By Michael Gioia
27 Jun 2012
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Concluding June 30
As You Like It (Off-Broadway at The Public Theater/Delacorte Theater). The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It stars Lily Rabe, David Furr and Stephen Spinella. Helmed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan, the music-filled production sets the Forest of Arden "in the rural American South, circa 1840, where folk and roots music perfectly capture the mood of the time," according to Public notes. In As You Like It, "Rosalind, Shakespeare's most breathtaking heroine, and her boyfriend Orlando find themselves in the enchanted Forest of Arden, where all the world's a stage, and where sudden infatuation is as confusing as it is beautiful. Along with other 'country copulatives,' they discover that nothing transforms, redeems, or enriches experience quite as powerfully as love. As You Like It has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course plenty of romance, both heartbreaking and joyous." Visit ShakespeareInThePark.org.
Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage (Off-Broadway at Sofia's Downstairs Theatre). Written by Ken Davenport and Sarah Saltzberg and based on the book by Abigail Grotke, Miss Abigail's Guide… stars Christine Pedi and Eddie Gutierrez. During this 90-minute comedy, Miss A will show you how to have the perfect kiss, what you should (and should not) talk about on a date, and how to let a man think he wears the pants. Visit MissAbigailsGuide.com.
Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre). The new, multimedia staging of Jesus Christ Superstar, shaped by Tony-winning director Des McAnuff, first debuted in an extended, sold-out run last summer at Ontario's Stratford Festival, nabbing strong critical reviews and the blessing of its writers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Paul Nolan leads the cast as Jesus Christ, with 2012 Tony Award nominee Josh Young as Judas Iscariot, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod, Marcus Nance as Caiaphas and Aaron Walpole as Annas. Visit SuperstarOnBroadway.com.
|photo by Carol Rosegg|
The Lyons (Broadway at the Cort Theatre). The Lyons, Nicky Silver's dysfunctional-family comedy, stars Tony Award winners Linda Lavin, a 2012 Tony nominee, and Dick Latessa. Lavin and Latessa reunited with fellow members of the original Vineyard Theatre run, including Michael Esper and Kate Jennings Grant as their messed-up adult children; Brenda Pressley as a nurse; and Gregory Wooddell as a real estate agent. Charlie Hofheimer succeeded Esper June 12. Here's how the play is billed: "The Lyons is a funny and edgy work starring Linda Lavin as Rita Lyons, the indomitable matriarch of a family at a major crossroads: her husband is dying, her son's in a dubious relationship, her daughter's struggling to stay sober and on top of it all, she can't settle on a new design for the living room." Visit TheLyonsBroadway.com.
Man and Superman (Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theatre). The Irish Repertory Theatre and Gingold Theatrical Group co-production of George Bernard Shaw's complete four-act Man and Superman — his 1903 comedy set in England, Spain and Hell —is directed and adapted by David Staller. The play about Jack Tanner's determination to not marry his ward, Ann Whitefield — and how she pursues him, even to Hell, in the famous fantasy sequence — features Janie Brookshire as Ann, Will Bradley as Octavius, Jonathan Hammond as Mendoza, Laurie Kennedy as Mrs. Whitefield, Max Gordon Moore as Jack, Paul O'Brien as Malone, Margaret Robinson as Violet, Brian Sgambati as Straker, Zachary Spicer as Hector and Tony Award nominee Brian Murray as Ramsden, Ann's second guardian. Visit IrishRep.org.
Rapture, Blister, Burn (Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons/ Mainstage Theater). Here's how Playwrights Horizons characterizes Rapture, Blister, Burn by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Gina Gionfriddo: "After grad school, Catherine (Amy Brenneman) and Gwen (Kellie Overbey) chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rockstar academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other's life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs — the prize being Gwen's husband (Lee Tergesen). With searing insight and trademark wit, Gina Gionfriddo's comedy is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th-century feminist ideals." Visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org.
|Photo by Erin Baiano|
4000 Miles (Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater). In 4000 Miles, Tony Award winner Mary Louise Wilson stars as no-nonsense grandmother Vera, who still lives on her own in her West Village apartment. Gabriel Ebert plays her grandson Leo, who arrives at her door in the middle of the night, having crossed the country on his bicycle after a life-altering loss. 4000 Miles also features Greta Lee as one of Leo's new female friends and Zoe Winters as his ex-girlfriend. Visit LCT.org.
Murder in the First (Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters). Dan Gordon's courtroom drama Murder in the First stars Tony Award nominee Chad Kimball. Here's how 59E59 Theaters bills the play: "Inspired by a compelling true story, Murder In the First is a gripping drama about the murder trial that blew open the deplorable treatment of the prisoners at Alcatraz, the most notorious correctional institution in U.S. history. The stage version of Dan Gordon's 1995 film explores the unlikely friendship that develops between the young, idealistic attorney and the prisoner that he was brought in to defend." Visit 59e59.org.
Storefront Church (Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company/Linda Gross Theater). John Patrick Shanley directs the world premiere of his Bronx-set Storefront Church, the third play of his trilogy that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt. ATC bills the play by Bronx native Shanley as "the final installment of the trilogy called 'Church and State,' which began with Doubt. The story concerns a Bronx borough President who is forced by the mortgage crisis into a confrontation with a local minister. The question they confront is one that faces us all. What is the relationship between spiritual experience and social action?" Visit AtlanticTheater.org.