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Announcing Lemon Girls or Art for the Artless

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Written and composed by OBIE Award winning playwright and composer, Ellen Maddow
Directed by Paul Zimet

Lemon Girls or Art for the Artless 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.

Cast: Michael Michelle Lynch, Ellen Maddow, Lizzie Olesker, Tina Shepard, Louise Smith, and Jack Wetherall
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

Playing March 11-27, 2022 at La MaMa Downstairs Theatre

Photo credit: Craig Lowy

Announcing Efflorescence

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Efflorescence: A Serial Songspiel

Written and composed by Ellen Maddow

Directed by Paul Zimet

Efflorescence tells the story of six disparate people who have been living together for a year in an old farmhouse in the Catskills that has been transformed into a safe haven for Vulnerable Expendables. The story unfolds over seven nights that coincide with the nights on which each episode will be presented. The characters begin each night by singing together while they wash their hands outside in a tub of warm water. Each night they take a turn telling stories – stories of life-changing encounters with dogs, snakes, obscene plant life, sea nymphs, and the School of Disembodied Poetics. Linking these tales is the story of their evolving relationships – their struggle and fascination with each other and the natural world around them. The first episode begins on a night when a mysterious stranger arrives, shaking up the world they have created for themselves.

The cast of Efflorescence features Will Badgett, Suli Holum, Jax Jackson, Violet Newman, Tina Shepard, Louise Smith and Connie Winston along with musicians Maria Kovacevic and Sam Kulik. Sound design is by Tyler Kieffer with additional musical arrangements by Sam Kulik and Maria Kovacevic.

Free 10-15 minute episodes will be released daily from March 29- April 4, 2021 on and aired at 6:30pm.

On April 6, 2021 at 7pm, La MaMa and Talking band will premiere the full piece followed by a post-show conversation with the artists. Pay What You Can $5 – $25.

* * * * *

A Talking Band film is an Official Selection of the NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival!

ON THE ROOF: A glimpse of NYC in lockdown and a dance on the roof.

Written and Directed by Paul Zimet

Composed by Ellen Maddow

March 10-14. For information about the festival:

Talking Band in the New Year

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Dear Friends,

I want to let you know what we’ve been up to this Fall and Winter, and what’s coming up in the new year.

Lone Shark
Talking Band and the New York Aquarium are joined in an exciting collaboration – a site-specific music theater piece set in the exhibit halls and surroundings of the Aquarium’s new “Ocean Wonders: Sharks” building. Lone Shark tells the interconnected stories of Coney Island residents who live at the edge of the ocean’s hidden world. We will be presenting sixteen performances of the show throughout the month of June, 2020. We’ll let you know performance dates, times, and ticket information soon.

The Following Evening (working title)
Talking Band has commissioned Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, the Artistic Directors of the acclaimed theater company, 600 Highwaymen, to create a new work for Talking Band. Starting last season they have conducted a series of exploratory workshops with Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet who will perform in the new work. At the end of March, 2020 following a three week workshop there will be several work-in-progress showings of the piece at La MaMa.

Lemon Girls or Art for the Artless
A comedic celebration of older women, and those who will one day become older women written and composed by Ellen Maddow. Four female friends in their 70’s are roped into creating a performance at the local recreation center. As they embark on their new performance adventure – creating dances, singing songs, and telling nested stories – they reveal their singular histories, complex relationships, unusual interests and unorthodox world views. We had a reading of the show this Fall, and will continue to develop it in workshops it throughout the Spring.

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

With warm regards,

Paul Zimet, Artistic Director