Oh To Be In New York In Spring

New Works in New York.Duchess-Theatre-Catherine-Street-London-The-Pitmen-Painters

There seem to be so many tantalizing new plays in limited runs in New York this month that I find it even more frustrating than usual to live 3,000 miles away.  But with my upcoming trip to the Humana Festival in Louisville and a New York trip planned for later this year, I just can’t get there now.  Here are just a few of the new plays that would be on my list if I were going to New York in March:

  • Really Really by Paul Downs Colaizzo, directed by David Cromer, at the MCC at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through March 24th.  Description from the MCC’s website: “In the hazy aftermath of a wild campus party, dawn breaks on what appears to be just another day in the undergrad carnival that revolves around a circle of friends. But when morning-after gossip about privileged Davis and ambitious Leigh turns ugly, the veneer of loyalty and friendship is peeled back to reveal a vicious jungle of sexual politics, raw ambition, and class warfare where only the strong could possibly survive.”  (If you enjoy actors you recognize from television, the cast includes Zosia Mamet from HBO’s Girls and Matt Lauria from Friday Night Lights.)
  • Finks by Joe Gilford, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre March 28 through April 21.  EST says “When the moment came to testify in the McCarthy hearings some chose to name names, others chose to say nothing. Finks is a new play about the effects those choices had on lifelong friendships and families, based on a true story and using actual testimony transcripts.  Featuring Michael Cullen, Ned Eisenberg, Leo Ash Evans, Jason Liebman, Ian Lowe, Tommy Lyons, Aaron Serotsky & Miriam Silverman.”
  • At Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage through March 31, Annie Baker’s The Flick, directed by Sam Gold:  “In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on screen. With keen insight and a finely-tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.”
  • And two world premieres at the Manhattan Theatre Club:  The Madrid by Liz Flahive, directed by Leigh Silverman, runs through April 21 at New York City Center Stage 1.  The strong cast includes two of my personal favorites — Edie Falco and Frances Sternhagen and is a “hilarious and heartbreaking story about motherhood, freedom, and trying to see the people in your family as they really are”; and
  • The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg, directed by Lynne Meadow, with Jessica Hecht and Judith Light.  Here is the intriguing description by the MTC:  ”The Assembled Parties welcomes us to the world of the Bascovs, an Upper West Side Jewish family in 1980. In a sprawling Central Park West apartment, former movie star Julie Bascov and her sister-in-law Faye bring their families together for their traditional holiday dinner. But tonight, things are not usual. A houseguest has joined the festivities for the first time and he unwittingly – or perhaps by design – insinuates himself into the family drama. Twenty years later, as 2001 approaches, the Bascovs‘ seemingly picture-perfect life may be about to crumble. A stunning new play infused with humor, The Assembled Parties is an incisive portrait of a family grasping for stability at the dawn of a new millennium.”  Runs through April 17 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
  • And, of course, Rajiv Joseph’s The North Pool runs through March 24 at The Vineyard – see my earlier post “Best New Play of the 20th Century?*”  for more on that amazing play.

As wonderful as Broadway is, there is so much more great theatre in New York that it’s hard to decide how to allocate your theatre time and budget.  For me, the intimate spaces and sense of being part of something new, make small new plays a good supplement to Matilda the musical (which is opening in previews next week and, based on what I’ve read and what I heard on the CD from the UK production will be the hottest ticket in town, but —  unlike the shows above — it will be around for ages!)

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