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Posts Tagged ‘edward albee’

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: 2012 Fall Preview, The Plays

September 12th, 2012 Comments off

Steppenwolf's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Photo by Michael Brosilow.

If the fall season’s crop of musicals is a sparse and eccentrically planted lot, the roster of plays is lush with big ideas, big stars and must-see events (if a few too many “didn’t we just see that” revivals). So let’s dig into the harvest feast…

"Grace". Image via O+M Co.

An Enemy of the People (September 27): Henrik Ibsen’s sturdy study of personal pressure and politics kicks things off just in time for election season. Class acts Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas play brothers, a mayor and a doctor, on opposite sides of an environmental disaster in the making. (Yeah, this was written when?)

Grace (October 4): As I’ve said before…Paul Rudd. I lerve him. Toss in the always magnetic Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and my interest is more than peaked for this surreal comedy-drama about a couple’s plans for religious-themed motels and their less than faithful neighbor.

Running on Empty (October 9): Comedian and professional ranter Lewis Black brings his stand-up to Broadway for a week of performances.

Cyrano de Bergerac (October 11): The French war horse (no, not that one) gets trotted out for another display of witty banter, actorly showmanship and much-needed rhinoplasty. Tony-winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) takes on the title role in a Roundabout Theatre revival.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (October 13): The revelatory Steppenwolf production starring playwright (and seriously accomplished actor) Tracy Letts and the incomparable Amy Morton finally makes it to Broadway. Check my review from when I saw it at Arena Stage last year and tell me you aren’t a wee bit excited to see the Albee classic again.

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Tony Award Time Machine: 2002

June 4th, 2012 Comments off

"Thoroughly Modern Millie". Image via Google.

Buckle up, gang, the years are flying by again as we hit the gas on our time machine. With 1972, 1982 and 1992 in our rear view mirror, 2002 is rising before us in all its palindromic glory.

And what does Tony-night look like to us time travelers as we step into the celebrity-packed theater? Sutton Foster is beaming; future Smash cast mates Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James are a seat away from each other; Bernadette Peters bubbles and coos. In fact, it’s all eerily similar to where we live today except for the nagging feeling that everything and everyone looks a bit fresher and less lived-in — like we all went to sleep in New York and woke up in Toronto.

Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? takes the top prize for plays while Thoroughly Modern Millie bests Urinetown in the Best Musical category, though that feisty little show grabs a number of other statuettes. As for the performances, the less said about the awkward “tell the whole story in 3-minutes” mega-mix strategy employed by Mamma Mia and the Into the Woods revival the better. (How often are those two shows ever in the same sentence?) Seriously, a note to today’s producers planning their Tony performances — do one whole number! Musicals don’t cut into nice neat little movie trailers. Songs are meant to be experienced as a build to climax.

So where shall we start watching? How about at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start, I hear…

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