, as every inch of the wall is covered in signatures, pictures, and love notes to the beloved Elvis Presley. The combination of the scale and humanity of this object was quite staggering to all of us.

Ann at wall

When the light faded, we went to Corky’s for some Memphis barbecue. We had a delicious meal and a wonderful waitress.

We arrived to stay at David and Rose’s house around 9:30. It was a beautiful home, very generously prepared for us. Rose made us drinks and peach pie, and sat and talked with us as we swam in the pool. It was very nice to swim. It was a relatively early night, as everyone was very excited to get a substantial amount of sleep.

Day 8

We woke up around 9:00 and hit the road to Graceland. This time, we went inside.

We were warned that we would most likely be underwhelmed by the mansion. We expected something kind of small and gaudy, not like Disneyland but also extravagant in its own right. Aspects of these expectations were fulfilled to various degrees, but we were moved and surprised by the way you could feel Elvis in the house as a peculiar, young kid. So much of the house was incredibly bizarre – the jungle room, the billiard room – and it was clear that only he could have invented such a domain.

After saying goodbye to Graceland, we headed over to Beale street to have our last meal on the road. We had some barbecue at a restaurant with some fantastic musicians playing outside.

We went to the airport and packed our bags.

It was sad to say goodbye to the journey, but there is so much in store with this piece in the very near future. It will be good to head into rehearsals, especially with the incredibly strong foundation for the piece that we have continued to build over the last week. It was a lot of great work, a lot of laughter, a lot of love. It was a week of very bold, rich days. All of the people we encountered in our travels were absolutely lovely and helpful.

I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of this trip. The work that I have witnessed has been on all fronts utterly inspirational.

High fives