New York Spotlight: May 2006
The Busy Month of May
Up first is The Drowsy Chaperone (May 1, Marquis), a delightfully frothy musical-within-a musical starring Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as a beloved actress who's willing (sort of) to give up show business for the joys of holy matrimony. Danny Burstein, Georgia Engel, Edward Hibbert, Beth Leavel, Kecia Lewis-Evans, and co-creator Bob Martin are among the sterling supporting cast under the direction of Casey Nicholaw.
The Main Stem gets its Irish up with three shows: Martin McDonagh's bloody (and bloody great) dark comedy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore (May 3, Lyceum), is about a cat-loving terrorist with murder on his mind; Ralph Fiennes, Cherry Jones, and Ian McDiarmid, alternate monologues in the revival of Brian Friel's Faith Healer (May 4, Booth); and Manhattan Theatre Club concludes its season with the American premiere of Conor McPherson's critically acclaimed drama Shining City (May 9, Biltmore), starring Tony Award winner Brian F. O'Byrne, Oliver Platt, Martha Plimpton, and Peter Scanavino.
There's more star power on deck with the revival of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (May 7, Schoenfeld). Former Friends star David Schwimmer plays the hard-driving attorney Barney Greenwald in Herman Wouk's award-winning play about a Navy lieutenant who is brought up on charges of mutiny by his power-hungry commander (played by two-time Tony Award nominee Zeljko Ivanek). Jerry Zaks helms this sure-to-be powerful production, which also stars Tim Daly, Geoffrey Nauffts, Joe Sikora, and Ben Fox.
Swinging into town to conclude the season is Disney's Tarzan (May 10, Richard Rodgers). Former American Idol contestant Josh Strickland is the famed he-man, while the adorable Jenn Gambatese is his gal Jane. The show features sets, costumes, and direction by Tony winner Bob Crowley, a book by Tony winner David Henry Hwang, a supporting cast that includes Tony winner Shuler Hensley, and a score by Grammy winner Phil Collins.
Some major marquee names can be found off the Great White Way as well. British comedians Billy Connolly (May 3-20) and Lee Evans (May 19-June 3) check into 37 Arts; Euan Morton, Angelina Reaux, and Martin Vidnovic are among the stars of the family-friendly Brundibar (May 8, New Victory), the 1930s Czech opera adapted by Tony Kushner and designed by the great children's illustrator, Maurice Sendak; City Center Encores! concludes its season with Victor Garber, Jefferson Mays, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Lewis J. Stadlen, and Jenny Powers headlining the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing (May 11-15); playwright Adam Rapp heads into the director's chair for Christopher Denham's dark drama cagelove (May 16, Rattlestick); and Lucille Lortel Award winner Keith Nobbs heads the cast of columbinus (May 22, New York Theatre Workshop), a play sparked by the notorious Colorado high school shootings.
Elsewhere, the Off-Broadway scene isn't as star-filled, but there's no shortage of interesting offerings. Festival season begins this month with the Brits Off-Broadway festival at 59E59 (May 2-July 2), the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Festival of New Works at the West End Theatre (May 3-28), and the German Theater Abroad's Stadttheater New York at HERE (May 3-26).