Talking Band’s Lemon Girls or Art for Artless by OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winning playwright and composer Ellen Maddow is a comedic and revelatory music and dance/theater celebration of older women and the thrill of unlikely art. Four long-time friends get talked into being in a performance at a local community center. Like dusty-looking geodes that when cracked open reveal sparkling crystals, or pomegranates — dull and leathery on the outside, but filled with voluptuous bunches of red seeds — these women are full of contradictions.
At first we see them as a bunch of empty shell old ladies, cranky about anything new, and almost obliterated by the younger people who have overrun their world, but as they embark on their new adventure — creating dances, singing songs, telling nested stories — they reveal their singular histories, complex relationships, surprising professions, and unorthodox world views.
Written and Composed by Ellen Maddow
Directed by Paul Zimet
Choreography by Sean Donovan
Set and Video Design by Anna Kiraly
Costume Design by Kiki Smith
Lighting Design by Mary Ellen Stebbins
Sound Design by Tyler Kieffer
Production Stage Manager: Kristin Rose Kelly
Cast: Michael Michelle Lynch, Ellen Maddow, Lizzie Olesker, Tina Shepard, Louise Smith, and Jack Wetherall
Talking Band’s original interdisciplinary performance work has been a cornerstone of New York City’s avant-garde theater community for 44 years. Founded by Ellen Maddow, Tina Shepard, and Paul Zimet, the company has produced over 50 new works illuminating the extraordinary dimensions of ordinary life, combining richly textured music-theater with striking visual imagery. Collectively, the company and founders have earned 15 OBIE Awards and numerous other honors. Talking Band is resident company at La MaMa and has performed at nearly all of New York City’s celebrated downtown venues. Its original productions have toured throughout the U.S. and internationally to 14 countries. For more info visit talkingband.org.
Photo by Craig Lowy