Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New York Broadway Buzz: Not-To-Be-Missed Shows, Spring/Summer 2012

By Jacquelin Carnegie – (New York, NY)
This season, New York Theatre Workshop, the producing company that brought Rent to Broadway, hits two more homeruns--Peter and the Starcatcher and Once:

Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th St.) Co-directed by Roger Rees & Alex Timbers. Written by Rick Elice. Starring the original Off-Broadway cast, including: Christian Borle (NBC’s Smash), Celia Keenan-Bolger, & Adam Chanler-Berat.

Peter and the Starcatcher
(photo: Joan Marcus)
Based on the best-selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this is a prequel to Peter Pan for adults, but kids will love it too. One of the most imaginatively-staged productions, it’s the opposite of bloated Broadway shows. The fabulous ensemble cast creates everything out of nothing, bringing shipboard and imaginary worlds to life. If you love theater, and always wondered how Peter got to Neverland, don't miss this production.

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th St.)
Directed by John Tiffany. Written by Enda Walsh. Music & Lyrics by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova. Starring Cristin Milioti & Steve Kazee.

Once, Cristin Milioti & Steve Kazee (photo: Joan Marcus)
In 2006, a small, independent Irish film became a blockbuster and won an Oscar® for the song, “Falling Slowly.” A Dublin street musician and a Czech pianist “meet cute,” fall in love, and suffer the angst of modern-day romance. The theater version is even better than the film. In addition to the brilliant staging, are the outstanding performances by Cristin Milioti and Steve Kazee. Whether you loved, hated, or didn’t see the film, you’ll adore the show.

War Horse
Vivian Beaumont Theater - Lincoln Center (150 West 65th St.)
National Theatre of Great Britain production
based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, adapted by Nick Stafford 
in association with Handspring Puppet Company.
War Horse (photo: Paul Kolnik)
By now, you know the touching story of young Albert and his beloved horse Joey, who gets “conscripted” into the British Army during WWI. The stunningly-beautiful staging by Rae Smith and the animated animals by Handspring Puppet Company work their suspension-of-disbelief magic and you are there – back in time in England and on the battlefields of France.
If you’ve been trying to get tickets for this sold-out show, now’s your chance. In addition to the production at Lincoln Center, there are several touring companies, even discounted tickets. 

The run of these 2 shows is now over:
But be sure to catch Nina Arianda and/or John Lithgow the next time they appear on stage.

Venus in Fur    
The play takes place at an audition when a young actress, desperate for the part, turns the tables on the condescending playwright/director of the “play,” based on an 1870’s novel about the interplay of sex and power. All the superlatives you’ve heard about Nina Arianda are true. 

The Columnist, John Lithgow & Boyd Gaines
 (photo: Joan Marcus)
Never miss a chance to see John Lithgow on stage. Here, he leads a terrific cast portraying the renowned journalist Joseph Alsop. In this age of media meltdown, the play reveals a fascinating slice of history when the words and opinions of a newspaper columnist had clout and power. The fate of political-insider Joe Alsop, a closeted gay man, who denounced Senator Joe McCarthy, championed a young Jack Kennedy, then got it so wrong on the war in Vietnam losing his influence, lends an element of Greek tragedy to the proceedings.

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