Concluding May 10
Doctor Zhivago (Broadway at the Broadway Theatre). The Broadway premiere of the new musical Doctor Zhivago, starring Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt and Paul Nolan, is based on the 1958 novel by Russian author Boris Pasternak. According to producers, "Dr. Zhivago is an epic romance set during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the chaos of the Russian revolution. Raised as an aristocrat, Zhivago is a political idealist, physician and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his devoted wife, Tonia Gromeko and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar. Zhivago is not alone in his yearnings for Lara, competing for her affections with the young revolutionary Pasha Antipov, and the aristocrat Viktor Komarovsky. Dr. Zhivago celebrates the strength of love and art, in the face of political oppression, war and revolution." Visit DoctorZhivagoBroadway.com.
Hamlet (Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company). The Classic Stage Company's production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, starring Peter Sarsgaard, is helmed by Austin Pendleton. Sarsgaard stars in the title role. Penelope Allen plays his mother Gertrude with Harris Yulin as King Claudius. Lisa Joyce plays Hamlet's love interest Ophelia, Glenn Fitzgerald plays her brother Laertes, and their father, Polonius, is played by Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella. Visit ClassicStage.org.
Zorba! (Off-Broadway at New York City Center). The City Center Encores! production of the classic musical Zorba! plays the famed Manhattan venue May 6-10. John Turturro stars in the title role. Also in the cast are Adam Chanler-Berat, Robert Cuccioli, Elizabeth A. Davis, Santino Fontana, Marin Mazzie, Robert Montano, Carlos Valdes and Zoë Wanamaker. Zorba!, according to press notes, is Joseph Stein, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s re-imagining of Nikos Kazantzakis's best-selling tale of "Zorba (John Turturro), a larger-than-life Greek jack-of-all-trades who 'lives every day as if it will be his last' and his friendship with Nikos (Santino Fontana), a young American student. Life becomes complicated when the men become involved with two women: Zorba with the aging innkeeper Madame Hortense (Zoë Wanamaker) and Nikos with a beautiful widow. Commenting on the story is a Greek chorus-like group, led by The Leader (Marin Mazzie), who begins the play by explaining exactly what 'Life Is.'" Visit NYCityCenter.org.
Iowa (Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons). Playwrights Horizons' world premiere of the new musical play Iowa features Lee Sellars, who plays various roles, including that of a pony. Iowa is written by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Jenny Schwartz, with music by Todd Almond and lyrics by Schwartz and Almond. The cast also features Cindy Cheung, April Matthis, Annie McNamara, Karyn Quackenbush, Carolina Sanchez, Jill Shackner and Kolette Tetlow. Here is how the show is billed: "Mom (Quackenbush) found her soul-mate on Facebook, and he (Sellars) lives in Iowa. So Becca (Shackner) says goodbye to her beloved math teacher (Sellars), bulimic best friend (Sanchez), neighborhood pony (Sellars) and her mildly deficient teenage life, and she follows her wayward mother to a new, uncharted beginning. But in this fanciful, absurdist and intoxicating musical play from the imagination of Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond, nothing can prepare them for what they'll find." Visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org. Toast (Off-Broadway at The Public Theater). New York's Public Theater Lab production of Toast, the new play by acclaimed poet and playwright Lemon Andersen, stars Keith David. The cast also features Phillip James Brannon, Dan Butler, Teddy Cañez, Hill Harper, John Earl Jelks, Jonathan Peck and Armando Riesco. Toast is a Public Theater commission, first presented at its Under the Radar Festival. The play weaves characters from black oral narratives into a story that takes place inside Attica prison during the 1971 uprising. Keith plays legendary inmate Dolomite, who becomes an unlikely role figure and hero to his cellmates: folklore legends like Jesse James, Hobo Ben, Annabelle Jones, Stackolee and Hard Rock. Dolomite is faced with the challenge of choosing to riot for his rights or his promised freedom. The play honors the spoken word narratives recited in pool halls, bars and prisons by generations of black poets. Visit PublicTheater.org.