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New York Spotlight: June 2007

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Margaret Colin and Harriet Harris
(© Michael Portantiere)
Remember that old movie with Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins, the one about the friendship/rivalry between two successful female authors? It was based on John Van Druten's stage play of the same title, Old Acquaintance, which the Roundabout Theatre Company is reviving at the American Airlines Theatre (June 1-August 19). Tony Award winner Harriet Harris and Margaret Colin star under the direction of Michael Wilson; the cast also includes Stephen Bogardus, Diane Davis, Corey Stoll, Cynthia Darlow, and Gordana Rashovich.

For more star power, consider Romeo and Juliet, the first of The Public Theater's two free Shakespeare in the Park productions at the Delacorte Theatre this summer (June 5-July 8). Oscar Isaac and Lauren Ambrose play the title roles, alongside Camryn Manheim as the Nurse, Austin Pendleton as Friar Lawrence, and Christopher Evan Welch as Mercutio.

The Ensemble Studio Theatre's annual EST Marathon of one-act plays is upon us! Series A (through June 20) includes such intriguing fare as Neil LaBute's Things We Said Today, about a married couple (played by Dana Delany and Victor Slezak) whose day of reckoning occurs in the food court of a mall, and Wendy MacLeod's The Probabilities, a monologue in which a weatherman (played by Bruce MacVittie) ponders his place in society and the importance of being prepared. Series B (June 15-30) offers Amy Fox's Casting, in which a teenage girl casts her ideal family; Israel Horovitz's Beirut Rocks, about four students trapped in a Beirut hotel as missiles destroy the city around them; and three other one-acts.

Intimate Exchanges (59 E 59, through July 1), written and directed by Sir Alan Ayckbourn, is a unique theatrical event in which one character's dilemma -- to smoke or not smoke -- kicks off eight separate plays with 16 different endings. In Horizon (New York Theatre Workshop, through July 1), a work for three actors, playwright Rinde Eckert plays Reinhart Poole, an unconventional theologian and teacher of ethics at a seminary. Behind the Lid (Silver Whale Gallery, June 12-July 13), written by Lee Nagrin and performed by puppeteer/actor Basil Twist, is the story of a woman in her 70s who looks back on her life in a dream.

Are you an Elvis person? Most of us are -- or so Doug Grissom contends in Elvis People (New World Stages; previews begin June 6), all about the legacy of "The King." Studio Dante presents the world premiere of Anastasia Traina's From Riverdale to Riverhead (June 6-30), in which four women set out from the Bronx to visit one of their sons at the Riverhead Correctional Facility on a wintry day in March. Catherine Curtin, Sharon Angela, and Angelica Torn head the cast.

Opera fans will want to check out Tom Rowan's contemporary comedy The Second Tosca (45th Street Theater, June 8-July 1), which is set backstage at Opera California during rehearsals for a production of Tosca. Meanwhile, Albert M. Tapper's new musical Sessions (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons, through August 18) is an inside look at the world of psychotherapy.

I Google Myself (Under St. Mark's, June 14-July 7), a new play by Queer as Folk writer Jason Schafer, is the unusual story of three very different men with the same name: a gay porn star with a dirty little secret, a stoner mechanic who blogs poetry but has anger management issues, and a wily stalker with a balloon fetish. The experimental theater troupe The Civilians makes its commercial Off-Broadway debut with the documentary musical Gone Missing (Barrow Street Theatre; previews begin June 14), created by the company from interviews with real-life New Yorkers and filled with personal accounts of things lost and eventually found. Marissa Kamin's The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (DR2 Theatre, June 14-July 1) follows a girl in her senior year of high school as she attempts to achieve the ultimate: effortless perfection. Ben Rimalower directs a cast that includes Anna Chlumsky, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Reinders, Christopher Sloan, and Brian J. Smith.

Finally, the National Asian American Theater Festival is taking place June 11-24 at various venues throughout NYC, showcasing 24 U.S. theater companies and solo artists. Among the shows included are the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre's Off-Broadway production of Tea, NAATCO's acclaimed production of Falsettoland, the Brooklyn-based Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company's Living Dead in Denmark, and Los-Angeles based Kristina Wong's solo show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

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