In “Martha,” Christina Carlisi Exquisitely Brings Martha Graham To Life

ChristinaCarlisi as MARTHA.JPG

Actress/dancer, Christina Carlisi is breathing life into the great Martha Graham at the Whitefire Theatre and you do not want to miss it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Miss Martha Graham, she was the most influential, dancer/choreographer of the Twentieth century. Some say there wasn’t such a thing as modern dance before she came along. Actually, I think Martha said it and I couldn’t agree more.

Martha considered herself a dancer first, choreographer second and she proved it by performing until she was in her mid seventies. In 1926, she founded the Martha Graham Dance Company and it still reigns as the oldest dance company in the United States.

One can’t help but wonder how anybody can bring such a mega star to life and do her justice. Well, Christina Carlisi does just that and does it beautifully.

When the one woman play written by Ellen Melaver and directed by Stewart J. Zully opens, we find seventy four year old Martha (Christina) on the stage fuming because Clive Barnes, the New York Times critic had the gaul to give her performance in “Clytemnestra” a terrible review.  Worse than that, he suggested that maybe it was time for old Martha to turn in her dancing shoes.

It’s from this point, we explore Martha’s life and find out how she came to be one of the most iconic forces in the world of dance.

Miss Carlisi is mesmerizing as she moves on stage the way Martha moved, bringing  out Graham’s passion, her difficulties, challenges and lastly the pain and anguish she felt, when she had to face giving up the one thing that gave her life meaning – the one thing she dedicated and sacrificed her whole life for…Dance.

“Martha” opened at the Whitefire Theatre, located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, on Sunday March 12th and plays every Sunday at 7:30 until April 16, 2017.

Tickets are $25.00 and can be reserved by going to or call 818-687-8559.

Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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