Yackez: Give It To You Stage (2017)
New York Live Arts
Yackez, the art pop/multimedia collaboration of Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson, aka Twitta and Papi Jon, work the crowd again in their spectacle, Give It To You Stage. This large-scale dance musical in two acts culminates from the duo’s years of underground performances.
Give It To You Stage tells the story of Yackez’s struggles as artists in New York, from piecing together finances for their shows to tackling difficult decisions like expanding their family. The performance features their Queer pro-wrestling dance ensemble (inspired by Jon’s strange wrestling obsession) and a chorus of older adult dancers from Larissa’s day job teaching wellness and fitness. Their large cast serves as a defiant celebration of diversity in these trying times of political and social turmoil. The show redefines family friendly entertainment, thanks in part to the presence of YackMan, the group’s confused yet sweet mascot.
- Directed by Larissa Velez-Jackson
- Choreographed by Larissa Velez-Jackson (in collaboration with the cast)
- Music by Yackez (written and recorded by Jon and Larissa Velez- Jackson). “Yackez Dot Com” features an excerpt by 101 Strings Orchestra.
- Musical direction by Jon Velez-Jackson
- Wrestling choreography by Jon Velez-Jackson
- Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann
- Costume House Design by Claire Fleury
- Costume Styling by Claire Fleury and Larissa Velez-Jackson
- YackMan Design by Jon Velez-Jackson
- Yackman Construction by Marisa LaRette
- Video Design by Jay Maury and Larissa Velez-Jackson
- Video Engineering by Jay Maury
- Set Design by Lillie De, Claire Fleury, Ashleigh Wilkinson, Serena Wong, and Yackez
- Production Management by Lillie De
- Stage Management and Administrative Assistance by Sarah Holcman
- Performed by Tyler Ashley, Laurie Berg, Lillie De, Sarah Holcman, Antonio Ramos, Jon Velez-Jackson, Larissa Velez-Jackson, and Ashley R. T. Yergens. Also featuring special guests Dottie Brier, Socorro DeJesus, Sharon Flanagan, Pearl Frisch, Carmen Ithier, Gaetana M. Manuele, Stella Rodriguez-Morales, Madge Rosenberg, Marilyn Rosenberg, Dorothea Snyder, and Bonnie Yarry
*Video courtesy of Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library
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