Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal!

All right. So the fall theater season was rather on the tepid side.  Still, ever searching for a grand and glorious evening of theater-going, I am looking forward to seeing a number of promising new productions in the coming months.

Let’s begin, shall we, with the coming week and three new productions on my schedule.

First off, there’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, now in previews at the Foxwoods Theater.  What can I say? I cannot resist going to see what $65 million buys these days.  If there is no such thing as bad publicity, then Julie Taymor, Bono and The Edge, and the rest of the creative team should be thrilled by the buzz generated by stories of major technical difficulties, numerous injuries, questionable artistic choices, multiple delays, canceled performances, and predictions of financial doom that seem to have made Spider-Man a must-see.  If they can pull this off, it will be a major triumph of willpower and determination as much as anything.  For a cute spoof of the woes plaguing Spider-Man, you might wish to view Conan O’Brien’s skit at

The second show I will be seeing in the days ahead is one I hope will be a stylish and funny production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest, presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theater.  Certainly the cast is a strong one, including, among others, veterans Dana Ivey, Paxton Whitehead, and the indomitable Brian Bedford as the equally indomitable Lady Bracknell. Let’s see how Mr. Bedford compares with my thus-far-unchallenged memory of Dame Edith Evans when he utters one my favorite lines from any play:  “Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture; it is most indecorous.”

I plan to wrap up my theater-going week by attending a preview of the world premiere of a new play by Adam Bock, who snagged an Obie Award in 2007 for The Thugs.  When it was reviewed The New York Times, critic Jason Zinoman called The Thugs (which I did not see) “chillingly realistic and pointedly absurd.”  Sounds like an intriguing mix, so I look forward to seeing Bock’s new play, which is launching previews at the Playwright’s Horizons.  It is called A Small Fire, and is described thusly: “When a tough-as-nails contractor finds her senses slipping on the brink of her daughter’s wedding, the impact on her family is nothing less than seismic.”   
Playwright’s Horizons is offering discounted tickets, information for which I am happy to pass along.

Order by December 31 with code SMGR and tickets are only: 
$40* (reg. $70) for all performances December 16-30, 2010 
$55 (reg. $70) for all performances January 1-23, 2011

Order online at Use code SMGR
Or call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) 
Or present a printout of this blog post to the Ticket Central box office at 416 W 42nd Street (Noon-8pm daily).

*A limited number of $40 discounted tickets will be available for purchase. Subject to availability. Valid only in select rows.

Further along in the season, some I the shows for which I carry the torch of hope are War Horse, coming to Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater from across the Pond; The People in the Picture, a new musical starring Donna Murphy; the final two installments of Signature Theater Company’s season devoted to works by Tony Kushner (The Illusion, and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures), and revivals of John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves, Lanford Wilson’s Talley’s Folly, and Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig.   

I see lots of potential in these upcoming shows, so let me just end by wishing us all—as my friend Bill would say—Happy New Season!

Feel free to tell your friends about this blog, and to share your own theater stories by posting a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment