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New York Spotlight: March 2008

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Paulo Szot and Kelli O'Hara
star in South Pacific
(© Joan Marcus)
The Broadway musical season kicks into high gear as two highly anticipated revivals begin performances on the Great White Way. Lincoln Center Theater's production of South Pacific, the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein tuner based on James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, stars Kelli O'Hara, Paulo Szot, Loretta Ables Sayr, Matthew Morrison, and Danny Burstein, under the direction of Bartlett Sher.

At the St. James Theater, Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines, and Laura Benanti reprise their roles in Gypsy (beginning March 3), the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee.

Two musicals that got their starts out in California arrive in the Big Apple this month. Cry-Baby (Marquis Theatre, beginning March 15) is based on the John Waters spoof of 1950s films. It features a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, a score by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger, and a cast that includes Chester Gregory II, Christopher Hanke, Harriet Harris, Carly Jibson, Alli Mauzey, Richard Poe, James Snyder, and Elizabeth Stanley.

Meanwhile, A Catered Affair will be ensconced at the Walter Kerr Theater, beginning March 25. The show follows a working-class couple in the 1950s who must decide whether to spend their life savings on a family business or to launch their only daughter's marriage with a lavish wedding. Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein wrote the book, (and also stars), while cabaret favorite John Bucchino composed the score. The top-notch cast includes Faith Prince, Tom Wopat, Leslie Kritzer, and Matt Cavenaugh.

As for Broadway plays, Rupert Goold's production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, with Patrick Stewart in the title role, is transferring to the Lyceum Theater, March 28-May 24.

Heading Off-Broadway, another highly anticipated event is Caryl Churchill's Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (March 5-April 6, Public Theater), which uses a male affair as a metaphor for the tortured submissiveness of Britain to America on foreign policy. The Public is also presenting the premiere of the late John Belluso's The Poor Itch (March 7-23), about a disabled Iraq War veteran, with a cast including Michael Chernus, Alicia Goranson, Deidre O'Connell, and Christopher Thornton; and Oscar and Tony winner Ellen Burstyn stars in LAByrinth's world premiere of Stephen Adly-Guirgis' The Little Flower of East Orange, also at the Public Theater (March 18-April 20).

Edward Albee, who turns 80 this month, takes the directing reins for a pair of his one-acts, The American Dream and The Sandbox at The Cherry Lane Theatre (March 11-April 19). The cast is led by George Bartenieff, Myra Carter, and Judith Ivey. Award-winning filmmaker Ethan Coen's trio of short plays, Almost an Evening, makes a commercial Off-Broadway transfer to the Bleecker Street Theatre (March 20-June 1).

Moving ahead to the city's subscription theaters, at Lincoln Center, Paul Rudnick's The New Century (March 20-June 8) is comprised of four short plays with a cast that includes Peter Bartlett, Jayne Houdyshell, and Linda Lavin. Laila Robins, Marton Csokas, Jeffrey Carlson, Randy Harrison, and George Morfogen are featured in Theatre for a New Audience's Antony and Cleopatra (The Duke on 42nd Street, March 22-May 2), Shakespeare's study of mature lovers who sacrifice all for love. Manhattan Theatre Club presents the New York premiere of Itamar Moses' The Four of Us (March 6-May 11), about two men (played by Gideon Banner and Michael Esper) whose friendship is tested when only one of them achieves literary success, as well as the world premiere of Liz Flahive's From Up Here (beginning March 27), starring Tony winner Julie White.

Playwrights Horizons presents Obie winner Adam Bock's The Drunken City (March 13-April 20), about three twenty-something brides-to-be on the bar crawl to end all crawls. Primary Stages presents Willy Holtzman's Something You Did (March 18-April 26), about a notorious sixties radical imprisoned for a violent act, who finds herself eligible for parole. Joanna Gleason, Jordan Charney, Adriane Lenox, Portia, and Victor Slezak star. Keen Company presents The Conscientious Objector (Clurman Theatre, March 4-April 19), starring DB Woodside and John Cullum, which focuses on Dr. Martin Luther King's stance against the Vietnam War.

The one and only Jackie Mason returns to New York with his latest solo show, Jackie Mason - The Ultimate Jew, at New World Stages, March 18-May 25. Also at New World Stages, alternative comedian Tim Minchin performs his dark, piano driven, pop-comedic cabaret stylings, March 3-April 12.

Transport Group presents the world premiere musical Marcy in the Galaxy, about a woman (played by Donna Lynne Champlin) whose dream of being a New York artist takes longer to come true than she had planned (Connelly Theatre, March 28-April 27). The cast of this show, written and directed by Nancy Shayne, also includes Broadway veterans Teri Ralston and Janet Carroll.

Elsewhere, Urban Stages presents the musical 27 Rue de Fleurus (March 1-April 6), about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. At Ars Nova, Peter Sinn Nachtreib's Boom (March 5-April 13) concerns a woman who answers a casual-encounters ad seeking "intensely significant coupling," and gets much more than she bargained for. The centerpiece of Second Generation's Eleven festival is the premiere of Carla Ching's TBA (Milagro Theatre, March 11-April 5), starring Michi Barall and Ken Leung. Finally, The Flea presents a pair of one-acts by Tommy Smith and Ken Urban, The Break-Up and The Happy Sad, March 6-April 7.


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