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by Elyse Sommer
The 2014 season of New York City Center’s Encores! series will open with Little Me directed by John Rando and starring Christian Borle and will continue with The Most Happy Fella, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and starring Shuler Hensley. The season will end with Irma La Douce, directed by John Doyle. Sounds like another winning season!
A bit of history: The Most Happy Fella was revived by the New York City Center Light Opera at City Center for a limited run of 16 performances from February 10 through February 22, 1959.
Encores! subscriptions can be purchased starting August 5, 2013 at the New York City Center Box Office at 212-581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.
The Pearl Theater Company's 2013-14 season will include the following:. The world premiere of And Away We Go by Terrence McNally which was delayed earlier this year and is now scheduled for Nov. 12 to Dec. 15th. The season will start before that on Sept. 3 with George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell. Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit will playFeb. 25 to March 30 The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan conculdes the season from April 22 to May 25.
The Broadway League has launched BROADWAY.ORG, whichcombines two previously existing sites: ilovenytheater.com and touringbroadway.com. The idea is to further the notion that Broadway is a state of mind rather than a set geographical location and thus provide one-stop consumer site for show information and official ticketing links, combining Broadway and Touring Broadway. The site will provide access to show tickets at all price points to current and upcoming shows, direct from the theatres' official ticketing offices in real time, without broker markups. The new site includes : Google Maps, social media integration, the ability to search by location, an interactive map of the NYC theatre district and multi-media galleries. Encores News
The popular Encores! staged concert series is launching a new series focusing on Off-Broadway musicals to be called Encores! Off-Center Jeanine Tesori will serve as artistic director for the series which will launch this summer with Marc Blitztein political musical The Cradle Will Rock Tesori's 1997 musical Violet,and the 1970's folk-rock musical I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road. Like the Broadway series, the orchestra and cast will perform together on stage for just 5 performanes. Tickets will be $25.
The series will launch July 10-13 with The Cradle Will Rock, staged by Sam Gold (The Flick, Seminar) and choreographed by Chase Brock (Spider-Man).
Next up will be a July 17th only presentation of Violet, starring Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and staged by Leigh Silverman (Well, Chinglish) on July 17. Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes, Wonderful Town) will stage Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford's I'm Getting My Act Together . . . and Taking which runs July 24-27.
Tickets will go on sale April 15. at NYCityCenter.org, (212) 581-1212, or at the City Center Box Office at 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
2013-14 Playwrights Horizon Season
MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY - the New York premiere of a new play by Anne Washburn (The Internationalist), with music by Obie Award winner Michael Friedman (Saved, The Drunken City at PH; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), directed by Obie Award winner Steve Cosson (Gone Missing, This Beautiful City, founding Artistic Director of The Civilians), presented at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater. MR. BURNS will be the first production of the season, beginning previews on Friday, August 23, 2013.
THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS - the World Premiere of a new play by Marlane Meyer (The Chemistry of Change for PH; Etta Jenks, Moe's Lucky Seven), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Peterson (The Chemistry of Change for PH; An Iliad, Slavs!) presented at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater, beginning previews on Friday, October 18, 2013.
THE (Curious Case of the) WATSON INTELLGENCE - the World Premiere of a new play by Madeleine George (The Zero Hour), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Leigh Silverman (Go Back to Where You Are, Blue Door and the current The Call at PH; Chinglish, Golden Child, Well), presented at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater, beginning November 2013.
YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA - the World Premiere of a new play by Kirk Lynn (Founder, Rude Mechanicals, Austin), directed by Anne Kauffman (Detroit, Maple & Vine at PH; Belleville), presented at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater, beginning April 2014.
FLY BY NIGHT: A NEW MUSICAL - the New York premiere of a new musical conceived by Kim Rosenstock (Tigers Be Still), by Ms. Rosenstock, Will Connolly (performer, Once) and Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of Our Parents), presented at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theatre, beginning May 2014. Writing on the World Premiere at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, Robert Hurwitt of The San Francisco Chronicle called it, "A breathtakingly good new musical. Smart, funny and poignant lyrics nestle in sweet melodies within a brain teasing well-told tale."
Theatre for a New Audience, in association with Baryshnikov Arts Center will present two internationally acclaimed shows this spring, each for only eighteen performances. The first stars Kathryn Hunter in the New York premiere of Kafka's Monkey, based on A Report to an Academy by Franz Kafka, adapted by Colin Teevan. Previews Wednesday, April 3 at 2:00pm and opens Thursday, April 4 at 8:00pm for its 18-performance run thru Wednesday, April 17. It will be followed by the 18-performance return engagement of Jos Houben, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni in Fragments from the texts of Samuel Beckett, directed by Peter Brook & Marie-Hélène Estienne, beginning previews Sunday, April 21 at 3:00pm for an opening that same evening at 7:00pm and a closing Sunday, May 5 at 3:00pm. Both shows are at the Baryshnikov Arts Center?s Jerome Robbins Theater, 450 West 37th Street. www.bacnyc.org or via phone at 866-811-4111. $10.00 New Deal tickets, for ages 25 and under or full-time students of any age, may be purchased in advance online, by phone or in person at the box office (with code NEWDEAL). See www.tfana.org for details.
2013 Brits Off Broadway festival March 27-June 30
It looks like another fine festival at 59E59 Theaters. Here's a line-up of what to expect:
April 25 June 2
Bull, the US premiere of Mike Bartlett' companion piece to last season's Off Broadway hit Cock, directed by Clare Lizzimore. Description: About office politics. Two jobs. Three candidates. This would be a really bad time to have a stain on your shirt…
Wednesday, March 27 - Sunday, April 21
Good With People, written by David Harrower, directed by George Perrin With Blythe Duff and Andrew Scott-Ramsay. Produced by the Traverse Theatre Company and Datum Point in association with Paines Plough This haunting two-hander from one of Scotland’s greatest writers, starring Blythe Duff (Beautiful Burnout) and Andrew Scott-Ramsay (Yellow Moon at Brits 2008), traces the path of personal and political destruction in Helensburgh, Scotland. Evan returns to Helensburgh, home to Britain's nuclear defense program and once a thriving holiday resort. And place he’s been trying to avoid. Haunted by his past and afraid of his future, he finds Helen working at the Seaview Hotel. Linked by a single event from their past, will their meeting trigger an explosion?
Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 21
Bullet Catch, written and performed by Rob Drummond, directed by David Overend Produced by The Arches. The sold out, smash hit of the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe celebrates Scotland Week with its US premiere at Brits Off Broadway. The high risk BULLET CATCH has claimed many lives since its conception in 1613. Performer (and magician) Rob Drummond plays modern-day marvel William Wonder in this gripping, edge-of-your-seat theater featuring magic, mind reading, levitation and the most notorious finale in show business.
Tuesday, April 30 - Sunday, May 19
The Girl I Left Behind Me, written by Neil Bartlett and Jessica Walker, directed by Neil Bartlett With Jessica Walker and Joe Atkins on piano. Produced by Jess Walker Music Theatre. This tribute to the artistry and glamour of the often-outrageous cross-dressing women of the British music hall and American variety stages, taking a provocatively contemporary look at what it means when a woman wears the trousers on stage.
Tuesday, May 21 – Sunday, June 9
Botallack O’clock, written and directed by Eddie Elks. With Danny Frost and Rhys King. Produced by Third Man Theatre. A black comedy based on the life and death of the artist Roger Hilton CBE, a pioneer of abstract art in post-war Britain. This funny but startling portrait was called "the best kind of buried treasure" in Time Out London's five-star review when it premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tuesday, June 4 - Sunday, June 30
Cornelius, by J.B. Priestley, directed by Sam Yates. With Emily Barber, Alex Bartram, Robin Browne, Pandora Colin, Alan Cox, David Ellis, Andrew Fallaize, Col Farrell, Beverley Klein, Jamie Newall, Xanthe Patterson, and Simon Rhodes Produced by Jagged Fence, Handsome Dog and 31 Productions. As bankruptcy looms, the ever-optimistic Jim Cornelius, partner at import firm Briggs and Murrison, is fighting to keep his creditors happy and his spirits up. Tensions rise with the arrival of Judy, the beautiful, young typist who shows Cornelius the life he could have led. A forgotten masterpiece by one of Britain's greatest dramatists.
Tuesday, June 4 - Sunday, June 30
The Boat Factory written by Dan Gordon and directed by Philip Crawford With Dan Gordon and Michael Condron. Produced by Happenstance Theatre Company. A host of colorful characters from the glory days of Belfast’s shipbuilding era construct a poignant, funny, and moving picture of boat-building, male friendship, hardship, humor and heroism.
Tuesday, June 11 - Sunday, June 30
Dirty Great Love Story, written and rhymed by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna, directed by Pia Furtado. With Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna. Produced by Polly Ingham Productions and Tim Johanson Productions in association with the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Story of two hopeful, hapless romantics who get drunk, get it on, and then get the hell away from each other. In her eyes, he’s a mistake. A mistake who keeps turning up at parties. In his eyes, she’s perfect. He’s short-sighted. But can they make a one night stand last a lifetime? This hilarious and charming mash up of theater and spoken word was called "bliss" by The Independent when it premiered at the Pleasance Theatre at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Cotton Club Parade will parade to Broadway. If you missed the musical revue celebrating the Cotton Club Harlem nightclub during its previous City Center engagements, no worries. It's coming to Broadway this fall to recreate some of the big hits of the big band-swing era of the 1920s and 1930s. That means scores by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and Duke Ellington. The Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis will again be part of the Broadway production, as will . Warren Carlyle as director. Specifics about dates and theater TBA.
A reunion for The Producers colleagues Matthew Broderick and Bra Oscar when Oscar takes over for Mike McGrath in Nice Work if You Can Get It during the latter's leave of absence. We saw Oscar as a very engaging Fiddler in last summer's excellent Fiddler on the Roof at Barrington Stage.
Primary Stages 2013-14 season has been announced. The lineup is as follows:
HARBOR by CHAD BEGUELIN, directed by MARK LAMOS July - September 2013. When fifteen-year-old Lottie and her ne'er-do-well mother Donna drop in unannounced on the beautiful Sag Harbor home of Donna's brother and his new husband, all hell breaks loose. At 59e59 Theaters
THE YANKEES (still a working title). A World Premiere conceived by FRAN KIRMSER written and directed by ERIC SIMONSON. September - October 2013 at a theater TBA. The generational story of a most extraordinary baseball family, and the game itself. Follow the revered New York Yankees Yogi Berra as he struggles to keep the focus on the team, transgressing the tricky world of dreams, celebrity, and the ever-changing landscape of this beloved American pastime.
A WORLD PREMIERE COMEDY written by and starring CHARLES BUSCH, directed by CARL ANDRESS January - March 2014 at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. Busch is an out-of-work female impersonator who, when his elderly landlady dies in her sleep, takes on her identity in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse. This “perfect” scheme goes awry and leads to a wild path of twists and reversals plotted by an eccentric rogues gallery of outrageous schemers.
A fourth production is still under consideration
Hands On a Hardbody Inspired by the 1997 documentary of the same name, about a group of people in Texas who participate in a contest that requires them to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck in order to win, is headed for broadway at an as yet unspecified theater. A good move according to our California critic Jon Magaril (Jon's review). However, its choreography will be new since the Broadway musical staging will be in the hands of Sergio Trujillo (Memphis, Jersey Boys) instead of the ballet trained Benjamin Millepiedi. Casting, like the venue remains TBA.
Target Margin Theater's 2012-2013 season will launch a two-season exploration of Yiddish Theater with Beyond the Pale, a look at domestic drama, philosophical drama, verse drama, avant-garde experimentation, political statement plays, and the good old nostalgic drama of the Shtetl. Working on the principle that works of art return us to real truths more powerfully by their divergence from a strict illustration of reality, Target Margin Theater plans to bring to bring the richness of Yiddish Theater into the present with the complete understanding that these classic works are as vibrantly contemporary as any in world drama. According to TMT these Yiddish dramas will be unique and thrive with immediacy. This is will not be your grandpa’s Yiddish Theater.
Plans over the next two years call for an array of productions, workshops, readings and panel discussions, and even concerts. TMT Artistic Director David Herskovits was inspired to launch this ambitious program after spending 9 weeks doing research in 2011 as a Fellowship at The American Academy in Jerusalem.
The Classic Stage Company .The Classic Stage Company will be mounting its first ever musical in 2013. It will be a new take on Stephen Sondheim's 1994 musical Passion which starred Donna Murphy and had its fans (including yours truly). It lasted at the Longacre for 283 performances. The can-do DiCapo Opera Company company which does a musical with operatic ties each season did a lovely production in 2003 (my review) but otherwise Passion has been seen only at regional theaters like the one our Philadelphia critic caught in 2001 (Passion in Philadelphia). With John Doyle at the helm (and no, his actors will NOT be doubling up as musicians!) this should be another buzz-y event for this downtown company.
Good Deals for handicapped theater lovers: The mission of the Theater Development Fund (TDF0 is to increase access to theater for all audiences. That's why their TAP program is a boon for anyone who's hard of hearing or deaf, l has ow or no vision ore requires special seating according to need. There is no annual fe to obtain an a 50% discount for special need orchestra tickets but you must be a TAP member and provide evidence of eligibility. To check out details and other TDF services, see the website: www.tdf.org/tap. To obtain an application for TAP membership: 212/729-4537 or email email@example.com.
TDF launches off-Off @ $9-- a new online service building off-Off Broadway audiences by providing $9 advance eTix to TDF members. This allows TDF members to explore the smaller stages, beyond Broadway and Off Broadway, where innovative artists are creating new and adventurous works. There will be no handling fee. The program begins at an opportune time as we are in the midst of the many play festivals around the city. (most listed in Curtainup's Off-Broadway Listings To learn more information: www.tdf.org.