La MaMa presents New York performance artist John Kelly's solo piece based on his 40 years of journal writing. More…
The work theatrically combines Kelly's deeply personal texts with movement, video, music, song, and live drawing into a ‘live memoir’. His experiences within the East Village art scene of the 1980s, gender performance, and the AIDS epidemic, have defined his status as a survivor whose presence challenges the ruptures in our cultural and generational dialogue.
“In a mesmerizing 70 minutes acclaimed performance artist John Kelly presents his memoir for the stage…With his melodious voice, charming presence and physical charisma, Kelly is commanding as he recounts his eventful life and eclectic career…John LeVasseur’s dynamic lighting design majestically accompanies Kelly’s words and actions with its array of steady dimness, spotlights and smoky texture…Kelly vividly tells his story with theatrical flair and emotional resonance.” Full Review
"This look at Kelly’s lifelong drive to create art and be heard makes this a compelling piece worth experiencing...The most compelling and touching moments are when Kelly delves into his experience living as a gay man in lower Manhattan in the 80s and early 90s...A unique mix of visual art, dance, video, and music that shows Kelly’s range as an artist. The rich history he has lived through and his ceaseless desire to express himself creatively make his show immensely compelling and endearing." Full Review
"A fragmented chronicle of the pivotal moments in Kelly's artistic journey...At times, those unfamiliar with Kelly's oeuvre, artistic obsessions and associates may wonder what the heck's happening...Yet the ever-elfin Kelly...exudes charm and brilliance. As he shares his artistic inspirations and legacy, he crafts new work before our eyes, simultaneously deconstructing and demonstrating the creative impulse." Full Review
"A crossover of high art and punk rock...The stories are a bit high-minded, coming from a place of privilege, and he often refers to obscure artists and figures he’s met and worked with throughout the years. But his alternative punk side...is still his most exciting...Despite this narrative mismatch, some of the visual aspects of 'Time No Line' are quite intriguing...He refers to himself as a survivor, someone who needs to carry these stories on. With 'Time No Line,' I’d say he does them just... Full Review
"The pacing can be uneven, Kelly is sometimes a little too casual, and he occasionally teeters on the edge of self-indulgence, but when he gets back in the groove, he displays why he has been such a beloved figure for decades...A complex, nonlinear self-portrait, a visual diary of the making of a man in which Kelly holds up a mirror and allows us to see the tragedy and comedy that has resulted in his unique brand of art." Full Review
See it if you're interested in John Kelly's work, or downtown performance, or how an artist finds a voice, or how AIDS devastated the arts community.
Don't see it if you want to see a traditional play.
See it if you remember the contribution of downtown performance artist, John Kelly, and the hey-day of Wig Stock--and yes, Miss Canada sings one song.
Don't see it if nebulous structure and hazy remembrances of diary entries resurrected at La MaMa for the downtown crowd isn't an evening for you.
See it if you've seen at least some of Kelly's performance art pieces over the years; not enough live performance here to give you a sense of his work
Don't see it if you don't already know Kelly's oeuvre or milieu; you don't like portrait-of-the-artist style reflections
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