Innovative new productions and exciting cast reunions fuel the fire of Off-Broadway during the cold winter month.
Tenors With a Perfect Ken-ship
Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, which will play February 1–26 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, has been cast by director Don Stephenson with care, discernment, and exactly the same actors he hired four years ago for the Paper Mill run of Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor: Judy Blazer, John Treacy Egan, Jill Paice, David Josefsberg, Donna English, and Michael Kostroff; new to the manic mix is Ryan Silverman. And it’s actually Blazer’s third time at Paper Mill playing the insanely jealous spitfire-wife of a philandering Italian tenor. Fun ensues at regulation breakneck speed.
The Dame in the Cellblock
Dame Harriet Walter, a Tony-nominated Queen Elizabeth I to Janet McTeer’s likewise Tony-nominated Mary Stuart, and director Phyllida Lloyd, who guided McTeer’s Petruchio through the all-female Taming of the Shrew in Central Park last summer, are concluding their acclaimed trilogy of gender-shifting Shakespeare with The Tempest. Through February 19, St. Ann’s Warehouse—which previously served as the maximum-security women’s prison that housed Julius Caesar and Henry IV—is once again housing a majority of the inmates.
“The premise,” Lloyd explains of her extreme three-play overhaul, is “to take the most voiceless group you might imagine—women prisoners; refugees from our culture, if you like; people without any access to the internet even—and watch them electrify an audience with nothing but Shakespeare’s language.”
The Off-On Switch
The largest supplier of new Broadway drama till season’s end will be Off-Broadway: Making the big move are Paula Vogel’s Indecent from the Vineyard to the Cort April 18, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat from the Public to Studio 54 March 26, J. T. Rogers’ Oslo from Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse to its Vivian Beaumont April 13, and Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other from Roundabout’s Laura Pels to the Booth, now in previews.