Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Box Scores: News 9.30.08

Last season, Tarell Alvin McCraney won the innaugural Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award & earned raves for his NY debut at the Public, The Brothers Size. His latest, a drag drama called Wig Out!, kicks off another season for the Vineyard. Regular collaborator Tina Landau glams the proceedings up. I caught a preview; I'll give you the low-down tomorrow.

The Women's Project broadens our horizons by bringing an ex-pat Romanian playwright's work to the stage. Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, by Saviana Stanescu, opens tonight at the Julia Miles, directed by Tea Alagic. It sounds like a slightly absurdist comedy about running a clown who runs afoul of Homeland Security.

Stephen Belber's got two plays in town this fall: the first, Fault Lines, opens tonight at the Cherry Lane Theater. Producers Naked Angels have an incredible track record since premiering Belber's Tape back in '02. This black comedy, directed by David Schwimmer (“Friends”), deals with a friendship gone bad in modern Manhattan. It replaced Frank Pugliese's The Talk in Naked Angels' season.

(Oh, & Belber's second upcoming play is Geometry of Fire at the Rattlestick, this November.)

John Patrick Shanley's latest drama, Romantic Poetry, sounds more like “Moonstruck” than Doubt: it's a romance set among the patchwork ethic groups of the NY metro area. It's also a musical, with songs by Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls). The show begins previews tonight at MTC's City Center.

Down the coast in DC, the Shakespeare Theater Company begins its run of Congreve's Way of the World, arguably the best English comedy of manners. Veanne Cox (Caroline, or Change) plays Mirabell, under the direction of STC AD Michael Kahn.

At the movies last week, I caught a preview for "Frost/Nixon": it's got the original cast but is directed by Ron Howard. Regional audiences may be better off catching the B'way tour, which retains director Michael Grandage but replaces the actors with Stacy Keach

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