Film star John Turturro ("Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou," "Quiz Show") will wax Shakespearean April 22 when Theatre for a New Audience celebrates the Bard's birthday with Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. Turturro hosts the evening at the Puck Building, which will feature Laine and Dankworth in their new cabaret "The Bard and Beyond."
Although he has done theatre, most recently in Classic Stage Company's Waiting for Godot, Turtorro is best known for his films with Spike Lee ("Do the Right Thing," "Mo' Better Blues," "Jungle Fever," "Summer of Sam") and the Coen Brothers ("Barton Fink," "The Big Lebowski," "O Brother Where Art Thou?"). Several of his film projects have been theatrically-oriented including "Cradle Will Rock" and "Illuminata."
Laine will perform jazz settings of the poetry of Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings alongside ballads by Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter and Harold Arlen during her set. Laine was Tony-nominated for her role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and won Grammy Awards in the Female Jazz, Popular and Classical categories.
Tickets are $450 and up. A live and silent auction, as well as dinner and cocktails, will be featured during the evening. For further information, call (212) 398-1133 ext. 11 or 12. The Puck Building is located at 295 Lafayette Street.
Theatre for a New Audience is currently represented Off-Broadway with Andorra. Translated by Village Voice drama critic Michael Feingold,< I>Andorra takes place in a mythical country where a young boy, adopted by a school teacher, faces prejudice because he is Jewish — or so the populace and the boy himself believe. Even after it is revealed that he is nothing more exotic than the schoolteacher's blood son, it's too late to save him. The drama, directed by Romanian Liviu Ciulei, plays through April 28. — By Christine Ehren