By Michael Gioia
05 Feb 2014
Concluding Feb. 9
A Night With Janis Joplin (Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre). A Night With Janis Joplin stars Mary Bridget Davies in the title role. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, the new musical features choreography by Astaire Award winner Patricia Wilcox. "Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin (Mary Bridget Davies) exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll," according to press notes. "The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences – trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of Rock 'n' Roll's greatest legends." Visit ANightWithJanisJoplin.com.
The Clearing (Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clement's). Allison Daugherty stars in the world premiere of Jake Jeppson's The Clearing, a new drama about two brothers who share a dark secret. The Clearing, according to press notes, "is the story of two brothers bound together by a terrible secret they’ve guarded for 18 years. The Ellis's are a typical American family. But the intense and all-consuming love they share for each other has kept them locked in their tight-knit world for almost two decades. When a handsome stranger inserts himself into their circle, mother and sons must decide whether they are willing to break the bonds that have forced them together for so long. The Clearing is an exploration of the difference between loving someone and living for them by an exciting new theatrical voice." Visit TheClearingPlayNYC.com.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company's Stage 2). The Atlantic Theater Company's American premiere of Roy Williams' The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is directed by Leah C. Gardiner and adapted from Alan Sillitoe's short story. Here's how the production is billed: "In this stage adaptation of Alan Sillitoe's classic short story, award-winning British playwright Roy Williams brings the young, defiant Colin Smith into the 21st century. Colin (Sheldon Best), with few prospects in life, finds himself in a prison school for criminal activity. He turns to long distance running as an escape, only to have the school exploit him for his talent, offering him a possible way out. Will he run his race for them, or for his independence?" Visit AtlanticTheater.org.
Loot (Off-Broadway at the Red Bull Theater). The first Off-Broadway revival of Joe Orton's Loot is directed by Red Bull artistic director Jesse Berger and features Rebecca Brooksher as Fay, Eric Martin Brown as Meadows, Jarlath Conroy as McLeavy, Ryan Garbayo as Dennis, Rocco Sisto as Truscott and Nick Westrate as Hal. Here's how the production is billed: "This 'Comedy of Horrors' is a merciless satire of religious hypocrisy, middle-class British morality, and blind faith in authority. The McLeavy's are in mourning, but young Hal and his partner-in-crime need someplace to stash their loot. When Scotland Yard's finest comes sniffing about, no one escapes suspicion, from the naughty nurse to dear old gardening dad. And where did Mrs. McLeavy's body go? Orton's wicked stew of Oscar Wilde and Kafka is sexy, sharp-witted, and shocking." Visit RedBullTheater.com.
Little Me (Off-Broadway at New York City Center). The City Center Encores! production of Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's Little Me is directed by John Rando with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Joshua Bergasse. Tony winner Christian Borle is joined by Robert Creighton (multiple parts), David Garrison (Patrick Dennis), Tony winner Harriet Harris (Mrs. Eggleston), Tony winner Judy Kaye (Older Belle), Lewis J. Stadlen (Bennie Buchsbaum), Lee Wilkof (Bernie Buchsbaum), Tony Yazbeck (George Musgrove) and Rachel York (Belle). Little Me, Neil Simon's first musical, "is the story of the glamorous Belle Poitrine (Rachel York as young Belle, Judy Kaye as older Belle), a self-invented celebrity who has spent her life in pursuit of wealth, culture and social position," according to press notes. "Tony Award-winner Christian Borle will play all six of Belle's oddball lovers, who range from an innocent college boy to an octogenarian lecher to the dying king of a tiny European country that doesn't seem to exist." Visit NYCityCenter.org.