By Michael Gioia
21 May 2014
Concluding May 24
17 Orchard Point (Off-Broadway at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row). The world-premiere production of 17 Orchard Point, the new familial drama by Anton Dudley and Stephanie DiMaggio, stars Tony winner Michele Pawk as Lydia and DiMaggio as Vera. Here's how the production is billed: "Lydia (Michele Pawk) lives by her motto, 'leave your baggage at the door, or it will end up on your face.' A decade after fleeing Cleveland for one long night out in Vegas, leaving the family's apartment building under the management of her daughter Vera, Lydia returns to find a lifetime of 'baggage' waiting for her inside. With a daughter fueled by faith, a mother driven by delusion, and a family secret that sounds the bell between them, 17 Orchard Point is a firecracker of a dark comedy about two generations of women battling to claim their home and history." Visit 17OrchardPoint.com.
Concluding May 25
The Rivals (Off-Broadway at The Pearl Theatre). Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals features Pearl Theatre company members Rachel Botchan, Dan Daily, Sean McNall, Chris Mixon, Joey Parsons and Carol Schultz with guest artists Cary Donaldson, John C. Egan, Kambi Gathesha, Brad Heberlee and Jessica Love. Here's how it's billed: "In order to woo the idealistic Lydia Languish, to whom wealth means nothing, Captain Jack Absolute offers himself to her as a poor naval officer. Standing between the two lovers is an extraordinary collection of comic characters: the captain's acrimonious father, Sir Anthony Absolute; Lydia's quick-tongued aunt, Mrs. Malaprop; and the affable Bob Acres, the captain's friend turned rival." Visit PearlTheatre.org.
The Substance of Fire (Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre's Tony Kiser Theatre). Second Stage Theatre's production of Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire is directed by Trip Cullman and features Halley Feiffer, Daniel Eric Gold, Carter Hudson, Ron Rifkin (John Noble May 24-25) and Charlayne Woodard. "Isaac Geldhart, the volatile and brilliant patriarch of his family publishing house, is stubbornly holding on to his place at the head of the company while his three children try to convince him to publish a desperately needed best-seller," according to press notes. "Faced with a changing literary landscape and potential takeover of the company, the Geldhart children must either come to terms with their father and band together or break apart and forfeit the legacy he risked everything to build. Articulate and blessed with a lifesaving and cutting sense of humor, Isaac fights like a man with nothing to lose." Visit 2ST.com.
Inventing Mary Martin (Off-Broadway at The York Theatre Company). The York Theatre Company's world premiere of the new musical Inventing Mary Martin comprises Cameron Adams, Lynne Halliday, Jason Graae and Emily Skinner with Bob Renino on bass and Perry Cavari on drums. Inventing Mary Martin, according to the York, is a new "multi-media musical revue celebrating the life and career of one of Broadway's greatest stars, Mary Martin, who created leading roles in One Touch of Venus, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, becoming one of the most glamorous and beloved stars of the American musical theatre. In this musical revue, four fabulous performers, none of whom actually plays Mary (who could?) take us on her amazing journey from naive but ambitious Texan to movie star to Broadway legend, reinventing herself constantly along the way." Visit YorkTheatre.org.