Monday, January 21, 2013

New Shows: Jan. 22-28

I'm curious to see if All in the Timing holds up after 20 years, but I'm eager to revisit Wallace Shawn's The Fever, this week's spotlight. It's ninety minutes of monologue recounting a sick-dream by an upper member of the consumer class. The piece shifts from an admission of culpability (shared by the audience) in global human exploitation to a defensive justification of the status quo. Deeply disturbing and revelatory, a cynical filleting of its own audience that offers no solutions, a script worth reading and rereading.
The Feverwhere: La MaMafirst night: Thursday, Jan. 24
This new mounting arrives from France (though it's performed in English). Shawn himself performed the piece in '07, mesmerizing audiences; this version swaps genders, which shouldn't be a problem. Go get your tickets and then see if there's anything else this week you'd like:

where: Primary Stages at 59E59
first night: Tuesday, Jan. 22
Theater in the 1990s wasn't just about AIDS―as the first revival of this popular, witty absurdity will remind you. It's a six-pack of vigniettes and sketches with a sophisticated approach to time (see title) and language. The script's a delight, so if the company does it any justice, it'll be a fun evening.

where: Abingdon Theater
first night: Friday, Jan. 25
A Staten Islander ventures out of Richmond County for the first time in her middle age, to find her troubled brother, her missing mother, and (presumably) the soul of America.

where: Broadway Theater
first night: Thursday, Jan. 24
The official title is Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway but that's just embarrassing. Plus the book's been reworked by Douglas Carter Beane. His snark may offset director Mark Brokaw's dullness. The lead is Laura Osnes, who took a bullet in the terrible Bonnie & Clyde last season but still grabbed a Tony nomination. Her prince is Santino Fontana, another young talent worth your time.

where: Incubator Arts
first night: Friday, Jan. 25
Richard Foreman's former house has become a great staging ground for a new generation of experimentalists. This work, by the company Exploding Moment, demands its audience focus by whispering and incanting its subject. Appropriate, since  Hot Dust examines 1890s Spiritualism and 1920s Pentecostalism, two weird movements that allowed women to flourish in leading roles. 

where: The Mint Theater
first night: Saturday, Jan. 26
Roche got strong lauds in its 1936 premiere and, though it's been revived in Ireland regularly, it's been forgotten everywhere else. On the other hand, the material sounds sentimental: a “fiery” servant girl of uncertain birth is alternately angelic and devilish. I've always found the Mint's productions to be creaky and their mission of theatrical archaeology too conservative.

where: LCT3
first night: Monday, Jan. 28
Another angle on neighborhood integration in the 1950s & today, inevitably to be read partly as a response to Clybourne Park. Here, a black couple pays Irish Bostonians to act as proxy in buying a home; 50 years later, the white descendants want “their” house back. The last play written by Kristen Greenidge & directed by Rebecca Taichman had electrifying elements of racial analysis but stumbled a bit into didacticism. Let's figure Irish will have more of the provocation and less of the pedagogy.

where: 59E59
first night: Friday, Jan. 25
An urban romance in one act, with a subway setting―closing doors and missed connections. One subplot has a man chasing a mysterious woman across the third rail; the other follows a meet-cute scenario between Yankees fans.

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