By Michael Gioia
19 Dec 2013
Concluding Dec. 21
Private Dancer (Off-Broadway at the Lion Theatre). Private Dancer, a new combined-media stage play by Sage Snakechalmer about the life of Rita Hayworth, is directed by Bob Degus and stars Snakechalmer. "In Private Dancer Snakechalmer delves into some often overlooked aspects of Hayworth's life," press notes state. "Married five times to powerful men such as Orson Welles, Prince Aly Khan and the singer Dick Haymes — Hayworth's personal urges for domestic normalcy were often thwarted. She wanted a lot of things that her job as Hollywood glamour queen prevented her from getting. Though she frequently portrayed singers and wanted to learn to sing, she was discouraged from singing and her voice was frequently dubbed. Dancing was a different matter. She was the only actor to dance on screen with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly." Visit PrivateDancerThePlay.com.
Small Engine Repair (Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre). MCC Theater's New York premiere of John Pollono's Small Engine Repair is staged by Jo Bonney and features playwright Pollono with James Badge Dale, James Ransone and Keegan Allen. According to MCC Theater, "In Small Engine Repair, Frank, Swaino and Packie - buddies since high school, now past their prime - meet off-hours in Frank’s out-of-the-way repair shop under cloudy circumstances that only Frank has a handle on. Enter Chad, a plugged-in preppy college jock, whose arrival ignites an explosion of long-simmering resentment and rage in this taut, twisty, comic thriller." Visit MCCTheater.org.
Concluding Dec. 22
The Jacksonian (Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre). The New Group presents the New York premiere of Beth Henley's The Jacksonian — starring Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Bill Pullman — which is directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls. Here's how it's billed: "Jackson, Mississippi, 1964. When his wife kicks him out, respectable dentist Bill Perch (Ed Harris) moves into the seedy Jacksonian Motel. There, his downward spiral is punctuated by encounters with his teenage daughter (Juliet Brett), a gold-digging motel employee (Glenne Headly), a treacherous bartender (Bill Pullman), and his now-estranged wife (Amy Madigan). Revolving around the night of a murder, The Jacksonian, brimming with suspense and dark humor, unearths the eerie tensions and madness in a town poisoned by racism." Visit TheNewGroup.com.
Becoming Dr. Ruth (Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre). The New York premiere of Becoming Dr. Ruth, starring Debra Jo Rupp, is written by Mark St. Germain and directed by BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd. Here's how producers Michael Alden, Stefany Bergson and Rodger Hess bill the work: "Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering radio and television sex therapist. Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became 'Dr. Ruth,' America's most famous sex therapist." Visit BecomingDoctorRuth.com.