Harry Haun's Off-Broadway Column -- July 1997

News   Harry Haun's Off-Broadway Column -- July 1997 WATT'S HAPPENING
Up from the basement cabaret at the West Bank Cafe and looking for a more visible venue is Tables for Two, a charming revue based on a curious combo: the songs and the criticisms of Douglas Watt, former drama critic for The New York Daily News. Abbreviated reviews and some of his New Yorker writings punctuate the tunes, which, note for note, are better than you have any right to expect from a card-carrying critic. . . . Queens Blvd., currently located in Greenwich Village at the corner of Minetta and MacDougal (in The Players Theatre), is a comedy by Shubert Award-winner Paul Corrigan about mismatched roommates (Russell Leib, Steve Hayes and Tony Meindl). The director is Vincent J. Cardinal.

A NEST OF BESTS

If the New York Drama Critics are to be believed, the best theatrical offerings of the season just ended occurred Off-Broadway. For the first time in its 63 years, that august group picked Off-Broadway shows for both its awards: The Best Musical vote went to Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons and may return for an open-ended gig, and Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive got the Best Play nod; an Obie and a Drama Desk Award seconded that latter move. Drive's lead duo, David Morse and Mary Louise Parker, and their director, Mark Brokaw, raked in awards all over the place. . . . Brokaw's other distinguished endeavor of the season was to stage Kenneth Lonergan's slacker comedy, This Is Our Youth, and he did it so well the Weisslers are bringing it back in October for a longer look-see, either at the Lortel or the Westside‹and with the original cast: Josh Hamilton, Missy Yager and Mark Ruffalo. The latter, an L.A. actor in his N.Y.C. debut, got one of those Theatre World Awards John Willis divvies out annually among the most promising newcomers. . . . Brokaw and Hamilton are now at the Greenwich House, toiling over the first new play developed and presented by the Drama Dept., As Bees in Honey Drown. Fittingly, the author is the company's artistic director, Douglas Carter Beane; its cast includes regulars like Mark Nelson, Cynthia Nixon, T. Scott Cunningham, J. Smith Cameron and Sandra Daley.

WATT'S HAPPENING
Up from the basement cabaret at the West Bank Cafe and looking for a more visible venue is Tables for Two, a charming revue based on a curious combo: the songs and the criticisms of Douglas Watt, former drama critic for The New York Daily News. Abbreviated reviews and some of his New Yorker writings punctuate the tunes, which, note for note, are better than you have any right to expect from a card-carrying critic. . . . Queens Blvd., currently located in Greenwich Village at the corner of Minetta and MacDougal (in The Players Theatre), is a comedy by Shubert Award-winner Paul Corrigan about mismatched roommates (Russell Leib, Steve Hayes and Tony Meindl). The director is Vincent J. Cardinal.

A NEST OF BESTS

If the New York Drama Critics are to be believed, the best theatrical offerings of the season just ended occurred Off-Broadway. For the first time in its 63 years, that august group picked Off-Broadway shows for both its awards: The Best Musical vote went to Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons and may return for an open-ended gig, and Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive got the Best Play nod; an Obie and a Drama Desk Award seconded that latter move. Drive's lead duo, David Morse and Mary Louise Parker, and their director, Mark Brokaw, raked in awards all over the place. . . . Brokaw's other distinguished endeavor of the season was to stage Kenneth Lonergan's slacker comedy, This Is Our Youth, and he did it so well the Weisslers are bringing it back in October for a longer look-see, either at the Lortel or the Westside‹and with the original cast: Josh Hamilton, Missy Yager and Mark Ruffalo. The latter, an L.A. actor in his N.Y.C. debut, got one of those Theatre World Awards John Willis divvies out annually among the most promising newcomers. . . . Brokaw and Hamilton are now at the Greenwich House, toiling over the first new play developed and presented by the Drama Dept., As Bees in Honey Drown. Fittingly, the author is the company's artistic director, Douglas Carter Beane; its cast includes regulars like Mark Nelson, Cynthia Nixon, T. Scott Cunningham, J. Smith Cameron and Sandra Daley. -- By Harry Haun

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