Monday, September 10, 2012

Theater: New Plays (Sept. 11-17)

This week's spotlight is Through the Yellow Hour by Adam Rapp. His spiky pessimism may not be for all audiences but his grungy style and horror-movie tone feels more contemporary than many glossy works of realistic drama. Rapp pursues his imagination down dark alleys, as in this week's debut Through the Yellow Hour. Set in a US that's been attacked (but by whom? from without or within?) and its populace terrorized, a feral woman comes out of hiding to change the world.

where: Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
first night: Thursday, Sept. 13

But there's plenty more to see if that doesn't strike your fancy.

where: 59E59
first night: Tuesday, Sept. 11
Rip-snorting swing jazz from the WW2 era is the main draw of this bio-musical. A pair of twins play Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, bandmates whose rise to fame caused their family and band to rupture. The drama was filmed a few years later in The Fabulous Dorseys, which this staging takes footage from.

where: Roundabout on Broadway (American Airlines Theater)
first night: Friday, Sept. 14
The musketeer with the long nose returns to Broadway, a mere five years after his last visit. This time, the ultra-talented Douglas Hodge dons the prosthetic schnozz; he impressed New Yorkers in La Cage aux Folles a few years back, but Londoners knew his work in Pinter & Shakespeare as well.

where: BAM Opera House
first night: Friday, Sept. 14
I'm ashamed to admit I have no desire to see this modernist masterpiece, a seminal work of the 20C. Usually I love the dilation and abstraction of time that occurs during a play. And coupling that conceptual theme with Einstein's theories of spacetime is a brilliant idea. But I've always been underwhelmed by Robert Wilson's work and I've given it so many chances. Go, and tell me that I'm missing out.

where: The Culture Project
first night: Saturday, Sept. 15
Produced during W. Bush's first term, this piece seemed a theatrical tonic in that bitter conservative era. Astonishing and effective, it shapes interviews, letters and court documents about innocent death-row inmates cleared by DNA evidence into a galvanizing work of journalistic theater. Agitprop can be incredible theater.

where: Broadway (Cort Theater)
first night: Thursday, Sept. 13
Paul Rudd, shorter but also more confident onstage than you'd figure, leads Ed Asner, Michael Shannon, and Chicagoan Kate Arrington to Broadway, a solid line-up for a straight drama. It's a rather dark comedy about faith and Florida, whose sober tone and weighty themes stick with you longer than the plot.

where: Theater Row
first night: Tuesday, Sept. 11
Stephen Sondheim gets top billing here, since this musical features his work. But this show is a set of SS's songs removed from their context and slotted into a new story by Craig Lucas & a writing partner. Their subject is a neighboring pair of lonely urbanites and their romantic fantasies. It sounds pretty un-Sondheim, but may possess its own satisfactions.

where: Cherry Lane Theater
first night: Wednesday, Sept. 12
A quirky comedy about a set of night watchmen who must comfort one of their own after he's lost his cat. Every part of that description—from quirk to cat—should raise your guard. But the Playwrights Realm have a good record of producing writers worth getting to know, so they deserve the benefit of your doubt.

where: Classic Stage
first night: Friday, Sept. 14
A trio of works from Beckett's twilight years—when he'd gone past abstract, beyond abstruse to obscure. Dark, dark stuff. But the staging might be worth your time, with DC doyene Joy Zinoman directing in collaboration with the Cygnus Ensemble, a famously tight chamber orchestra whose style should match Beckett's well.

Last chance!
New Girl in Town
where: Irish Repertory Theater

Space Captain: Captain of Space
where: Kraine Theater

No comments: