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New York Spotlight: May 2009

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Delroy Lindo
There are no new Broadway shows opening this month, but there's still a lot of interesting fare starting up Off-Broadway. Delroy Lindo, Roslyn Ruff, and Garret Dillahunt star in Naomi Wallace's Things of Dry Hours (New York Theatre Workshop, May 22-June 28), directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Set in Depression-era Alabama, it concerns an African American member of the Communist Party, his daughter, and a mysterious white factory worker on the run.

Tony nominee Jayne Houdyshell stars in the title role of MCC Theater's Coraline (Lucille Lortel Theatre, May 7-June 20), a new musical featuring a score by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, and a book by David Greenspan, who also plays the role of the "Other Mother." Playwrights Horizons presents Theresa Rebeck's Our House (May 15-June 21), directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, and featuring Morena Baccarin, Katie Kreisler, Stephen Kunken, Mandy Siegfried, Jeremy Strong, Haynes Thigpen, and Christopher Evan Welch.

Academy Award winner Ethan Coen returns to the Atlantic Theater Company with Offices, a collection of one-act comedies (through June 7). The ensemble cast features Daniel Abeles, F. Murray Abraham, Brennan Brown, Aya Cash, John Bedford Lloyd, Daniel London, Mary McCann, Joey Slotnick, Greg Stuhr, C.J. Wilson, and Daniel Yelsky. At Atlantic's Stage 2 Theater is the world premiere of Leslie Ayvazian's play Make Me (May 19-June 14), about six pent-up Americans in three different relationships. The cast includes Anthony Arkin, Candy Buckley, Jessica Hecht, J.R. Horne, Richard Masur, and Ellen Parker.

David Hare performs his contrasting monologues Berlin/Wall, under the direction of Stephen Daldry, at the Public Theater (May 14-17). The first piece is about Germany's restored capital, while the second is a meditation on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Also at the Public is a concert version of the Alex Timbers-Michael Friedman musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (May 5-24), an irreverent look at America's seventh president.

Emmy Award winner Larry Bryggman will star in The New Group's production of Ian Bruce's Groundswell at Theater Row (May 4-June 27). The play, directed by Scott Elliott, involves two men in South Africa running a beachfront guest lodge, and the retired businessman who they want to finance their next scheme. Edward Hall helms his acclaimed company Propeller's all-male production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (BAM Harvey Theater, May 5-16). Jonathan Hogan leads the revival cast of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Sophistry (Samuel Beckett Theatre, through June 6), about a philosophy professor accused of seducing a male student.

The Americas Off Broadway Festival debuts at 59E 59 Theaters, with works including Morris Panych's The Dishwashers (May 8-June 7), about workers in a high end restaurant; Brian Dykstra's A Play on Words (May 13-30); and Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence (May 22-July 3), about athlete and slave Simon Cato, and directed by Tony nominee Marion McClinton.

Second Stage kicks off its Summer Uptown Series at the McGinn/Cazale Theater with Zakiyyah Alexander's 10 Things to Do Before I Die (May 12-June 14), about two sisters who receive a delivery of boxes from their recently deceased father. Naked Angels presents the world premiere of Geoffrey Nauffts' Next Fall, about the five-year same-sex relationship between a Christian and an Atheist. Susan Smith Blackburn winner Chloe Moss, makes her U.S. debut with her play, Christmas Is Miles Away (Connelly Theatre, May 1-23), about three friends who must learn to grow up. Epic Theatre Ensemble will world premiere Vern Thiessen's A More Perfect Union (East 13th Street Theater, May 5-June 7), about two Supreme Court law clerks who fall in love despite very different backgrounds and opposing political views.

Trip Cullman directs the New York premiere of Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap (The Wild Project, May 9-June 7), about a Korean American family preparing for the return of the husband and father who left them 15 years earlier. Chiori Miyagawa's I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour (Ohio Theatre, May 8-30) is a poetic response to the 1959 French film Hiroshima Mon Amour, revolving around two love stories and the tragedy of atomic war. Austin Pendleton directs the Pearl Theater Company's revival of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré (May 12-June 14), set in a dilapidated New Orleans boarding house filled with outcasts.

Acclaimed monologist Mike Daisey will kick off the soloNOVA Arts Festival at the DR2 Theatre with his keynote address, Why Solo Performance Matters: A Manifesto on May 6; the festival runs through May 31. Danny & Sylvia -- about Hollywood star Danny Kaye and his wife Sylvia Fine -- begins a run at St. Luke's Theatre on May 2. At the Actor's Temple Theatre, the new musical comedy revue Don't Leave It All to Your Children! (beginning May 6), celebrates the journey of baby boomers becoming senior citizens. Out in Brooklyn, Gallery Players presents The Who's Tommy (May 2-24), the rock musical about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who becomes a pinball wizard.

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