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Under the Radar announces its 2015 lineup and it’s bigger and wilder than ever

Written by
David Cote

The shows flock from every corner of the globe: Iran to England, Argentina and right here in our own backyard. Running times range crazily from five minutes to two hours. As for labels, should you call it a theater festival? A multidisciplinary hoedown? A pan-performance Occupy Public Theater action? However you box it in, Under the Radar is back this January for its 11th installment, and they just announced the lineup. Besides the tantalizing global offerings (details below), UTR is rolling out the Devised Theater Working Group, “which offers theater-makers a supportive framework in which to develop their work, engage in consistent dialogue, and be challenged by each other’s aesthetic practice.” This year the works-in-process artists are Lucy Alibar; Katherine Brook + Shonni Enelow / TELE-VIOLET; DarkMatter; Deconstructive Theatre Project; Daniel Koren; The Mighty Third Rail and PUBLIQuartet; James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis; and Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble. All DTWG events take place at La MaMa E.T.C. as part of its INCOMING! Series.

Here are the mainstage events, which you can catch at the Public Theater from Jan 7–18. Most tickets are $25. Here’s the breakdown:

The Cardinals
January 12-18 (running time: 100 minutes). English troupe Stan’s Cafe finds ecumenical common ground between wandering Catholic clergy and puppets for an irreverent yet faith-friendly study of belief, storytelling and theatricality.

January 7-11 (running time: 100 minutes; Performed in Spanish with English supertitles). Argentine auteur Mariano Pensotti follows up his impressive UTR debut El Pasado Es Un Animal Grotesco with this “filmic drama” (pictured above) intercutting the lives of four filmmakers over the course of a year in Buenos Aires.

January 16-18 (running time: 60 minutes; Performed in Farsi with English supertitles). Iranian writer-director Amir Reza Koohestani revisits two young lovers in his follow-up to 2004’s Dance on Glasses. The new, starkly minimalist drama shows how the intervening decade has changed them.

The Triumph of Fame
January 9-18 (running time: 15 minutes, Adult Content). One-on-one dance performances inspired by the Italian poet Petrarch’s “i Trionfi,” performed by Swiss choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal for a single guest at a time.

A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again
January 7-16 (running time: 90 minutes). Conceptually dazzling director Daniel Fish combines collaged writings by the late David Foster Wallace, some actors with text piped in on earbuds and a whole lot of tennis balls. Helen Shaw reviewed a 2012 incarnation here.

Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version
January 10-18 (running time: 120 minutes; Not open for review). Singer-songwriter-guitarist Toshi Reagon presents a work-in-progress concert of her new opera, adapted from Octavia E. Butler’s postapocalyptic novel.

Audio Abramović
January 14-18 (running time: 5 minutes). Superhyphenate performer Reggie Watts (vocalist-comedian-beatboxer-MMA champion) continues the microperformance-on-demand vibe (see The Triumph of Fame, above) with this riff on Marina Abramović’s MoMA stunt: “Watts invites you to sit across from him. But just for five minutes.”

Ike at Night
January 9-18 (running time: 80 minutes). A performance descendent of Andy Kaufman, funny-ha-ha-and-funny-strange Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts his version of a late-night talk show, complete with music, guests and a live audience.

But wait! There’s more….as in other events at LaMaMa E.T.C., Taylor Mac presenting his 24-Decade History of Popular Music: 1900-1950s at New York Live Arts and all the post-show panels you can eat. So head over to the Public's UTR page, get out your 2015 planner and kiss January goodbye!

RECOMMENDED: See more Under the Radar festival coverage

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