Russian daredevil Anna Fishbeyn will light up the Metropolitan Room for three nights with Anna on Fire and Uncensored, her new hard-to-categorize stage concoction combining song and dance, comedy, and spoken word. A modern-day Lucille Ball and first generation Russian Jewish immigrant, Fishbeyn fearlessly exposes both her traditional upbringing and her headlong embrace of American pop culture and sexual liberation, showing just how combustible a mix that can be.
Co-directed by Kirsten Heckler (whose work explores gender and sexuality issues) and improv specialist Brennan Lowery, Anna on Fire and Uncensored will help launch Fishbeyn’s debut novel The Matrimonial Flirtations of Emma Kaufield, which came out in May 23 in Barnes & Noble, from Arcade Publishing. The funny tale of a bright and flirtatious Russian Jewish immigrant making it in New York as she struggles to discard her Russian upbringing (or somehow creatively re-appropriate it), the novel, like Fishbeyn, is sexy, confessional and wildly satirical. Kirkus Reviews calls Fishbeyn a “compelling new voice.”
The schedule is: Thursday, June 1 at 9:30 pm; Wednesday, June 7 at 9:30 pm; and Saturday, July 1 at 7 pm. This is Fishbeyn’s Metropolitan Room debut.
Fishbeyn’s previous outing, a one-woman play called My Stubborn Tongue, played Off-Broadway at New Ohio Theatre, and at the Soho Theatre in London. Reviewing the show, The Jewish Standard claimed she “has a thrilling singing voice and strong comedic impersonation skills.”
As head honcho of XOFeminist Productions, Fishbeyn produces the popular web series Happy Hour Feminism, which she writes and in which she stars. A comedy talk show, in which men are rudely treated like ladies, Happy Hour Feminism” has won a slew of awards — including Best Actress, Best Screenwriter, Best Short Comedy, and Best Web Series — at the Moondance International Film Festival; Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, and the World Cinema Festival in Berlin.
Fishbeyn unshackles herself in front of the audience’s eyes, as she pursues sexual and cultural liberation, and lampoons her deeply ingrained Russian-ness, which sticks to her like gum on a stilleto-heeled shoe! Her multi-disciplinary show’s theme song is “Welcome to the Burlesque,” to which Fishbeyn has added new lyrics. She also mistreats such show stoppers as “Mein Herr,” “Don’t You Want Me,” and “Russian Gypsie Ballad.”
There is a $24 music charge and a $25 food and beverage minimum. For reservations call the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues), at 212/206-0440 or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com