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New York Spotlight: December 2009

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Liev Schreiber
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson star in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge (Cort Theatre, beginning December 28), about a Brooklyn longshoreman obsessed with his 17-year-old niece. The play is the only new Broadway show starting up this month, although both David Mamet's Race and the musical revival of A Little Night Music have their official openings on December 6 and 13, respectively.

Theatre for a New Audience presents Rinde Eckert's Orpheus X (Duke on 42nd Street, December 2-20), which reimagines Orpheus as a rock star who trades in the lyre for an electric guitar. The piece stars Eckert, Suzan Hanson, and John Kelly. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre wraps up its U.S. tour of Love's Labour's Lost with an engagement at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center For The Arts, December 8-21. The second installment of Horton Foote's epic The Orphans' Home Cycle begins December 3, and is made up of the plays The Widow Claire, Courtship, and Valentine's Day.

Michael Feinstein and David Hyde Pierce team up for a holiday cabaret show at Feinstein's at the Regency, December 1-30. Their debut collaboration features holiday favorites and standards by composers such as Cole Porter, Noël Coward, Marc Shaiman, and Alan & Marilyn Bergman. Christina Bianco, Amy Griffin, Rory O'Malley, Christine Pedi, Tommy Walker, and Michael West star in Newsical the Musical (47th Street Theatre, open run), composer-lyricist Rick Crom's topical musical comedy in which songs and material are updated on a regular basis.

Bridget Beirne, Kerri Jill Garbis, Josh Grisetti, Ann Harada, and Thom Christopher Warren star in the York Theatre Company's return engagement of its holiday revue, That Time of the Year, December 18-20. Hip-hop dance sensation Groovaloo returns to New York with an Off-Broadway run at Union Square Theatre, December 1-January 3. Obie Award-winners Steve Mellor and Deirdre O'Connell bring back The Dream Express, a lounge act written and directed by Len Jenkin, and performing at The Chocolate Factory, December 2-19.

Renowned monologist Mike Daisey returns to The Public Theater with The Last Cargo Cult (December 3-13), the story of his journey to a remote South Pacific island whose people worship America and its cargo. Roger Guenveur Smith also brings his solo show, Juan and John, to the Public (December 1-20). Set in 1965, it deals with themes of rage, retribution, and redemption. Ground-breaking director Richard Schechner helms Lián Amaris' solo Swimming to Spalding (HERE Arts Center, December 3-19), which recounts the writer/performer's pilgrimage to the sites evoked by the late Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia. Andrew Goffman stars in his solo, The Accidental Pervert (Players Theatre Loft, December 4-March 6), about his addiction to pornography. And on a more holiday-themed note, Maripat Donovan reprises her role of Sister in the interactive solo show Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold, which lands at Sofia's Restaurant Downstairs Theater, December 3-January 3.

Olivier Award-winning actress Nichola McAuliffe stars in A British Subject (59E59 Theaters, December 9-January 3), a true-life tale of international politics and the media colliding with justice, civil liberties and, ultimately, faith. The solo show is part of the Brits Off Broadway festival, which also includes Simon Green's Traveling Light (December 15-January 4) and Fascinating Aida is Absolutely Miraculous (December 16-January 4).

Split Britches debuts a new piece, The Lost Lounge at Dixon Place, December 4-19. Company XIV revives its production of The Judgment of Paris (December 3-January 16), fusing theater, dance, music, naughty cabaret, and can-can. Judith Malina directs Anne Waldman's Red Noir (Living Theatre, December 7-January 30), which combines metaphors of the film noir genre and reflections on modern life. Geraint Wyn Davies portrays Dylan Thomas in Do Not Go Gentle, about the Welsh poet and playwright. Pearl Theatre Company presents George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance (New York City Center - Stage II, December 4-January 24), involving a free-spirited lady acrobat, an incompetent assassin, and an excitable underwear tycoon. The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma presents its take on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (The Kitchen, December 17-January 16).

Peter Mills and Cara Reichel's holiday musical Evergreen (Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater in the West Side YMCA, December 19-January 3), is about a little girl living in the desert who tries to find proof of the fir trees and snow that she's heard her grandmother describe. The Dreamscape Theatre presents the world premiere of Ricardo Perez Gonzales' In Fields Where They Lay, about the famed Christmas Truce of World War I (Hudson Guild Theatre, December 11-January 2).

Tony nominee Justin Bond presents a lively mix of camp and seasonal songs in Justin Bond's Christmas Spells (Abrons Arts Center, December 9-12), featuring a number of special guests. Nontraditional holiday shows also include Banana, Bag & Bodice's A Very Sandwich Christmas (Abrons Arts Center, December 2-19), Pinchbottom's Filthy Lucre: A Burlesque Christmas Carol (Walkerspace, December 2-13), and Naked Holidays NYC '09: Fear of a Black Santa (Ace of Clubs, December 2-20).

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