Arts Watch: La MaMa to Celebrate the Work of Tom Murrin with Full Moon Festival

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People come and people go. People live and people die. Some people, or rather their “spirits,” live on forever; Tom Murrin’s is one of those. Tom was a beloved downtown original – a pioneering performance artist. Generous and kind in spirit. When eager young theater folks like me descended on the East Village performance art scene in the late ’80s and ’90s to take part in Tom’s Full Moon Shows with his infamous alter ego, the “Alien Comic,” he had already lived several past performer lives. He had traveled around the world with his madcap “Trash Theater” street performances in places as far away as the streets of Bombay, and penned original plays as one of the first generation of La MaMa playwrights.

Tom passed away in 2012, and he is sorely missed, but this week, La MaMa is celebrating “all things Tom” with The Tom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival. The centerpieces of the festival are his surreal comic plays. I for one can’t wait to see Cock-Strong (1969) the musical, “recommended for all fans of risqué song, topsy-turvy dance, wildly oscillating character-choices and, of course, sex.” After its premier at La MaMa, The Village Voice described the show as “a triumphant paean to potency” and “the opposite of a nightmare.”

If you are fan of all things lunar, you can join in an homage to the one of Tom’s favorite characters, the moon goddess Luna Macaroona, at this Thursday’s Full Moon Show on the occasion of the April Full Pink Moon.  The performance collective AUNTS leads this one along with a stellar line-up of downtown luminaries. The ten day celebration will also feature readings, street performances and art installations. Knowing Tom, he would be front row and center, smiling as usual.

The Tom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival at La MaMa/ 74 A East 4th Street / April 17–27, 2014