New York Spotlight: February 2009
Theme and Variations
Jayne Atkinson, Christine Ebersole, Rupert Everett, Angela Lansbury, Simon Jones, and Deborah Rush make up the cast of the much-anticipated revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit (Shubert Theatre, beginning February 26); Tony Award winners Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons star in the world premiere of Michael Jacobs' Impressionism (Schoenfeld Theatre, beginning February 28), about a world traveling photojournalist and a New York gallery owner; and Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini, and Marcia Gay Harden star in Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, beginning February 28), about a schoolyard dispute and its aftermath.
On the musical front, Craig Bierko, Titus Burgess, Kate Jennings Grant, Lauren Graham, and Oliver Platt lead the revival cast of Guys and Dolls (Nederlander Theatre, beginning February 4), directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff; the newest revival of West Side Story (Palace Theatre, beginning February 23) is directed by Arthur Laurents, the show's librettist, and stars Matt Cavenaugh as Tony, Josefina Scaglione as Maria, and Karen Olivo as Anita. As for new musicals, Will Chase and Malcolm Gets star in The Story of My Life (Booth Theatre, beginning February 3), about two childhood friends and how their relationship changed their lives.
Even more stars can be found Off-Broadway! Kristin Chenoweth, Sierra Boggess, Douglas Sills, Dick Latessa, and Marni Nixon head the cast of the City Center Encores! production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Music in the Air, February 5-8. Tony winner Cynthia Nixon leads the cast of the Roundabout's New York premiere of Distracted (Laura Pels Theatre, February 7-May 3). Lisa Loomer's play looks at parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin. John Cullum, Jonathan Hogan, and Ron Holgate star in Keen Company's production of Gérald Sibleyras' comedy about three World War I veterans, Heroes (Clurman Theatre, February 24-April 11), translated by Tom Stoppard.
The Bridge Project adds Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (BAM Harvey Theatre, February 10-March 8) into rotating repertory with its currently running production of The Cherry Orchard, with both works directed by Sam Mendes and starring Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, Richard Easton, Rebecca Hall, Josh Hamilton, and Ethan Hawke. Theatre for a New Audience's production of Othello plays the Duke Theater (February 14-March 7), with John Douglas Thompson in the title role, and Ned Eisenberg as Iago. Meanwhile, Tony Award-winning actress Trezana Beverley stars in the title role of King Lear in Take Wing and Soar's production of Shakespeare's classic play, presented at the National Black Theatre (February 20-March 1).
Tony winner Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the new John Weidman-Scott Frankel-Michael Korie tuner Happiness at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre (beginning February 27), which has a large cast headed by Sebastian Arcelus, Hunter Foster, Joanna Gleason, Ken Page, and Jenny Powers. The Civilians bring the company's acclaimed new musical, This Beautiful City to the Vineyard Theatre (beginning February 3). Featuring a script by Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis, with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, the work was developed by the company through interviews involving the mega-church movement in Colorado Springs. Leslie Kritzer and Doug Kreeger star in the Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon musical ROOMS a rock romance (New World Stages, beginning February 27), set in 1970s Glasgow where an ambitious singer/songwriter meets a reclusive rocker.
Reed Birney, Marylouise Burke, Dana Ivey, and Kellie Overbey star in Evan Smith's The Savannah Disputation (Playwrights Horizons, February 6-March 15), about a Catholic spinster whose faith begins to waver. Lorenzo Pisoni, fresh off a Broadway run in Equus, stars in the autobiographical solo show, Humor Abuse (beginning February 19 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage 2).
Acclaimed Irish author Frank McGuinness has a new play, Gates of Gold, at 59E59 Theaters (February 19-March 29). It's based on the founders of Dublin's Gate Theatre, gay male couple Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir, and takes a fictional look at their romantic and professional relationship. Also at 59E59, The Sopranos' Robert Funaro stars in Fresh Kills (February 12-March 1), about a married man whose affair with a male teenager grows dangerous.
Drama Desk winner Bradford Louryk brings back his solo tour-de-force, Christine Jorgensen Reveals, about the famous transsexual. David Cromer directs and stars in Thornton Wilder's Our Town, at the Barrow Street Theatre, February 17-April 12. Itamar Moses debuts Love/Stories (Or But You Will Get Used to It) (Flea Theatre, January 29-March 9), a collection of five short new plays.
The Classical Theatre of Harlem presents Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (Harlem Stage at the Gatehouse, February 5-March 8). The Mint Theater presents a rare production of D.H. Lawrence's The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd (February 4-March 29), about a troubled marriage in a poor coal-mining village.