By Michael Gioia
03 Dec 2013
Concluding Dec. 8
Good Person of Szechwan (Off-Broadway at The Public Theater). The Foundry Theatre production of Bertolt Brecht's Good Person of Szechwan, featuring Taylor Mac and original live music by César Alvarez with The Lisps, is translated by John Willett and directed by Lear deBessonet. Here's how it's billed: "Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a 'good person' in a cruel world of limited resources." Visit PublicTheater.org.
All That Fall (Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters). Samuel Beckett's radio play All That Fall is directed by Trevor Nunn and features Eileen Atkins, Olivier Award winner Michael Gambon, Ruairi Conaghan, Frank Grimes, Trevor Cooper, Billy Carter, James Hayes and Catherine Cusack. "Specially commissioned by the BBC as a radio play, All That Fall was first broadcast in 1957," press notes state. "Set in rural Ireland, the play follows Mrs. Rooney, struggling under her aged, rheumatic, large frame, on her way to meet her blind and ill-tempered husband off the train. Along the way, she encounters Christy with his dung cart, old Tyler on his bicycle, Mr. Slocum, a racecourse clerk, and Miss Fitt, a pious spinster. At once chilling and compassionate, intimate and expansive, All That Fall offers an inimitably idiosyncratic and at times hilarious perspective on loss, grief and old age." Visit 59e59.org.
Taking Care of Baby (Off-Broadway at New York City Center – Stage II). The Manhattan Theatre Club's American premiere of Taking Care of Baby features Reed Birney, Kristen Bush, Tony nominee Amelia Campbell, Margaret Colin, Francois Battiste, Michael Crane, Ethan Phillips and Zach Shaffer. Erica Schmidt directs. Here's how MTC bills the work: "An unspeakable tragedy. A shattered family. An accusation of murder. Taking Care of Baby is a provocative new drama that boldly explores the elusive nature of truth and the depths we'll go to expose it." Visit NYCityCenter.org.