BASTA: Witness for the persecution

The day the story broke, Evan Ingersoll was pumping iron in the basement gym of his friend Jesús Halévy’s Hell’s Kitchen apartment complex, Hyundai Hut. The two had recently attended a midnight screening of Deliverance and were now determined to look their best.

“Jesus! Jesús! Jesus!” Evan screamed suddenly from the squat rack. “Get over here!”  Read more »

BASTA: Once more from the top

With just under a week to go before dress rehearsal and opening night, the principals of Algonquin Opera’s season-opener, Lucia di Lammermoor, assembled for a run-though of Acts I and III.  Of all the production’s leads, only its headlining soprano, Katarina Nippelnaya (“The Parakeet from Petersburg”), had performed the opera before. And yet they all wished, for reasons at once superstitious and deeply misguided, to avoid over-rehearsing the sextet.  Read more »

BASTA: Significant mother

At last, Jesús Halévy had found the right size. The small ecru sweater was buried beneath a stack of extra-larges at the Macy’s on Herald Square; he’d nearly given up hope that he would ever find something fitted enough for his planned trip to London.  Read more »

BASTA: Stridono lasso

Supernumerary callbacks for the Big Apple Singing Theater Association’s spring production of Bison Don’t Cry were held later that night at the Mariachi Playhouse.

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BASTA: The overt and the subliminal

As if the corner of Broadway and 53rd weren’t already busy enough, Evan Ingersoll couldn’t believe the line leading into the Mariachi Playhouse where BASTA tryouts were held.

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BASTA: Super, tanks for asking

The day of the big BASTA audition, Evan found the flier Paul Upczuk had passed him the previous weekend at Aura Bar.

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BASTA: Call me by your game

It was already nearly two o’clock in the morning, late for a work night, and Nixon Ben Mahmoud was ashamed to find himself crying real tears.

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BASTA: Press your luck

Jerold Offerman had spent the day readying the Algonquin Opera orchestra for a high-profile, high-stakes revival of Lucia, and things weren’t going well with the glass harmonica.

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BASTA: Boots and Saddle

The guy in the green plaid shirt motioned Evan over within seconds of spotting him at Aura. Evan rolled his eyes, checked his abs, and sidled up to the bar.

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BASTA: Evan can wait

Weekends at Aura Bar on 53rd and Ninth are typically big money makers for the morons who run the place. Jonjon and Yoni.

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