Handball OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Charlie Sanchez
  • Handball
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 29, 2014
    Closing:
    August 11, 2014

    Theater: Marcus Garvey Park / 18 Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY 10027

    Synopsis: 

    Urban Theatre Movement presents Handball by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld at New York City’s exceptional annual summer festival, Summerstage — a three months offering of free live shows encompassing music, dance, theater and film that are staged all over the city. In a co-production with City Parks Foundation City Park Theater, Handball, a play about gentrification in a New York City neighborhood, will have a total of eleven performances in both Marcus Garvey Park and Central Park (8/11).

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Handball

    Beyond Jets and Sharks, a Turf War of Dominoes vs. Dog Runs ‘Handball,’ Outdoors, by the Urban Theater Movement

    Alexis Soloski

    July 30, 2014: Gentrification has come to Harlem: the wine bars, the refurbished brownstones, the swanky potato chips at the corner bodega. You can catch a close-up view of that kind of transition onstage in Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s play Handball, in Marcus Garvey Park. Handball, produced by SummerStage, takes place in an unnamed neighborhood. It might be North Brooklyn or the South Bronx or even the Harlem blocks around Marcus Garvey. The action plays out on a similar patch of ground, the center of contention between the locals who use it for handball and dominoes and the new arrivals who want to build dog runs and flower gardens. “It’s bogus at the highest of levels,” a longtime resident tells an incomer. “Go back to Westchester.” He replies, “I’m actually from Connecticut.” A production of Urban Theater Movement, the play owes a debt to Stephen Adly Guirgis’s gaily profane odes to city life. The characters also include several teenagers and a local politico, all jockeying for control of the same plot of grass and concrete. The script is somewhat distended. Scenes go on too long, and structure sags so that Mr. Rosenfeld can insert more jokey exchanges.

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