Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

The Kitchen to present AND THAT’S HOW THE RENT GETS PAID, July 14-16

Jeff Weiss in front of PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeff Weiss in front of PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark Bennett (Photo by Lia Chang)

Mark Bennett (Photo by Lia Chang)

For the first time in two decades, The Kitchen will present a new edition of the acclaimed performance series And That’s How the Rent Gets Paid, written by downtown legends Jeff Weiss and Richard C. Martinez. For three nights only (July 14-16), Weiss and Martinez’s thrilling serial drama, which follows a charming serial killer through the queer underbelly of New York City, will be brought to life by director and producer Brooke O’Harra with Kate Valk and Nicky Paraiso. The three-day marathon performance features an eclectic group of 50 performers including David Cale, Jennifer Miller, Keith McDermott, Becca Blackwell, Jess Barbagallo, Moe Angelos and Mark Bennett, among others. Weiss will appear in the production, in various cameo performances, throughout the three-day run.

Nicky Paraiso. Photo by Lia Chang

Nicky Paraiso. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances of And That’s How the Rent Gets Paid will take place July 14-16 at The Kitchen at 7pm. The Kitchen is located at 512 West 19th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $15 ($12 students, seniors) and available online at thekitchen.org or by phone at 212.255.5793 x11.

Jeff Weiss and the cast of Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeff Weiss and the cast of Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

In the 1980s, the East Village storefront studio of Jeff Weiss and his partner Richard C. Martinez was a hive of artistic experimentation. Week after week, the space would transform into the site of multilayered performance extravaganzas that reached Dionysian heights. Years passed, hundreds of actors and non-actors appeared opposite Weiss in his dark, anarchic satires, of which And That’s How the Rent Gets Paid is one of the most prodigious. In 1984, Mel Gussow in The New York Times wrote, “Jeff Weiss is a triple threat as playwright, actor and director – a man with an unbridled field of energy. Bottle him and he could give Con Edison a run for your money.”

Jeff Weiss and the cast of Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang

Jeff Weiss and the cast of Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang

Over many years this long running collaborative work appeared and reappeared under many titles – And That’s How the Rent Gets Paid, The Confessions of Conrad Gerhardt, Hot Keys, Come Clean, and Spring Offensive.

Nick Rodgers, Paul Beauvois, Lia Chang, Kristen Johnston, Brenda Cummings in a scene from Hot Keys at Naked Angels in New York in 1991. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang

Nick Rodgers, Paul Beauvois, Lia Chang, Kristen Johnston, Brenda Cummings in a scene from Hot Keys at Naked Angels in New York in 1991. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang

I appeared in Hot Keys in the 90’s and it was one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences I’ve had. I will be forever grateful to Jeff and Carlos.

Stephen Sable and Lia Chang in Jeff Weiss' Hot Keys at P.S. 122 in New York in 1993.

Stephen Sable and Lia Chang in Jeff Weiss\’ Hot Keys at P.S. 122 in New York in 1993.

Jeff Weiss, Stephen Sable and Kevin John Gee in Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeff Weiss, Stephen Sable and Kevin John Gee in Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

And then, suddenly, like the era itself, it was all over. A “For Rent” sign appeared on the door of the storefront and Weiss disappeared back to Allentown, PA, where he’d been born – first to care for his ailing mother, and then to care for Martinez.

The performances feature: Jeff Weiss, Andrea Darriau, Becca Blackwell, Brenda Cummings, Brian Buys, Brian Liem, Chris Hurt, Christine Donnelly, Ciaran Walsh, Dan Peeples, Danaya Esperanza, Danny Ryan, David Cale, David Pittu, Dorothy Cantwell, Eric Lockley, Hanna Allerton, Heather Litteer, Hye Young Chyun, Jacob Burckhardt, Jane Bradley, Janet Bryant, Jennifer Miller, Jess Barbagallo, Jiro Ueno, John Jeserun, John Walker, Kate Valk, Keith McDermott, Margherita Fapiano,Mark Bennett, Mary Schultz, Moe Angelos, Michael Roth, Neil Greenberg, Nicky Paraiso, Nicolas Norena, Richard Sheinmel, Sturgis Warner, and Tanya Selvaratnam, among others.

About the artists

Jeff Weiss at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeff Weiss at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeffrey Weiss (born 1938) is an Obie Award-winning American playwright, impresario and actor both on and off Broadway. He was the founder of Good Medicine & Company, a theater space that he ran with his partner Carlos Richardo Martinez in the East Village, New York City. His work has been presented in LaMaMa and Cafe Cino. In 2000 he was the recipient of a Robert Chesley Award. He currently resides in Allentown, PA.

Nicky Paraiso, Brooke O'Harra and Kate Valk in rehearsal for That's How the Rent Gets Paid at The Kitchen on July 12, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Nicky Paraiso, Brooke O’Harra and Kate Valk in rehearsal for That’s How the Rent Gets Paid at The Kitchen on July 12, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

In 1999, Brooke O’Harra co-founded, with composer Brendan Connelly, the NYC-based The Theatre of a Two-headed Calf. The ensemble-driven company layers various theatrical styles, texts and musical forms for unexpected experiences such as the 1970s punk rock-inspired adaptation of the 18th-century, Chikamatsu play Drum of the Waves of Horikawa (OBIE Award, 2007), or the re-imagined take on chamber opera and motherhood, You, My Mother (2012). As part of the Dyke Division of Two-headed Calf, she conceived, directed, wrote, and performed the popular lesbian soap opera Room For Cream, (La Mama, 2008-2011). In addition to developing and directing all 14 of the Two-headed Calf productions, she is also a freelance director with multiple honors including a NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors grant. She is currently working on a nine part performance project titled, I’m Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in directing or nine encounters between you and me; the first three events were performed at The New Museum in May 2014. Brooke recently developed a new musical with playwright Lisa D’Amour and composer Brendan Connelly titled Jack Spicer’s Billy the Kid, which featured Becca Blackwell. She also has an ongoing collaborative performance, Time Passes, with visual artist Sharon Hayes.

Kate Valk is a long time performer with The Wooster Group, a theater company under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte based at The Performing Garage in Soho, New York. Kate also founded the group’s summer institute for NYC public school students. Most recently Ms.Valk directed her first piece, Early Shaker Spirituals.

Nicky Paraiso backstage at Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Nicky Paraiso backstage at Hot Keys at PS 122 in New York in 1993. Photo by Lia Chang

Nicky Paraiso is Director of Programming at The Club at La MaMa and is also Curator for the annual La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, now celebrating its 10th Anniversary. He has been an actor/performer in the NY downtown theater, dance and performance scene since 1979, working with actor/playwright Jeff Weiss and director/visual artist Richard C. Martinez on such major works as And That’s How The Rent Gets Paid Parts III & IV, the latter with the Wooster Group in the summer of 1984. Nicky was also Music Director (with Mark Bennett) for the legendary OBIE-Award winning serial theater play, Hot Keys, from its inception in 1992-3 at Naked Angels & Manhattan Class Company through the summers of 1996-1997 at Performance Space 122. Nicky has also been a member of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, and has worked as an actor/performer with Anne Bogart, John Jesurun, Dan Hurlin, Dan Froot, Jessica Hagedorn, Robbie McCauley, Laurie Carlos, Richard Elovich, Fred Holland, Mary Shultz, Mark Bennett, Brooke O’Harra, among many others. Nicky’s one-man shows (including Asian Boys, Houses and Jewels, and House/Boy) have been presented at La MaMa, Dixon Place, BACA Downtown, Performance Space 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Pillsbury House Theater (Minneapolis), the 4th Int’l Festival of Cabaret (Mexico City), the KO Festival (Amherst College), Dublin Theatre Festival and the Initiation Performance Festival in Singapore (both in 2007). Paraiso’s awards include a 1987 New York Dance & Performance BESSIE Award, a 2004 Spencer Cherashore Fund grant for mid-career actors, a 2005 NY Innovative Theater Award, and the 2012 BAX Arts and Artists in Progress Arts Manager Award. Nicky is a graduate of Oberlin College/Conservatory & NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. His writing appears in the anthology Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City, edited by Thomas Keith (Vantage Point Books, 2012).

Funding Credits
The Kitchen’s presentation of this project is made possiblewith support in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

About The Kitchen
The Kitchen is one of New York City’s most forward-looking nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. Our programs range from dance, music, performance, and theater to video, film, and art, in addition to literary events, artists’ talks, and lecture series. Since its inception in 1971, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country, and has helped launch the careers of many artists who have gone on to worldwide prominence.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Behind the Scenes of the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout with Lia Chang, Garth Kravits, Evan Daves and Alicia Manns in HIDE AND SEEK
FILM LAB PRESENTS “Focus on the Philippines” featuring John Day’s Matud Nila, narrated by Raul Aranas
Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme 
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, Anna Chlumsky, Kamilah Forbes, Daniel Talbott to Be Honored at Barefoot’s 2015 Vassallo Awards on June 22
Photos and Video: BD Wong at premiere of JURASSIC WORLD at the Dolby Theatre
The King and I wins 4 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Kelli O’Hara (Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Ruthie Ann Miles (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and Catherine Zuber (Best Costume Design)
The King and I’s Ruthie Ann Miles Wins #TonyAwards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Photos: 2015 Tony Award Winners and Performances
Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang’s Commencement Speech at SUNY Purchase
Cultural Interplay between the East and West in “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met
Photos: Anna May Wong as Fashion Muse in “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met
Photos: Inside “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met with Wong Kar-Wai, Vivienne Tam, Wendi Murdoch, Anna Wintour and More
Dr. Leroy Chiao honored with 2015 Blue Cloud Award at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala
Photos: Dr. Leroy Chiao, The Hon. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Shirley and Walter Wang Honored at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala 
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe and More Join George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE; Full Cast Announced
Photos: Edie Falco, Bryce Pinkham, Stephanie McKay, Lena Hall, Nick Blaemire, Jacob Ming-Trent, Matthew Saldívar at The 52nd Street Project’s Gala FANCY THAT
Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London, July 2 – October 18, 2015
Original Cast of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE including Jose Llana, Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jay Reiss, and Sarah Saltzberg, to Reunite for 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert on July 6
ABC Renews “Fresh Off the Boat” and Picks up Ken Jeong’s “Dr. Ken”
An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society 
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Bill Cobbs, Nate Jacobs, Erich McMillan-McCall, Katori Hall, Clinton Turner Davis, ESOSA, A. Peter Bailey, Maurice Hines, Robert Hooks, Grace Jones, Hattie Winston, Karamu House & More among 2015 National Black Theatre Festival Honorees; Gala on August 3
Crafting a Career

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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