By Michael Gioia
19 Jun 2013
Concluding June 22
Basilica (Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre). "Nurse Jackie" cast member Jake Cannavale stars in the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater world premiere of Mando Alvarado's Basilica. According to the Rattlestick, "in South Texas, two things loom large—the Catholic Church and Texas pride—and Joe Garza, a strong, hard-working man, embodies one more than the other. But when he learns that Gilbert Gonzalez has returned as the new pastor at the basilica, Joe’s confronted with the choices he made in life and questions the past the only way he knows how—with anger, pride, and a biting tongue." Visit Rattlestick.org.
Concluding June 23
Good Television (Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company). The world premiere of Rod MacLachlan's Good Television features Talia Balsam, Jessica Cummings, John Magaro, Kelly McAndrew, Zoe Perry, Luke Robertson, Andrew Stewart-Jones and Ned Van Zandt. "Connie is an intervention counselor and producer on a reality television series which profiles people suffering from addiction," according to press notes. "Against her better judgment, her superiors convince her to take on a special, risky case in the hopes of making a riveting, explosive episode. When Connie and her colleagues travel to South Carolina to interview a young meth addict and his family, Connie's own demons resurface and the 'explosive episode' threatens to blow up in her face." Visit AtlanticTheater.org.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Off-Broadway at The Classic Stage Company). The Classic Stage Company production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle stars Christopher Lloyd and features music by Duncan Sheik. Also in the cast are Tony Award nominees Mary Testa and Elizabeth A. Davis, Jason Babinsky, Alex Hurt and Tom Riis Farrell. According to CSC, "'Terrible is the temptation to do good!' warns Bertolt Brecht’s amiable narrator. But good is all that Grusha, the simple kitchen maid, knows. And so, in the midst of a revolution, she cannot help but come to the aid of a poor defenseless infant. Their subsequent misadventures across her war-torn country become the heart of Brecht's playful parable, which calls into question our basic assumptions of right in a world that has gone wrong." Visit ClassicStage.org.
3 Kinds of Exile (Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company). Tony Award-winning playwright John Guare stars in the Off-Broadway world premiere of his new play 3 Kinds of Exile, staged by Neil Pepe. Also in the cast are Peter Maloney, David Pittu, Alison Cimmet, Jeffrey Kuhn, Jacquelyn Landgraf, Martin Moran, Kate Rigg, Omar Sangare and Timothy Splain. According to the Atlantic, "With great psychological insight and arresting theatricality, John Guare presents three artists, all of whom forged complicated lives in the West, having struggled and suffered amid the cultural and political turmoil of Eastern Europe in the mid-20th Century. Drawing from the experiences of three real exiles from Czechoslovakia and Poland, Guare weaves the stories of these lives into a riveting dramatic tapestry and probes the meaning of home, identity and how we carry the past with us." Visit AtlanticTheater.org.
The Tutors (Off-Broadway at Second Stage's McGinn/Cazale Theatre). The world premiere of Erica Lipez's The Tutors, which is part of Second Stage Theatre's 2013 Uptown Series, is directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail and features Louis Ozawa Changchien, Matt Dellapina, Aubrey Dollar, Keith Nobbs and Chris Perfetti. Here's how Second Stage bills the new work: "No one dreams of being a tutor: just ask Heidi, Toby and Joe. While catering to the offspring of New York elite has forced them to confront the anticlimax of adulthood, these roommates are not ready to give up on their social networking startup – just yet. When Heidi’s online editing begins to invade her subconscious and a student crosses the line, all three friends might be in over their heads. A funny, heartfelt look at day jobs versus dream jobs and the people we count on to remind us of the difference." Visit 2ST.com.
Somewhere Fun (Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre). The Vineyard Theatre's world-premiere production of Jenny Schwartz's Somewhere Fun stars Kathleen Chalfant, Kate Mulgrew and Greg Keller. According to the Vineyard, "Somewhere Fun follows Rosemary and Evelyn, two women who met 'a hundred thousand years ago' in Central Park when their children were barely born, and who are reunited on Madison Avenue one windy fall day 35 years later. With their children now grown and the world changing rapidly before (what's left of) their eyes, each finds herself face to face with the terrors, joys, and surprises of life and time." Visit VineyardTheatre.org.
Concluding June 25
Italian Bred (Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Luke's). Italian Bred is written by and stars Candice Guardino. With this 80-minute one-woman show, "Candice slips in and out of characters as she serves up a full meal of growing up Italian on Staten Island," according to press notes. "Having written down everything her loving and outspoken grandmother ever uttered, she combines this unfiltered wisdom, along with her family's very Italian and definitive personalities and a generous helping of her own experiences. This hilarious and heartwarming show includes unique stories and memories from her childhood…with a liberal dash of live music!" Visit ItalianBredShow.com.