The Playgoer: Hey Fall Season, What's Up?

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hey Fall Season, What's Up?

Yes, Playgoer is back.  I want to heartily thank all my August guest bloggers: Matt (aka Cantrell) Roberson and regular pinch-hitter Dr. Cashmere, as well as my CUNY colleagues: Peter Zazzali, Kevin Byrne, and Joe Heissan.  Their "Scholars' Corner" is now a tag so you can speedily find a link to their entries any time in the lower right margin.

So what am I looking forward to seeing this month, now that "fall season" is upon us?  Let's see...

First, something old:  Tomorrow I revisit David Cromer's Our Town before it closes this weekend.  This is one of those rare cases of a show deserving all the hype around it.  (Although it arrived in town from Chicago quite modestly, let's remember.)  I hope to write more at length about it next week, but for now I'm just really, really looking forward to it.  I was especially interested in seeing it again with Cromer as the Stage Manager, which seems the ideal way to see his concept at work.  But did anyone see any of the other recent replacements--Michael Shannon, Michael McKeon, or Helen Hunt?

And speaking of innovative revivals of old American plays...Definitely will catch Ivo Van Hove's take on Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, at New York Theatre Workshop, starring Liz Marvel in a role she was born to play.  I'm a big Hellman fan, and this is still a play with great potential on stage, despite often being written off as a chestnut.  (I caught a rare revival of her later "prequel" to Foxes, Another Part of the Forest, this summer. Production was meh, but still good enough to show how interesting Hellman's storytelling and characterizations are.)  True, I think what New York needs now is Liz Marvel playing Foxes in a more "realist" production directed by, say, Daniel Sullivan.  But I usually enjoy van Hove's experimental playfulness, and he's nothing if not textually rigorous.  (This is sure to be a hot ticket, by the way.)

Something new?  I plan on seeing the Soho Rep opener, Gregory Moss' Orange, Hat & Grace.  And then, of course, there's the new Albee.

Something borrowed: Yes, I know Brief Encounter is just another chance for Roundabout to cash in on its core audience's love for old British films (they preem'd 39 Steps on B'way, too).  But I do love that movie, and I hear this Kneehigh production from London was stellar at St. Ann's last year....Another British import I'm looking forward to is Lee Hall's Pitmen Painters at MTC, where Hall returns to his Billy Elliot northern England mining-town roots to tell the real-life story of some good ol' proletarian artists.

And something blue? Hm... Well how about the Blue Coyote Theatre Group and their new play, Nance O'Neil, about Lizzie Borden's intriguing relationship with a turn of the last century stage actress. With $10 Wednesdays, may be worth it!

That's my, admittedly, limited view going into September.  What's on your radar for the coming weeks?

(Yes, feel free to plug, but keep it short, please, and only about shows playing now or very soon. And please, just honestly mean it. No spam!)


George Hunka said...

I'll look forward to your revisitation of Our Town, Garrett. I recently wrote a short essay on the play here.

matt said...

I saw Michael Shannon in Our Town. I didn't know his work, but will follow him from here on. He played the character with a real sense that something was going on with him deep below the surface. Certainly free of scmaltz. In the few times he had an outburst of emotion, you felt it in a very deep place.

Edward Einhorn said...

I'm all into the beginning of the Public Season. Gatz, of course, and Lisa Kron's new work, In The Wake.

I'm also excited for my friend Russell Kaplan who's musical, In Transit, is about to go up at Primary Stages. I've watched it through incarnations nearly 10 years ago at the Duplex, then readings at the's a fun show. Russ was working as my Assistant Director and I really checked it out from obligation, and it was one of those situations where I saw it and said, wow, this is actually quite good.

Also, have to plug my own Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep at 3LD (you know, the book that became Blade Runner)..since you're allowing plugs. I'm really excited to work at 3LD, it's our first time, and we'll be able to do some really amazing things with the tech there.

And I'm with you on The Little Foxes.

Unknown said...

Welcome back, G!

Brian McManamon