Friday, November 09, 2007

Is the South Bronx the Next Big Thing?

Press releases flood my inbox at the office and at home every day, and God knows you can't leap to assumptions or conclusions on the basis of what they say -- if you do, you're really buying into the hype that PR is designed is to create and increase. But I got this one the other day and it got me sort of wondering about Hunts Point in the Bronx. Remember, the Times anointed this part of the Bronx as the next big artistic development area of the city sometime ago. So while I am pasting in the contents of this release, speaking more broadly, would any of you work in the South Bronx? Have any of you? Read and discuss. The photo, by the way, is by Mel Rosenthal, whose images of the old South Bronx are icons of the urban-devastation era.

MUD/BONE Launches Cabaret Theater in Hunts Point
with Free Performances of Songs of an Immigrant: Tales From Paris
by Chanteuse-Accordiioniste Marni Rice

New York, NY-( November 7, 2007)
Launching a new winter tradition, MUD/BONE (artistic producer Michael Wiggins; curator Alejandra Delfin) announces MUD/BONE's first annual Holiday Print Show and Cabaret in Hunts Point starting on December 1st. With two free cabaret performances by singer Marni Rice and prints by urban artists, MUD/BONE’s artists invite the community to celebrate the season by sharing the gift of art in the South Bronx.Occupying a 500 square foot storefront on Hunts Point Avenue, MUD/ BONE is in the vanguard of the burgeoning South Bronx arts revival. The group of socially conscious theater artists and printmakers recently won a prestigious 2006 Union Square Arts Award for their grassroots arts programming which includes live theater, music and exhibitions of handmade prints.
MUD/BONE will launch its new South Bronx Cabaret Theater, which will present small works of theater and music throughout the year, with two FREE performances of Songs of An Immigrant: Tales From Paris. This solo-cabaret show by chanteuse Marni Rice; will be offered on Sunday December 2nd and 9th at 2:00 P.M Directed by Sandie Luna; one of the rising stars of Platanos & Collard Greens; this sharply funny autobiographical piece weaves story into song to tell the tale of a woman who leaves the U.S. with only her accordion and a heart full of songs to take on the city of lights. A special benefit performance for MUD/BONE will be held on Monday December 3rd from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Marni Rice is a chanteuse/accordionist and theater artist.A native New Yorker, she re located to Paris for a few years to develop her craft of French Chanson. Now based in New York, her solo cabaret work has brought her to London and Edinburgh for The 2007 Fringe Festival. She composed live accordion music for The MUD/BONE production of 365 Plays/365 Days presented in September 2007 at The Public Theater.

Sandie Luna studied Sociology and Theatre at Florida State University. Since arriving in New York a few years ago she has trained at Atlantic Theater School, SITI Company, and with the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's writers division. She has performed in TV, radio, commercials, and several theatre productions for the English and Spanish markets, including the Off-Broadway hit Platanos & Collard Greens for the last two years. Most recently, she co-directed and produced 'I Heart U.S' a political satire featured as part of The Capfringe Festival 2007, in Washington, D.C.; "A witty piece of paranoia" (Washington Post) created by the Nettles Artists Collective, an interdisciplinary and multicultural artists group she co-founded three years ago. She is part Mud/Bone, a creative community of artists, with which she performed as part of 365Plays/365Days. Her most recent project is directing the one-woman show 'Songs of an Immigrant' starring chanteuse-accordioniste & theater artist Marni Rice.

MUD/BONE was founded in 2002 by a multicultural group of young theater artists at the New York University Graduate Acting Program; an elite conservatory training program whose most famous alumni include Billy Crudup, Debra Messing and Daniel Sunjata. MUD/BONE was one of only two Bronx-based companies invited to take part in 365 Plays/Days by Suzan-Lori Parks the largest theater collaboration in American history. With a growing reputation as a haven for innovative artists in a variety of disciplines the company has had a hand in the development of several daring new plays by women of color including In the Continuum by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter which addressed HIV/AIDS among women of color and Tough Titty by Helen Hayes Award winner Oni Faida Lampley—a breast cancer survivor.

MUD/BONE is multi-arts organization that supports a creative community of professional artists working in various disciplines. We produce emotionally powerful works of art for a diverse urban audience, nurture professional artists of color and invite people of all colors, ages, backgrounds and levels of experience to come together to learn, practice and create artwork that they can share with others. We are a people of color-led organization based in the South Bronx.

Press reservations or interview inquiries with Sandie Luna or Michael Wiggins (Artistic Producer): Please call Michael Martinez, 212-712-7362. For more information on UD/BONE and The Holiday Print Show, please go to

MUD/BONE @ Studio 889
889 Hunts Point Avenue (Between Garrison Avenue and Lafayette Street)

Subway Info: 6 Train to Hunts Point Avenue Station
West Side: 2 Train to Simpson Street Station
For further subway and travel information, please go to the MUD/BONE website

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