Previewing a merry May in NYC theater
Lindsay, David, and new guest host Laura Motta (aka Lucky) from The Craptacular preview the shows we are most looking forward to in the month of May, including new shows from Playwrights Horizons, Flux Theatre Ensemble, New York Theater Workshop, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. We also discuss David’s custom Patti Murin ringtone, which you can listen to and download for yourself here.
Discussed this week:
(Descriptions from the theaters)
In this darkly comic rock-fable, a melancholy sandwich maker’s humdrum life is intersected by two entrancing sisters. A sweeping ode to young love set against the backdrop of the northeast blackout of 1965, Fly By Night is a tale about making your way and discovering hope in a world beset by darkness.
Here Lies Love is the revolutionary musical experience from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim that’s being called “A life-giving, roof-raising, booty-shaking blast of pure joy!” (Vogue). This thrillingly immersive show retraces the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos from her meteoric rise to power to her descent into infamy and the People Power Revolution. An adrenaline-fueled, 360-degree multimedia spectacle, Here Lies Love blends the passion of politics with heart-pounding dance beats for an exhilarating and completely unmissable event. Alex Timbers (Rocky, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) directs this never-seen-anything-like-it production.
Football, popularity and the clash of the gods: it’s all going down at Plainview High School’s homecoming game in the comic fairy tale Jane the Plain. Jane’s status takes a sudden rise after she saves the mysterious Glowing Girl and is given the gift of beauty. Everyone starts falling for her: quarterback Scotty the Hotty, second-stringer Lesson the Decent, even the most popular girl in school, Lexi the Sexy. As the jealous Betty the Pretty seeks to eliminate her newfound rival, Leonard the Awkward tries to win his best friend Jane back. But when another mysterious god, the Mirror Man, starts haunting Scotty, this battle of love and social status takes a dangerous turn of cosmic proportions. What if the wrong choice in high school really could end the world?
NYTW Usual Suspect Thaddeus Phillips (¡El Conquistador!) teams up with the Minneapolis-based musical duo Wilhelm Bros. & Co. to create a visually striking and sonically complex action-opera about Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious last days. Set in September of 1849, Red-Eye to Havre de Grace follows Poe on his last lecture tour from Virginia to New York, focusing on a stop in Maryland when a train conductor saw Poe wearing a strangers clothes headed south, where he would die just days later. This new musical, informed by 19th Century train routes, historical accounts and Poe’s own writing, creates a spellbinding sketch of a man you soon realize you know little about.
The Anthem is a rollicking sci-fi musical about a revolt of the young against an evil state lovingly inspired by the classic novella “Anthem.” Hunger Games meets Ayn Rand in a world where individuality is illegal. Prometheus abandons everything to confront the State — controlled by the overlord of evil efficiency, Tiberius. With a forbidden copy of Ayn’s Rand’s ancient tome in hand, can Prometheus overthrow the system?
The singing-activists return to Joe’s after last year’s performances in Chase Bank lobbies, and New York jails and courts. In 2013 we were inspired by the extinction and resurrection of the Golden Toad. This year, the Honey Bee is the hero. The presence of the pesticides of “Big Ag” and the struggle by bees to survive, is inspiration for new songs, songs with lots of Bee-atitude, hard-working and sticky sweet. Honeybeelujah!
A Fable is the epic adventure of Jonny, an idealist spurred on by love to right a long-forgotten wrong. Follow his encounters with a whole cast of characters – colorful and corrupt, lucky and ill-fated – as they each grope their way through a landscape of nationwide strife and corporate greed. A play of dualities, A Fable takes into question how each choice we make can drastically change our ending.
Look out, Broadway, the gloves are off! Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging!, the up-to-the-minute musical romp from the hilariously demented mind of Broadway’s evil genius Gerard Alessandrini has just unveiled its new victims and new laughs for the new season! This year’s targets include Rocky, Pippin, Kinky Boots, Matilda, The Bridges of Madison County, Les Miz, and many more, joining favorites from last year’s acclaimed edition, including Book of Mormon, Once, Wicked and Jersey Boys. The roast of Broadway’s biggest and brightest has picked up 9 Drama Desk Awards, a Special Tony, an Obie, a Lucille Lortel, a Drama League, the Drama Critics Circle Award, the Broaday.com Audience Favorite Award and was named one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best Shows of 2012.
Four years ago Bryan abandoned his labor of love, a newspaper for truckers. Now he’s returned–with no word of where he’s been–and things have changed. His former lover is filled with rage, his new coworker is filled with incessant adoration, and his paper is filled with personal ads. As he considers giving up for good, Bryan searches for what he couldn’t find on the road: a way to keep faith in humanity.
Lydia (Michele Pawk) lives by her motto, “leave your baggage at the door, or it will end up on your face.” A decade after fleeing Cleveland for one long night out in Vegas, leaving the family’s apartment building under the management of her daughter Vera (Stephanie DiMaggio), Lydia returns to find a lifetime of “baggage” waiting for her inside. With a daughter fueled by faith, a mother driven by delusion, and a family secret that sounds the bell between them, 17 Orchard Point is a firecracker of a dark comedy about two generations of women battling to claim their home and history…
In this play spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, five-time Tony® nominee Jan Maxwell plays savvy and elegant Hester Ferris, the doyenne of Georgetown dinner parties whose influence in liberal politics is legendary. But when her beloved son suddenly turns up with an ambitious Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she’s spent her whole life fighting for.
Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park
Hamish Linklater and Tony nominee Lily Rabe return to the Park this summer as the wise-cracking, would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick in the beloved romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Central Park becomes sun-drenched Sicily at the turn of the last century, where the heat of summer ignites the fevered passions of lovesick ladies in corsets and pining gentlemen spying from the verandah. Three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien directs this delightful skirmish of wit between two self-declared bachelors tricked by their mischief-making friends into falling in love against their will and in spite of their own hearts.
Other things discussed
RadhaMUSprime (aka Radha Blank) at Joe’s Pub – Past event
What would happen if Wu Tang’s Ghost Face Killa and comedy legend Mom’s Mabley had a child? You’d get RadhaMUSprime, the alter-ego of New York native and award-winning playwright Radha Blank. Her forthcoming mix tape The 40-Year-Old Version is an original, self‐produced Hip Hop/Comedy mash‐up of dope beats, catchy hooks and thought‐provoking rhymes that beg the question: where is the single, overweight, undersexed, 40‐Year‐Old Black Woman’s voice in Hip Hop? RIGHT CHERE YO! RadhaMUSprime speaks unapologetic ‘troof to power’ on everything from sex, dating, aging, race, immigration, body acceptance and being a NY creative. She often performs with DJ Jahmedicine, her trusty sound God and eye candy ‘fo da ladies’.
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) makes his long-awaited return to Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s landmark American musical, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening). Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig has inspired a generation. The show was called “the Best Rock Musical Ever” by Rolling Stone and “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” by Entertainment Weekly. Neil Patrick Harris plays “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Robinson. Hedwig brings her fourth-wall-smashing saga to Broadway’s Belasco Theatre to set the record straight about her life, her loves, and her “angry inch.”
Twenty years ago, Emma (Megan Mullally) walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses (Nick Offerman), in the middle of the night. Now, hearing he’s in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado in a grungy trailer, working on his magnum opus, hooked to an oxygen tank, and cooking in the buff. Their reunion, charged by rage and compassion, brings back the worst and best of their former bond.