Monday, January 23, 2012

New Shows (January 24-30)

How I Learned to Drive may be touching,
but it's what they call a 'bad touch'
(photo: Tim Klein)
Two of the worst shows in Broadway's fall season—On a Clear Day… and Relatively Speaking—finally give up the ghost. And after a thirteen year run, so does the bachelorette and gay fave, Naked Boys Singing. Meanwhile, young playwrights make a strong showing Off-B'way with the similarly titled Rx and CQ/CX. My Pick of the Week, unexpectedly, is a musical: Myths and Hymns, a piece of Holy Theater from a rising company.

where: Atlantic Theater at the Signature
first night: Wednesday, Jan. 25
A reporter at the New York Times gets busted for plagiarism. CQ/CX is based closely on the Jayson Blair scandal. Current events can provide great material for drama, but it's also easy to flatten them into a chronicle or morality. So it's good to hear that this show addresses race as well as media culture.

where: Second Stage Theater
first night: Tuesday, Jan. 24
Despite being an unconventionally poignant drama about incest, Paula Vogel's drama seemed to get programmed by every regional theater once it won the Pulitzer in '98. Drive crowned a great decade for Vogel, but will it hold up now that her offbeat, intimate style has been rendered conventional?

where: Canal Street Playhouse
first night: Wednesday, Jan. 25
The process behind college admissions is a fat target for satire, not just because the tuition bubble continues to inflate but because the committees' operations are so opaque and probably conspiratorial. This three-actor comedy promises that an element of tragedy will add dramatic substance to the comedy.

where: Prospect Theater Company at the West End Theater
first night: Saturday, Jan. 28
Adam Guettel (A Light in the Piazza) has been revising this revue for over a decade, since it debuted as Saturn Returns at the Public in '98. Based on Greco-Roman myth and a Christian hymnal, the piece is staged by the Prospect Theater, who are building a strong rep Off-B'way with their challenging musicals.

where: Primary Stages at 59E59
first night: Tuesday, Jan. 24
A chemical romance, just in time for Valentine's Day. An office drone joins the clinical trial for a new anti-depressant, while her doctor has begun a regimen that targets heartbreak. Hopefully, Rx digs into our culture's zeal for mood-altering pills rather than simply moralizing against it, as too many plays do.

Last chance!
Advance Man
where: The Secret Theater

The Canterbury Tales Remixed
where: Soho Playhouse

where: Here Arts Center

where: Longacre Theater

Dancing at Lughnasa
where: Irish Repertory Theater

A Hole in His Heart
where: Atlantic Stage 2

How the World Began
where: Women's Project at Playwrights Horizons

It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later
where: St. Ann's Warehouse

Naked Boys Singing
where: New World Stages

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
where: St. James Theater

One Thousand Blinks
where: 59E59

Relatively Speaking
where: Atkinson Theater

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