The Hungry Mind Buffet

Directed by Lissa Moira
May 30 – June 16
MAY 30 - JUN 16; THU, FRI, SAT at 8 PM, SUN at 3 PM

Executive Director, Crystal Field


The Hungry Mind Buffet

May 30 – June 16, 2024
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM

Tickets: $18 General, $15 Students and Seniors
Run Time: 2 hours with 10 minute intermission

155 First Avenue (between 9th and 10th Street)
New York, NY 10003

“Party Clown of the Rich & Famous and The Hungry Mind Buffet,” a two-part evening of short plays. In Part 1, “Party Clown of the Rich and Famous,” performance artist Stan Baker relates true autobiographical accounts of himself in the ’70s and ’80s when he entertained at lavish parties, encountering Salvador Dali, Donald Trump, mafia henchmen and sex-obsessed money moguls. Part 2, “The Hungry Mind Buffet,” grasps at the meaning of life with four brief pieces: an operetta by Peter Dizozza based on Dante, a conversation with G-d written and performed by Richard West, a lesson on gluttony written by Georgia James, and a universal statement about wars of aggression written by Lissa Moira. Ms. Moira directs the whole shebang.


written & performed by Stan Baker (The Human TV), directed by Lissa Moira
An autobiographical story that’s all true. In the 1980s, as an aspiring actor desperate for work, known for a funny skit as a human TV, Stan Baker joined a troupe working at lavish parties for the extremely rich and famous. With the promise of easy money, the young comedic performance artist got shunted into a bizarre world of private parties of the upper crust, appearing alongside Salvador Dali, Bob Hope, the Beastie Boys and Run DMC; meeting Donald Trump, George Plimpton, Ronald Reagan and Ed Koch; even taking a private overnight cruise for bar mitzvah guests on the ocean liner QE II. Eager to exchange the competitive world of comedy clubs for steady work in the cushy affairs of the one-percent, he discovered hidden costs he hadn’t bargained for: humiliation, addiction, and compromising of his own morality. (Runs :55)

Stan Baker is an actor, comedian, musical bookwriter/lyricist. His work includes productions, workshops, readings, commissions, and solo performances at venues such as The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, La Mama E.T.C., Theater for the New City, P.S. 122, Dixon Place, The York, The Lark, HOME, Cornelia St. Café, The Bitter End, Catch a Rising Star, Studio 54, Max’s Kansas City, Danceteria, The Pyramid, Wah Wah Hut, Columbia U., Lincoln Center, and lots of other joints.

A set of four short plays on cosmic topics, all directed by Lissa Moira

• The Afterdeath, a short opera by Peter Dizozza (based on an excerpt from Dante’s Inferno)
Directed by Lissa Moira, Starring: Alisa Ermolaev, Jonathan Fox Powers and William Broderick*
This fifteen minute mini-opera, based on an excerpt from Dante’s Inferno, follows the path of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta after Giovanni, Francesca’s husband, murders them. Minutes after their death, they wait at heaven’s gate hoping to enter paradise. Upon their own inspection they fall, parachuting through the clouds past Purgatory to land on the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center, a portal to inner earth through which they enter the inferno! Although they spend eternity in a Hurricane of Lost Souls, they are together. With Alisa Ermolaev and Jonathan Powers as the lovers and William Broderick as the homicidal husband. Graphics and audio/visual elements by Sam Moree. (runs :15)

Peter Dizozza was composer/musical director of TNC’s 2022 Street Theater tour, “Teacher! Teacher! or PS I Love You.” He appeared frequently in 2020-2021 in TNC’s weekly “Open ‘Tho Shut” walk-by theater productions, which demonstrated the theater’s ability to serve its neighborhood culturally during the lockdown. He is known for his simple, cheerful music with a Gershwinesque flair. He began writing plays with music for La Mama’s Experimenta Series in 1997 and became a regular composer for productions directed by George Ferencz. Among his TNC credits are his scores for Toby Armour’s plays “Aunt Susan and Her Tennessee Waltz” (2022) and “155 Thru the Roof” (2014). His song settings include poems and texts by Shakespeare, T.S.Eliot and Thomas Hardy. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, The Lambs Club and The New York Composers Circle.

• “Trips Out,” written and performed by Richard West
Richard wakes up one morning (or is he still dreaming?) and has a sometimes philosophical, sometimes silly, sometimes accusatory, always humorous discussion with an exasperated G-d. (Runs :11)
There will also be music by: Melange

Richard West (composer) is a writer, musician and actor. Among his plays are “Warhol in Hell,” “Bohemia on Wry,” “Sex and the Single Samurai” and “Enlightenment on the Installment Plan.” With Lisa Moira, he has written “Sexual Psychobabble,” “Who Murdered Love? “and “The Best Sex of the XX Century Sale.” His one man shows include “Coastal Complexes, ” “The Hip Revival Hour,” “Daffodils for Duchamp,” “Cafe Vanity,” “Coming of Age Amongst the Urban Savages,” “Coming of Age in a Stoned Decade,” “The Blue Monkey,” “The Floating Duck Variety Show,” “Going Out of Democracy Sale,” “The Grand Theft Inaugural Ball,” “Variety Show” and “You Sure Got a Lot of Nirvana.” He had a radio career on the West Coast (KPFA), a Manhattan Cable TV show (“That’s More Like It”), and has performed his satirical and serious songs and East-West exotic fusion music at venues ranging from The Limelight, Theater Row Mudd Club, The Knitting Factory and The Village Gate. He collaborated on a song cycle with Lissa Moira, “The Son of a Bush from Texas & Other Related Songs.” He is a Jerome Foundation grantee.

• The Colonel and the Woman Take Tea in the Rubble, Written and Directed by Lissa Moira, regarding the specter of war. Starring: William Broderick* Jonathan Fox Powers, and Lissa Moira*
A Russian Colonel, weary of waging an immoral war, walks away from his baffled, worried young Lieutenant and enters a horribly bombed out building. There a theatrically dressed, ghostly woman is inexplicably serving tea for two. Whom is she expecting? This phantasmagorical play is a universal statement about wars of aggression. With William Broderick as the Colonel, Jonathan Fox Powers as the Lieutenant and Lissa Moira as the Woman. (runs :11)

Lissa Moira (director) is a playwright, screenwriter, director, artist and poet. She is two-time Jerome Foundation grantee and an OOBR Award-winning actress. She directed and was dramaturg of “Siren’s Heart, Norma Jean and Marilyn in Purgatory” by Walt Stepp, which enjoyed a seven-week run at TNC in 2011 and then played 14 months Off-Broadway at the Actors Temple starring Louisa Bradshaw. The following year, she directed “Skybox,” also by Walt Stepp, at TNC. Her direction of “Cocaine Dreams” at the Kraine was described by the NY Post (Chip Deffaa) as “inspired.” Last season, she directed two musicals at TNC: “Who Murdered Love?” a Dadaist musical comedy which she co-wrote with Richard West, and “Bliss Street,” an Indie Rock musical by Abra Bigham from a concept by Rich Brotman with songs by Charlie Sub. The latter show traced the role of the club-owning Sub family in the making of New York’s decade of punk, glam and glitter rock. This February, she has helmed “The Boy Who Listened To Paintings,” a musical theater work based on the memoir of the same name by the late visual artist and poet Dean Kostos (1954 – 2022), an extensively published, award-winning poet.

The performers appearing in this evening are drawn from a circle of artists that Lissa Moira has worked with repeatedly. She refers to this ensemble whimsically as “my drama bums,” as in “The Dharma Bums,” title of a novel by Jack Kerouac.

Moira writes, “I would like to thank Crystal Field for her continuing faith in me, both as a writer and director, and for allowing me to have the opportunity both to direct and to present my own new works. The theater has been an indispensable launching pad for me.”

• Yum, by Georgia James. A comedy of joyous consumption and casual cruelty. Directed by Lissa Moira, Starring: Amelia Sasson* Alisa Ermolaev, Susan Mitchell*( and her violin) and William Broderick*
As a restaurant’s female violinist plays Bach, Broadway and Beatles to comic effect, a zaftig woman’s orgasmic love of food becomes a weapon of cruelty to punish a priggish gentleman who would impose his dietary values upon other diners. With violinist Susan Mitchell, Mia Sasson as the food-loving Woman, Alisa Ermolaev as the waitress and William Broderick as the man. (runs :12)

Georgia James is an award-winning poet, playwright, lyricist and screenwriter, two time Heideman Finalist playwright and a veteran of America-in-Play. She is known for her sprawling opus “Ghost Quartet” comprised of three full-length plays plus a ceremonial gospel wake with spoken word and dance which combine to explore the way the American psyche has been haunted across three centuries by the ghosts of its Civil War. Her works have been staged at TNC, 78th Street Theater Lab, The Duplex, Westbeth, HOME for Contemporary Music and Art, HERE, Upstairs at O’Neill’s, Westbeth (Laurie Beechman Theater), Theater for a New Audience (FL), Barrington Stage Company (MA), Moonwater Theater (TX), and National Musical Theater Network, and screened at various film festivals.


COVID Protocol:
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.