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Screw You, Putin: Yara Arts Group's 'Captain John Smith Goes to Ukraine' Opens at La MaMa with Bob Holman, Susan Hwang and Julian Kytastyn

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Mar 03, 2014 10:55 PM EST | Ian Holubiak (

Well, there's certainly a lot of shit going down in Ukraine.

President Obama warned those damned Ruskies not to use force in imposing themselves on Ukrainian sovereignty.

Putin did, anyways.

Regardless of the present Russian disposition, it seems history repeats itself in Ukraine--time and time again.

At least American artists are responding.

New York's own La MaMa has premiered a new production from Bob Holman, Susan Hwang and Julian Kytastyn entitled Captain John Smith Goes to Ukraine.

CJSGTU is based on Smith's own writings about his adventures fighting in the Turkish wars in Eastern Europe, before he came over to help find gold in Jamestown, Va. (will all thanks due to Pocahontas).

The music includes traditional Ukrainian dumas abreast of wildly original songs by Hwang, which she performs on the accordion with Holman's authentic street verse.

Established in 1990, The Yara Arts Group, a frequent La MaMa resident, will perform the piece with a collective of Asian, African, Latino, Eastern and Western European artists who keep the structure interesting and the dialogue flowing.

"The blend of Julian Kytasty's traditional Ukrainian artistry, Bob Holman's hip-hop poetry and Susan Hwang cabaret motifs creates a unique edge," says Kulture I Zhyttia (Culture & Life).

"I am convinced that anyone who hears this trio's renditions of 'Three Heads is Love' and 'Crossroads of the World' will immediately become an obsessed fan," the journal continues.

The production runs from February 27 to March 9. Thursday through Saturday performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees go on at 2:30.

Tickets--and you should get them right now--can be purchased here.

The mayor of the new Bowery Poetry Club, here's Holman's "Rock & Roll Mythology" on Def Jam.

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