New York Spotlight: November 2009
David Mamet directs the world premiere of his new play, Race (Ethel Barrymore Theater, beginning November 16), starring David Alan Grier, James Spader, Richard Thomas, and Kerry Washington. Returning to Broadway's Marquis Theatre for the holiday season is Irving Berlin's White Christmas (November 13-January 3), which features such Berlin classics as "Count Your Blessings," "I Love a Piano," "How Deep is the Ocean," and the title song. This year's cast stars James Clow, Mara Davi, Melissa Errico, and Tony Yazbeck.
Robin Williams brings his touring solo show Weapons of Self-Destruction to Town Hall, November 23-December 3. The piece combines political commentary with more personal material, utilizing the comedian's trademark free associations and riffs. Kristen Johnston and Anna Chlumsky star in So Help Me God! (Mint Theater, November 18-December 20), about a fabulous dramatic diva who must fend off a challenge from her ambitious but naïve understudy.
Cate Blanchett stars in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of A Streetcar Named Desire (BAM Harvey Theater, November 27-December 20), directed by award-winning actress Liv Ullman. Also in the Harvey, Robert Wilson directs Heiner Müller's Quartett (November 4-14), in a production that expands the original script's twelve-page treatment into a stately danced prologue and eight scenes.
Horton Foote's The Orphans' Home Cycle arrives at Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space, with Part I: The Story of a Childhood starting up on November 5. Set in the playwright's fictitious town of Harrison, Texas, the cycle is based partly on the childhood of Foote's father and the courtship and marriage of his parents. Michael Wilson directs this co-production with Hartford Stage. The new national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls -- featuring music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen -- launches at New York City's Apollo Theater (November 7- December 6), directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom.
Alan Ayckbourn directs the U.S. premiere of his play, My Wonderful Day (59E59 Theaters, November 11-December 13), about a child's observations about the bizarre behavior of adults. It's part of the Brits Off Broadway festival, which also includes Matt Wilkinson's Red Sea Fish (November 3-22), Toby Davies' Wolves at the Window (November 10-December 6), and Merrick, the Elephant Man (November 24-December 13).
James McDaniel, Cristin Milioti, Roslyn Ruff, Henry Stram, and Andrew Weems are among the cast members of Rebecca Gilman's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, directed by Dough Hughes at New York Theatre Workshop, November 13-December 20. Based on the novel by Carson McCullers, the play tells the story of a deaf man, as he navigates the world without his dearest friend who has recently been committed to an insane asylum. Julianne Nicholson, Darren Pettie, Eisa Davis, Glenn Fitzgerald, and Louis Cancelmi are featured in Melissa James Gibson's This (Playwrights Horizons, November 6 - December 13), an "un-romantic comedy" that focuses on a woman entering her forties. Kevin Spirtas and Scott Kerns star in Elliot Ramón Potts' Loaded (Lion Theatre, November 7-January 23), about an intergenerational gay relationship. Jim Brochu presents his solo show Zero Hour (Theatre at St. Clement's, November 14-January 31), about Zero Mostel.
Classic Stage Company presents The Age of Iron (November 6-December 13), which director Brian Kulick has adapted from Shakespeare's Troilus & Cressida and Thomas Heywood's Iron Age. The Flea presents The Great Recession (November 20-December 30), featuring new work by playwrights Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Will Eno, Itamar Moses, and Adam Rapp. Rattlestick Theatre presents the world premiere of Mando Alvarado's Post No Bills (November 11-December 13), about an aspiring singer/songwriter who leaves the small town where she grew up for life in a big city. The Actors Company Theatre presents a revival of Sidney Howard's 1930s comedy The Late Christopher Bean (Beckett Theatre, November 1-December 5), about what happens when a celebrated painter's early works are traced to the humble home of a country doctor.
Holiday shows include The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall, November 13-December 30) and Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk (WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, November 11-January 3), along with a couple of queerer entries: Santa Claus Is Coming Out (November 29-December 20) and The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever! (Actors' Playhouse, November 13-January 3).