New York Int'l Fringe Festival

Todays Date: 11/29/22
Last Update: 07/24/10 09:44:06 PM
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Production History

American Gypsy  | Open: 08/22/10 Close: 08/29/10
Straight from a sold out run in Chicago, MAGICMOUTH THEATRE presents the New York premiere of AMERICAN GYPSY, written and performed by Ben Whiting and directed by Alexander “Sandy” Marshall, at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street).  The production is part of the 14th Annual New York International Fringe Festival.  Whiting, whose magic was hailed by Artview Magazine as “better than Copperfield,” has performed magic all over the world for diverse audiences ranging from Viennese street crowds to Dr. Maya Angelou.   For tickets and performance times please visit  

A blend of theatre and sleight of hand magic, AMERICAN GYPSY is a charged and inspiring tale of friendship, separation, and ultimately, connection.  Based on the life story of the legendary Jim Cellini, the play follows a brash young magician as he is apprenticed to his idol and then forced to choose between a life of human interaction and a life behind the fourth wall.  Cellini, as a young man, earns a coveted spot to study with legendary magician Tony Slydini which is the surest path to a career of fame as a professional magician in the 1960s.  While first attracted to large-scale stage illusions, Cellini finds himself seduced by the poetic possibilities of humble street performance.  What he calls the “connection between two human beings that arises out of the impossible” temps him from his studies, forcing a rift with Slydini that will change both their careers and lives forever.

While writing AMERICAN GYPSY, Whiting visited the master magician’s workshop and spent time with his family to further develop his portrayal of Cellini’s signature style.  The story that emerged from this experience, Cellini’s story, explores the powerful decision some people make to stand on a sidewalk every single day in an effort to genuinely touch people’s hearts, tickle their funny bones, and make their day just a bit more magical.  

BEN WHITING (Performer) is an actor/magician based out of Chicago, Illinois. Selected acting credits include: Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Steppenwolf Theatre) The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens) Much Ado About Nothing (First Folio Shakespeare Festival) Regional credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks) Woman in Black , Our Town (Twin City Stage), Awakening, Rubber Doves, Virtual Reality (MagicMouth Theatre). He is a 2007 graduate of the Chicago School at Steppenwolf.  As a street performer he has busked in over 15 different countries around the world.

ALEXANDER “SANDY” MARSHALL (Director) has more than forty years of experience as a writer, director, producer, and actor. A two-time Emmy Award-winner (seven nominations), he has also won the Clio Award, Golden Eagle, Gold medals at the New York Film & TV Festival, and a dozen international awards. Sandy’s play, And in the End: The Death and Life of John Lennon received critical acclaim for productions in Great Britain and Australia. No stranger to magic, Sandy is related to two Deans of the Society of American Magicians: His grandfather, Al Baker, and his father, Jay Marshall. His recently released biography about his father’s life, Beating a Dead Horse: The Life and Times of Jay Marshall has garnered international rave reviews. His column, “Sandy’s Rants” appears in The Newest Tops (

MAGICMOUTH THEATRE is a Chicago-based theatre dedicated to the development of a new theatre genre that combines the art of drama with the art of illusion, while educating fellow artists and communities in both art forms. Previous productions Awakening and Rubber Doves garnered a Kauffman Fellowship as well national media coverage. GoTriad Magazine says MagicMouth “inspires audiences of all ages” and Entrepreneur Magazine proclaims “It’s the right time for MagicMouth Theatre.” Rubber Doves ran in both North Carolina and Chicago, winning the New Horizons Playwriting Competition and a spot in Magic Chicago.  Sheldon Patinkin, Co-Founder of Second City, called the company’s work “wonderfully inventive” while Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble Member, Alan Wilder, found it “engaging, humorous and personal.”  AMERICAN GYPSY is MagicMouth Theatre’s third all-original production.

AMERICAN GYPSY plays this August: Sun 22 @ 6:45  Tue 24 @ 5  Thu 26 @ 11PM  Fri 27 @ 7  Sun 29 @ NOON 

For more information about the company or this production, please visit  

Edna St. Vincent Millay Speaks To The Committee On Immortality  | Open: 08/13/05 Close: 08/27/05
Poet. Playwright. Actress. Lover. Pulitzer Winner. Breadwinner. Jazz Age Heroine. Sexual Revolutionary. Wife. Daughter. Drinker. Greenwich Village Citizen. Pacifist. Activist. Celebrated. Vilified. Beloved. Notorious. Remembered. Forgotten? Not if she has anything to say about it. Tonight, she speaks to you.
Electra Votes  | Open: 08/13/05 Close: 08/22/05
A politically charged adaptation of the Greek tragedy.

ELECTRA VOTES uses an old story to comment on the
current trends of politics, religion and democracy.

A shellshocked Orestes returns from war to avenge the murder of his father. When he reunites with his sister Electra, a radical radio broadcaster, they plot to kill their ruthless mother, Clytemnestra and her tyrant lover, Aegisthus.

Half Life  | Open: 08/13/05 Close: 08/27/05
The two-act drama, examines the fallout from a devastating classroom incident that explodes a family and a community. Husband, wife, daughter and best friends come to terms with the aftermath of the devastation. The play is about relationships – about love, forgiveness and the potent effect of denial. The play is about marriage, about husbands and wives, about fathers and mothers and daughters, about the true meaning of friendship, about secrets. But it is also, of course, about a pedophile charming, engaging and, because of that, doubly dangerous.
Lady Convoy  | Open: 08/21/05 Close: 08/28/05
A play at the New York International Fringe Festival
Lightning Field  | Open: 08/13/05 Close: 08/28/05
In a desolate expanse of New Mexico desert stands one of the most significant icons of contemporary art...400 stainless steel poles whose peaks form an even plane designed to attract lightning. Two young lovers from New York travel with their divorced parents in search of a better future to THE LIGHTNING FIELD – where the real explosion is what occurs within its visitors.

The constant shifting and re-definition of the American family is at the core of THE LIGHTNING FIELD's story. In a world where marriage and relationships no longer mean what they did a generation ago, the play explores the new American family. How did we get here? With the
looming possibility of a marriage proposal, a gay New York couple – Sam and Andy – make a pilgrimage to Walter De Maria's world famous art installation, The Lightning Field. When they realize that their relationship mirrors that of their divorced parents, the resulting storm is an explosion of startling and raw emotions.

Ponzi Man  | Open: 08/13/05 Close: 08/27/05
This story revolves around a powerful Matriarch caught amongst her strong-willed daughters, ageing husband and desperate son, the powerful matriarch fights to save her family, as it unravels, secret by dirty secret. It explores white collar crime and its life altering effects on an Upper-Class Jewish family.
Stars in a Dark Sky  | Open: 08/19/08 Close: 08/24/08
Hopes, fears and courage. Join Hans and Sophie Scholl inside WWII Germany as they turn from forced service in Hitler Youth to organizing student resistance against Nazi atrocities--challenging the silent majority. Is their choice worth the price?

"Extraordinarily moving . . . The Scholl's story, especially when told in their own words, has great power." ~Brooke Allen, The New Criterion

"Very Relevant Today." "Compelling." "A Must-See." "Great Performance."

Presented by Red Fern Theatre Company
Directed by Melanie Moyer Williams
Featuring Dana Berger, Walker Hare, Nathan Johnson, and Annie Keating

Lighting Design: Zach Shephard
Stage Management: Laura Lucian
Assistant to Director: Lara Berns
Assistant to Producer: Andrea Wong

The Fan Tan King  | Open: 08/22/06 Close: 08/27/06
THE FAN TAN KING is a new musical by C.Y. Lee, (author of THE FLOWER DRUM SONG), adapted from Mr. Lee's novel, DAYS OF THE TONG WARS. It is set in late 19th century San Francisco, a time when Chinese pioneers arrived to the Land of the Golden Mountain with firecrackers and lion dancers in their quest for the American Dream. THE FAN TAN KING refers to Peter Fong, a businessman in San Francisco's rough and tumble Chinatown. Peter has a wife, who pines for a simpler life and more children to join her only son. His rival, Sam Fat, who wants control of Chinatown, challenges his authority. There are a dozen colorful supporting characters and a martial arts dancing team of "hatchet men."

Lyrics by Hy Silver
Directed and choreographed by Tisa Chang
Part of the 10th Annual New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC)

The Last Days of Cleopatra  | Open: 08/23/05 Close: 08/28/05
A new musical by infamous love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the set of the 60's film fiasco

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton – legendary names of stage, screen and scandal sheets....Twentieth Century Fox's "Cleopatra" – the most expensive film of its time: With Elizabeth Taylor in the starring role, the studio was happy to attract publicity regarding her hairstyles, jewels, acting and temper. It was not so happy when the publicity turned to gossip about her adulterous affair with co-star Richard Burton. The stuff that scripts are made of - as Liz and Dick curse and caress their way into history...

with book, music, lyrics and Musical Direction by Charlie Barnett
Choreography by Evan Knapp.

Thoroughly Stupid Things  | Open: 08/10/08 Close: 08/30/08
Whirled Peas Productions proudly presents THOROUGHLY STUPID THINGS or THE CONTINOUS IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST as part of the 11th Annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC.

In this sexy sequel to Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendolen and Cecily have a problem. They believe their husbands Jack and Algernon are having a scandalous affair with French Lounge Singer named Bibi LaFlam! At Miss Prism's suggestion and Lady Bracknell's insistence the women "drag up." Taking the names of "Ernest and Ernest" attorneys at law, they join their husband's club, spy on them and watch for any threats from this "French Harlot!" But a French Inspector's arrival threatens the girls with exposure, and when "Ernest and Ernest" are invited back to their homes to meet themselves... all hell breaks loose!

Toby  | Open: 08/18/05 Close: 08/26/05
Toby is a dark comedy concerning love, paranoia, the acting profession, and Samuel Beckett... The two characters in the play, Toby and Toby, are desperate New York actors who accept an opportunity to perform Waiting for Godot in the woods of Vermont thinking it a wonderful chance to prove themselves and hone their craft. However, they soon discover they are trapped in a never-ending production where the producer has disappeared, they're being stalked by an unknown force, and their audience continues to dwindle.