Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Theater: New Shows (Sept. 4-10)

A low-wattage week, maybe due to Labor Day. But that doesn't diminish my spotlight pick, Strange Tales of Liaozhai. An evening of Chinese folk tales (that alone should be enough to hook you) gets treated via semi-abstract puppetry (which should tempt you even more). The auteur is Hanne Tierney, who manipulates silks, lanterns, & bamboo poles with a complex system of counterweights. Her collaborator, Jane Wang, has composed a modernist score, which she'll perform live on toy pianos & constructed instruments (which should close the deal).

where: Here Arts Center
first night: Thursday, Sept. 6

And here's the rest:

where: Fourth Street Theater
first night: Friday, Sept. 7
It's hard to keep the pulse of theater in Eastern Europe. So take the opportunity to check the English-language premiere of this Serbian trilogy, written just before the Kosovo War of '98-'99. It's a epic & a comedy, covering a family's diaspora from their home city during the Cold War. The playwright, Biljana Srbljanovic, has a strong rep but expect dramaturgical quirks due to cultural differences.

where: Friedman Theater
first night: Tuesday, Sept. 4
MTC mounts a Broadway revival of An Enemy of the People, Ibsen's noble-minded classic. A doctor discovers a toxic contaminant in a resort-town's spring-water. The local authorities want to shut him up, lest he wreck the spa's reputation. Swap a shark for ground seepage and you've got Jaws!

where: 59E59
first night: Wednesday, Sept. 5
An Irish comedy―which is to say, a black comedy―about a corpse who wins a fortune at the racetrack. The Great Recession has hit Ireland particularly hard, and this import finds some mirth in the Celtic Tiger's collapse. By Marie Jones, whose Stones in His Pockets was fondly received a decade ago.

where: New York Theater Workshop
first night: Wednesday, Sept. 5
Kathleen Chalfant takes the lead in this drama about an essential theme of our time, genocide. In this case, the subject is the Armenians, victims of the Ottoman Turks in WW1. Press materials imply that RDH is of the “family secrets unearthed” subgenre & offers a sense of redemption―neither of which suggest a strong drama.

Last chance!
The Best Man
where: Schoenfeld Theater

where: New World Stages

Saturn: A Play about Food
where: The Wild Project

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