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Plays

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

April 10, 2014

Beg. Borrow. Steal. In a breathtaking leap, famed Audra McDonald has vaulted past anything she's ever done to this pinnacle of performance art, her portrait of Billie Holiday, the mesmerizing, tragic figure who haunts us still with the beauty and wreckage of her life, and if you don't go to see her, you'll be poorer for it. Because this is not only Billie Holiday, this is Audra McDonald at her consummate best. [more]

Of Mice and Men

April 9, 2014

As the African American hand banished to the stable, Ron Cephas Jones alternates movingly between bitterness with his lot and his desperate loneliness. Jim Parrack brings a great sense of fairness and moral integrity to the role of Slim, the only member of this tight, little community to whom they all instinctively look up to. Receiving third billing, Leighton Meester (star of television's Gossip Girl) as Curley's wife, the only woman in the play in this man's world, is caught in the trap of playing either Madonna or whore, typical of 1930's Hollywood movies. [more]

A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity & Clean

April 4, 2014

Clean, by playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, the other play on the double bill, is really not clean at all but director O'Loughlin isn't fazed a bit and whips her three, highly ornamental criminals through their paces with a stylish kind of nervy aplomb that sets off their rashers of charms while greatly adding to the fun – and by the way – wittily knocks off lots of bucks from production costs. No mean feat. [more]

A Raisin in the Sun

April 1, 2014

The play tells the story of the hard-working black Younger family living in a shabby two-room apartment on Chicago's South Side, sometime between World War II and 1960. The patriarch, Walter Lee, Sr. has died recently and the family is awaiting a $10,000 insurance check (about $88,000 today) which is due to arrive in a day or two. Each of them looks forward to using the money for a different purpose [more]

I Remember Mama

March 30, 2014

Director Jack Cummings III has not only chosen a new environment for this realistic play, he has also chosen to perform it with ten veteran actresses (who would be classified as senior citizens) playing all 23 parts, including teenage girls and boys, and all the male characters. When the audience enters the Gym at Judson the entire space has been turned into the playing area with seats in two rows around all four walls. Ten dining room sets with displays on each occupy the space, the size of a basketball court. [more]

And Baby Makes Seven

March 29, 2014

There has been renewed interest lately in the early, pre-How I Learned To Drive plays by Paul Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. First there was The Baltimore Waltz (1992) at the Underground Theater last November. Now And Baby Makes Seven from 1984 is on view in a thoughtful, detailed production by the Purpleman Theater Company, directed by Marc Stuart Weitz, at the New Ohio Theatre in the West Village. Baby's tale of a same-sex couple having a child still resonates with particular clarity nowadays. Except for the fact that this lesbian couple, Ruth and Anna (the one who's bearing the child) couldn't be married back then, the play rings true as it explores all the anxieties, humor and fantasies straining the relationship of these two women with each other and with Peter, the biological father of the child. [more]

Mothers and Sons

March 22, 2014

Tyne Daly has made it a specialty playing unsympathetic and difficult women, for example her star turns as Mama Rose in Gypsy and Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Now in a new McNally play, Mothers and Sons, she plays the bitter, angry, taciturn Katherine Gerard, the Andre’s mother of McNally’s earlier one act. [more]

The Cripple of Inishmaan

March 12, 2014

If you add up all the billions of intakes of dollars for all the motion pictures starring the galaxy of movie stars putting their bare, nekkid faces before Broadway audiences this season, the sum tops by far the starstruck lists of recent years. And of all these powerhouses, the face on the cover of the Cort Theatre Playbill says it all: Daniel Radcliffe. Here he is, back in New York once again to, please, once again convey to everyone who's willing for the conveyance that he is not Harry Potter. Or maybe, not just Harry Potter. And so he has gone about as far as he can go: he is, in this very play, Cripple Billy, the Cripple of Inishmaan. And he's wonderful. [more]

The Tribute Artist

February 22, 2014

A rich elderly lady is held captive in her posh townhouse by distant relatives and a former lover all out for her wealth. [more]
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