I’ve got a witches brew of unusual theater news to send you off into the weekend:
- Two envelope-pushing theatrical imports opened this week. First up, the UK company Punchdrunk transformed the abandoned McKittrick Hotel for Sleep No More, an immersive, voyeuristic head trip inspired by Macbeth and involving masked audience members roaming freely around the site. (According to my writing partner–who loved it–if you see “the cute guy with the faux-hawk,” follow him!)
- On a slightly more family-friendly note, the British smash War Horse galloped onto the stage at Lincoln Center with the tale of a boy and his horse facing the horrors of The Great War, as told through exquisitely emotional and stunningly complex puppetry. (A nearly wordless, early sequence between the boy and foal left me a blubbering mess. More on War Horse in an upcoming “To See or Not to See” post.)
In a very unusual return, theatermania is reporting that the first national tour of the recent Hair revival will play a limited engagement at a Broadway theater this summer. Damn hippies always got to break the rules.
- Speaking of delightfully unorthodox, playwright Christopher Durang (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, The Marriage of Bette and Boo) will be the guest at a free symposium following the May 1st matinee of his play Beyond Therapy at the Westport Country Playhouse. It’s an interactive conversation so be sure to bring your best questions about Catholicism and Sigourney Weaver.
- And, what would a post about the wild and unruly be without a mention of Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark? The mega-million dollar musical enters the history books again this weekend when it closes temporarily to begin a new round of rehearsals and reopen in a few weeks, a different show. Is it appropriate to use a butterfly metaphor when talking about a spider?