PLAYBILL.COM’S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 15-21: Atlantic Swell

News   PLAYBILL.COM’S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 15-21: Atlantic Swell Let’s see. We could go to the musical about the two crazy, blueblood shut-ins. Or perhaps the toe-tapper about sexually repressed, turn-of-the-20th-century German students.
Christine Ebersole as Little Edie in Grey Gardens.
Christine Ebersole as Little Edie in Grey Gardens. Photo by Joan Marcus

No, I’m not talking about the upcoming New York Musical Theatre Festival, that incubator of off-kilter tuners (Altar Boyz, [title of show]), where 2006 titles will include The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun and White Noise, a show about a white supremacist pop band. No, the folks mentioned above will be on Broadway in 2006-07, which is looking to be one of the most artistically challenging seasons in recent memory, musical-wise.

The musical tale of misfit mother-and-daughter socialites is Grey Gardens, the critical hit that began at Playwrights Horizons, and is based on the famous Maylses brothers documentary about Jackie O relatives Big Edie and Little Edie Beale, who go happily to wrack and ruin in the Hamptons. It will arrive at the Walter Kerr on Oct. 3.

The randy Rhinelanders come from the Atlantic Theatre Company, where the Duncan Shiek-Steven Sater musical Spring Awakening has been exciting critics and audiences with its rock treatment of an unsettling, once-banned 1891 Wedekind play about the hell of neglect and ignorance parents foist upon teenagers as they struggle with puberty.

The non-profit revealed July 20 that it, along with Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce, will bring the turbulent teens to Broadway. No theatre or dates have been announced.

*** The Atlantic churned out a lot of news this week. In addition to announcing its second Broadway transfer of the year (after The Lieutenant of Inishmore), it unleashed its upcoming season, which will include NYC premieres by Jez Butterworth, Tina Howe and the company’s co-founder, David Mamet. The latter is actually a new adaptation of English playwright Harley Granville-Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance. The Butterworth play is Parlour Song, and Howe’s contribution is Birth and After Birth.

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The touring company of Doubt carries with it a whiff of the old days, when Broadway’s top stars took their vehicles over hill and dale, to theatre-goers across the U.S. Following the example of the Lunts will be Cherry Jones and Adriane Lenox. Both won Tony Awards for their work in Doubt, and both will repeat those performances on the road, beginning in September in Los Angeles. Well done, ladies.

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