Monthly Archives: January 2009

LYNN NOTTAGE: IN THE NEW YORK TIMES AND ON YOUTUBE (HER NEW PLAY ‘RUINED’ OPENS FEB. 10 AT MANHATTAN THEATER CLUB) ·

Celia McGee’s article on Lynn Nottage, below, appeared in The New York Times on January 21, 2009:  

Approaching Brecht, by Way of Africa

By CELIA McGEE

SO many decades and productions have washed against the muddy wheels of Bertolt Brecht’s play “Mother Courage and Her Children” that the title has sunk deep into the ordinary and familiar. But when the playwright Lynn Nottage spoke the first two words of the title to Congolese women in the refugee camps of Uganda in 2004, she said, they repeated them in such a way that the words became woundingly new . . .

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/theater/25McGee.html?scp=1&sq=Lynne%20Nottage&st=cse

Lynn Nottage on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lijiBGx29c

Manhattan Theater Club Web site:

http://www.mtc-nyc.org/

 

Lynn Nottage’s work can be found in One on One:  The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century, and the upcoming Duo!:  The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—all from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

 

MONOLOGUE BLOG: LISA SOLAND’S ‘THE KIND THAT DOESN’T BUDGE’ ·

What follows is one of two monologues from Lisa Soland’s hit play Truth Be Told.  The other, “Freewheelin' with Bob Dylan," can be found at her Web site: http://lisasoland.com/Monologue-Freewheelin.htm.

 

THE KIND THAT DOESN’T BUDGE

 

Lisa Soland

 

Dramatic

 

Man (late 20’s to 40’s)

 

MAN is sensitive and usually private.  His friend has just asked him if he’s afraid of commitment and has suggested that maybe this is why he is still unmarried.  MAN’S honest and heartfelt response surprises even his friend.

 

MAN

No, No.  It’s not the commitment thing.  Come on, man.  You know me.  I’m committed in a lot of areas of my life.  It’s not that.  It’s just well…

(Hesitant)

When I was in second grade I had this teacher – Mrs. Moore.  I didn’t have a crush on her or anything.  It wasn’t like that.  She was just…amazing.

(Beat)

She was plain but smart.  Man, she never forgot a thing.  And we all wanted to please her for some reason.  Just make her happy somehow.

(Beat)

She had this long, black hair.  Beautiful, shiny, sort of bluish, you know? — when the light hit it just right.  And she always wore it up, in a tight bun.  Always.  Every day.  This perfect, round bun, neatly gathered above her neck.

(Beat)

Mrs. Moore had a son, Danny, and he was in the second grade too but he couldn’t be in her class with me, because he was her son, so he was in the other second grade.  He was my buddy and we would go to each other’s houses a lot, you know – hang out.  Play, I guess.

(Beat)
One time I was over there and we were getting ready for bed, brushing our teeth and I walk down the hall to the bathroom and pass by his mother’s room.  The door was open.  It was just a quick look, you know – a glance, but I saw her sitting at this table with a mirror in front of her and she had her hair, her beautiful hair down, brushing it with one of those, you know, those old fashioned brushes with the ivory handles.  She was wearing a robe, a blue robe and her hair fell all the way down to her waist.

(Thinking back)

Brushing.  Just brushing.

(Pause)

I was speechless.  Couldn’t talk for days.  For days.  My mom took me to the doctor.  They thought something was wrong with me.

(Shakes his head)

For days.

(Beat)

Well, a couple of months ago I went back for my high school reunion and got together with Danny.  Hadn’t seen him since…graduation.  He couldn’t go to the reunion.  He was back living with his mother in that same house.  His Dad had passed away a while ago and his mom, my second grade teacher had Alzheimer’s.  Has Alzheimer’s.  Danny has to keep the doors locked and stuff cause she forgets where she is and runs out, all the time.  Just runs out.  I noticed all the padlocks are up high, out of reach.  And he’s got to make sure they’re always locked.

(Beat)

She didn’t remember me. I guess something inside of me hoped she would.  But she didn’t.  And her long, black hair was still long but gray — kinky, worn, and pulled into some sort of tangled mess in the back.  It looked like it hadn’t been brushed in weeks.  But still long.  I sat there at the kitchen table and watched them; the two of them fight down her lunch.  She wouldn’t eat.  Danny had fixed her a sandwich — two slices of plain bread with a chunk of cheese in the middle and he tried to…force her, really.  He tried to force her to eat it.  But she sat there and kept spitting it back up.  She’d push it out with her tongue and say things that didn’t make any sense.  It was pretty tough to watch, me, an outsider, but Danny sat there.  He sat there getting food spit all over him and he didn’t budge.  He didn’t budge.

(Beat)

It’s not that I want a woman like that, with long hair or anything.  I just remember that kind of…commitment.  That kind of love.  The kind that doesn’t budge.  That’s what I want.  That’s what I’m waiting for.

 

(BLACKOUT)

 

 

“The Kind That Doesn’t Budge” from Truth Be Told by Lisa Soland © 2008.  All rights reserved. Contact the author at: Lisa Soland, P.O. Box 33081, Granada Hills, CA 91394; Lisasoland@aol.com; Visit her Web site: http://lisasoland.com/index.htm.

 

(Lisa Soland’s work is included in One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century, One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, and the forthcoming DUO!:  The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—all from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.) 

 

DRAMA BOOK SHOP: LEE BLESSING PICK ·

Each week the expert staff of the renowned Drama Book Shop in Manhattan, just seconds away from Broadway, recommends one play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. Picking the best of published work, they help keep us up to date and aware of the little known, broadening our horizons and encouraging dialogue. Order a play from The Drama Book Shop, read it, and e-mail them with your thoughts–they'd love to hear from you: info@dramabookshop.com.

THIS WEEK’S DRAMA BOOK SHOP PICK:

A Body of Water
by Lee Blessing

Here lies he whose name was writ in water. –John Keats, his chosen epitaph

Lee Blessing's A Body of Water has a deceptively simple set-up: Moss and Avis, a handsome middle-aged couple, wake up in a beautiful house, surrounded by a lush lawn and a vast body of water. There's one big problem, though. The two of them have amnesia so perfect that they can't remember their own names. Their consequent pursuit of their identities yields no answers. Without memory, even the scrutiny of their naked bodies (one of the funniest moments in the play), is nudity to no purpose.

Moss and Avis are captives of their only visitor, Wren, a young woman who claims to know the truth. Wren torments them with conflicting accounts of their collective past. Are the elder pair a married couple who brutally killed their young child? Is Wren their weary lawyer, or a bitter daughter disfigured by her unmet need for love? Are Avis and Moss murderous, sick, psychotic, or dead? Compared to Wren's revelations, amnesia looks pretty good . . .

The only person to trust in A Body of Water is the playwright. And he's not telling. Blessing forces his characters, and us, into a terrifying vortex of doubt and dread unique to the loss of self. For what remains when thought and memory fail? Cruelty, isolation, yearning, powerlessness — and the inability to love.

Moss and Avis lie down with Beckett and wake up with Sartre, each and every day. By turns poignant, hilarious, baffling and truly frightening, A Body of Water will scare you to death. Don't miss it.

Cast: 1 M, 1 W, both middle aged. 1 W, 20s.

Scenes/Monologues: Monologues for Wren; scenework for the more mature actors.

Recommended by: Helen.

The Drama Book Shop, Inc.
250 W. 40th St.
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (212) 944-0595
Fax: (212) 730-8739

Order online: http://www.dramabookshop.com

Descriptions:

“…a play rich in ideas about memory, identity, and fiction…[Blessing] lays down…a rich philosophical groundwork for the play’s intrigue…artfully presented…” —Variety. “…gets the audience talking…raises questions about what is true and whom to believe…intriguing stuff.” —LA Times. “…one of America’s greatest playwrights…satisfying, ninety-five minutes of existential hide-and-seek.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press. “…the work of a mature master dramatist in complete control of his materials.” —San Diego Union-Tribune.
THE STORY: Moss and Avis, an attractive, middle-aged couple, wake up one morning in an isolated summer house high above a picturesque body of water. The weather’s fine; the view’s magnificent. There’s only one problem—neither of them can remember who they are. When a young woman named Wren arrives, information starts to flood in. But will it help? Her explanations seem only to make Moss and Avis’ world—as well as ours—more terrifying.

A Body of Water
by Blessing, Lee
Format:  Trade Paperback
Price:  $8.95
Published: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2007
Inventory Status: On Our Shelves Now

TREVOR NUNN’S PRODUCTION OF ‘A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC’ IN LONDON ·

A Little Night Music is exceptionally ravishing

By Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard  04.12.08

In London you can wait years for a great musical and then two arrive within 24 hours of each other. Hard upon Carousel comes Trevor Nunn’s dream-struck, elegantly scaled-down production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, that extraordinary words-and-music vision of the games and tricks people play when trying to break into or out of love-relations. It all happens in a mythical, far away Sweden, mostly one hot, high summer week-end on a country estate where Maureen Lipman’s ancient courtesan, who boasts of having amply pleasured royalty in her busy past, throws a party for her actress daughter, Hannah Waddingham’s Desiree, who is torn between two husbands, neither of them her own. Would-be or have-been couples, in the form of three sexual triangles, come up against that familiar, irritating obstacle to erotic pleasure — the Other Person . . .

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/review-23597050-details/A+Little+Night+Music+is+exceptionally+ravishing/review.do?reviewId=23597050

Related:

Gold Standard: Johns and Cariou on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAl-EawVobY

Seeking Bergman Film Rights? Try Aspen

LOS ANGELES — As plot twists go, this one is a doozy: after an eight-year legal battle over the lease of a movie theater, the former owners of a multiplex in Aspen, Colo., now own the rights to Ingmar Bergman’s entire film library . . .

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/21/movies/21bergman.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=movies/

BRIAN DYKSTRA: THEATER OF OUTRAGE ·

Below please link to playwright Brian Dykstra’s monologue Break the Bank S.W.A.P. on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/

                                                                                                       

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzvIP1Ocwjw&feature=email

Dykstra’s monologues can be found in One On One:  The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century and One On One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.  Visit his Web site: http://www.briandykstra.net/.

    

YOUNG JEAN LEE: NEW YORKER HILTON ALS REVIEW (THE SHIPMENT EXTENDS TO ADD FOUR PERFORMANCES, WEDNESDAY – SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 – 31 @8PM) ·

Following is the link to the January 26, 2009 review of Young Jean Lee’s play The Shipment in The New Yorker.

The Theatre

By the Skin of Our Teeth

Young Jean Lee’s irreverent take on racial politics.

by Hilton Als

One generally hesitates before identifying a new trend in the American theatre, largely because language has a tendency to fix and limit the joy one feels at witnessing the stops and starts, the moments of grace, and the moments of awkwardness in the work of a fledgling director, performer, or playwright. One senses, however, that the thirty-four-year-old playwright and director Young Jean Lee wouldn’t be content with inchoate praise for her work—work that is both explicitly political in content and often mundane in tone. Like her contemporaries the up-and-coming playwrights David Adjmi and Thomas Bradshaw (Bradshaw performed in one of Lee’s early pieces), Lee is a facetious provocateur; that is, she does whatever she can to get under our skin—with laughs and with raw, brutal talk that at times feels gratuitous, and is meant to.

Beneath the surface, Lee seems to say in her work, most people are cauldrons of awfulness. Political correctness is a front—and, by now, a tattered one. Any talk of race in our post-“Raisin in the Sun” world seems like a tired joke. In a 2007 interview in American Theatre, Lee said of her 2005 play, “Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven”—a powerful, humorous, and startling work about the author’s violence toward herself and, subsequently, toward her female Asian characters—“For this project, I decided the worst thing I could possibly do was to make an Asian-American identity-politics show, because it can be a very formulaic, very clichéd genre, and very assimilated into white American culture. It’s almost become part of the dominant white power structure to have identity-politics plays about how screwed-over minorities are. It’s such a familiar, soothing pattern. . . . It’s become the status quo.”

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/theatre/2009/01/26/090126crth_theatre_als?currentPage=all

YOUNG JEAN LEE'S THEATER COMPANY

The scheduled run is completely sold out, so four performances have been added:
 
Wednesday – Saturday
January 28 – 31 @8PM

TICKETS ALREADY GOING FAST!

 

“Lee confirms herself as one of the best experimental playwrights in America. Her language manages to be both feverishly strange and rigorously intellectual, and she directs her charismatic, talented cast with economy and theatrical dash.”

-David Cote, Time Out New York

 

“Sometimes sly and subtle, sometimes as
blunt as a poke in the eye . . . Combing through the images of African-Americans that dominate the media, Ms. Lee wields sharp, offbeat humor to point up the clichés, distortions and absurdities.”

-Charles Isherwood, NY Times

 

The Kitchen presents the NYC Premiere of

Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company
 
THE SHIPMENT
 
Written and directed by Young Jean Lee
 
Featuring: Mikeah Earnest Jennings, Okieriete Onaodowan, Prentice Onayemi, Douglas Scott Streater, and Amelia Workman
With: Foteos Macrides and Joseph John
 
Producer: Caleb Hammons

Associate Director: Lee Sunday Evans 

Sets: David Evans Morris | Costumes: Roxana Ramseur
Lights: Mark Barton | Sound: Matt Tierney
Choreography: Faye Driscoll
Stage Manager: Teddy Nicholas
Assistant Director: Georgia X. Lifsher 

 
January 8-10 (Thursday–Saturday), and 14-17, 21-24, 28 – 31
(Wednesday–Saturday), 8pm, January 10 (Saturday), 3pm

Tickets: $15
www.thekitchen.org
Industry/APAP: chammons@youngjeanlee.org 

Known for her provocatively satiric performance works, writer/director Young Jean Lee presents the New York premiere of THE SHIPMENT. For this piece, Lee gave herself the most uncomfortable challenge she could imagine: to make—as a Korean-American—a Black American identity politics work. In collaboration with an all-black cast, Lee takes the audience on an awkward and volatile roller-coaster ride through the absurdities and atrocities that arise when trying to discuss the black experience in America. Ludicrous, honest, and devoid of truisms, THE SHIPMENT dares to ask embarrassing questions and to seek solutions to impossible problems.

 THE SHIPMENT was co-commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University and The Kitchen, and was developed with support from the Rockefeller MAP Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The Tobin Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. The work received additional residency support from Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Collapsable Hole, IRT Theater, MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists, Orchard Project, and Yaddo. THE SHIPMENT is produced by Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company. Production design support provided by The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation.

THE SHIPMENT is also made possible in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Ensemble Theatre Collaborations Grant Program.

www.youngjeanlee.org

(Work by Young Jean Lee is included in the Applause books One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the upcoming Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century.)

                          

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY: MARTIN MCDONAGH’S ‘THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN’—REVIEW– (NOW THROUGH MARCH 1) ·

Druid-Cripple-Aaron_Monaghan_&_Kerry_Condon_by_Keith_Pattison_2408_copy

Despite Martin McDonagh’s reputation as a master of the grotesque—and for all his smashed eggs, bloody bandages, fatal disease, and the spastic, limping title character himself–The Cripple of Inishmaan (now playing at the Atlantic's Linda Gross Theater through March 1) is a rosy play.  If the cripple, Billy (Aaron Monaghan), could hum a few bars, he might even be in contention for next year’s best musical—if you don’t believe me, remember comparable limitations never stopped Porgy from singing at the Met.  If the playwright is more innocent here than he might have suspected while writing the piece (it was first produced in 1997), its ease of construction is hardly from the pen of the clueless.  Working without waste McDonagh puts his west Irish locals on the road to fame–and just when we expect despair, he interjects the relief of joy (if you dare, try not to smile at your neighbor at the end of act one).   As Fintan O’Toole similarly notes in a March 6, 2006 New Yorker profile of the author, “[McDonagh’s] drafts reveal a sure grasp of the mechanics of dramatic narrative—an understanding of how to move characters in and out of scenes gracefully, plant crucial information in seemingly insignificant scenes early on, and, conversely, hide information by presenting it at times when the audience is distracted by a joke or an episode of violence.”

            You even wonder if he’s ever met Stephen Sondheim. Hilton Als regretfully wrote recently, also in The New Yorker, that “Sondheim’s far-reaching sonic and lyrical brilliance is sometimes undercut by weaknesses in the books for his shows . . .”  It’s not the first time the point has been made—and both Sondheim and McDonagh, attracted to darkness, are ready for theatrical game changers. Imagine the meat pies from the boys who brought you Sweeney Todd, Assassins, and Into the Woods, The Pillowman (don’t forget the fairy-tale monologue where a child’s toes are cut off by the Pied Piper) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.  McDonagh, the easy spinner and architect of tall tales, says he won’t write another play, “I think I’ve said enough as a young dramatist.”  If he’s ever ready to take the next step, though, Sondheim, the great American artistic genius who himself learned from great American artistic geniuses–including Oscar Hammerstein II and Leonard Bernstein, of course–would be taking a leap into the art of the Irish diaspora:  the music of The Pogues and the Dubliners as background. It might even be a challenge to jump into the Celtic twilight and get it right (recall the Irish disaster genre itself: Pirate Queen and Ryan’s Daughter to name two) and give Sondheimian complexity, insight, and resonance to McDonagh’s surety of form. It’s dangerously hard, though–certainly part of the humor in The Cripple of Innishmaan is that one of our legendary directors, Robert Flaherty, got his 1939 classic movie The Man of Aran wrong.

            Where Flaherty sees the battle of man against nature on Ireland’s rugged west coast, McDonagh sees pretense enough to get the director ejected from Oprah’s couch (although in the credits Flaherty does list his actors as characters).  Where Flaherty sees mythic strength in survival: fishing, crabbing, egg and soil gathering, and shark hunting for lamp oil, McDonagh sees boredom in neatly stacked cans of peas, runaway animals, and daffy absurdist dialogue about “Yalla-Mallas” and a character named BabbyBobby.  According to the theatre program, “[The Man of Aran] depicted the supposed ‘daily life’ of characters living on the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland.  Many situations were fabricated, such as one in which fisherman are almost lost at sea on a shark hunt.” 

            Whose vision is right? The correct answer can probably only be decided by a bar brawl. Flaherty’s was a docu-drama of a certain time, which took over two years to make–a faraway precursor to reality TV where his local cast played versions of themselves, not themselves exactly; the director probably didn’t imagine he had to be very literal in the pursuit of entertainment and meeting his own audience’s expectations (he’d also probably have gotten nailed if he presented the Irish as nebbishes, the way The Cripple of Inishmaan does).  McDonagh, however, does protect his creations.  Although they can’t always be shielded physically, the playwright goes to the wall for their emotional defense. It’s actually an odd stance.  Recall that our playwriting 101 rulebook tells all budding playwrights that we should be putting the characters in jeopardy and watching them suffer—but McDonagh loves his too much.  Instead of offering blood-curdling catharsis regarding the cripple’s dead family, he does something smarter.  Like any good parent, he knows not to tell the kids the truth about Santa.  

            Elsewhere McDonagh has his dramatis personae taking part in making the movie, being whisked off to California, regaining sanity after talking to a rock, receiving a belt and a kiss at about the same time, turning slut to nun–and even, like Christ the Lord, undergoing a resurrection.  The fine ensemble of actors for Druid Theatre Company’s production, directed by Garry Hynes, shows us the local color Flaherty missed: an impatient tough girl (Kerry Condon), the gossip who can keep a secret (David Pearse), two aging sisters who care for the cripple (Dearbhla Molloy and Marie Mullen), a bedridden drunk (Patricia O’Connell), a none-to-smart country lad with an interest in telescopes (Laurence Kinlan), a local fisherman (Andrew Connolly), and the country doctor (John C. Vennema).    

            Flipping between the opposing views of Flaherty and McDonagh, it’s intriguing to see where they overlap.  Both use a young character who wants to go out to sea in two powerful, analogous moments—in the film, a boy is rejected by his father regarding a venture on the currach; in The Cripple of Inishmaan, the title character is finally allowed to go to The Man of Aran filming with the hope of being cast.   It’s also interesting to see McDonagh’s characters watch The Man of Aran—unimpressed, unresponsive to Flaherty’s cinematic poetry, it doesn’t take long for them to move on to other issues of the day.  

            Maybe there are simply too many Irelands to project onto:  the mystical, romantic, mythic . . .  David Lean felt that if he had only added a line, when his title heroine fell in love in Ryan’s Daughter, akin to her now “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses,” the movie would have been clarified.  Likewise, foreigners especially, may fail to see the glasses they are wearing in their love of the old sod—those closer to the hearth, like McDonagh, see the little people and rain.  

–Bob Shuman (c) 2009

    

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN

EXTENDED TO MARCH 1st!

DECEMBER 9 - MARCH 1   

a co-production with Druid
by MARTIN McDONAGH

directed by GARRY HYNES 

CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN
Presented by Atlantic Theater Company

Atlantic Theater Company at the Linda Gross Theater
336 West 20th Street
New York, NY &nb sp;10011

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY and DRUID

MARTIN McDONAGH’S CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN

EXTENDED FOUR WEEKS THROUGH MARCH 1, 2009

THE CRITICS HAVE SAID:

"A first rate production. A subversive charmer that shows off McDonagh's skills as an expectation-thwarting master of knotted yarns. Cripple is driven by the inconsistencies
of human behavior, which echo this equally sad and funny plays whiplash reversals of mood and fortune. It's hard to imagine an interpretation that makes this plays singular melding of
sentimentality and savagery feel more organic than this one." – Ben Brantley, New York Times

“A darkly hilarious and surprisingly moving comedy.  McDonagh celebrates and slyly spoofs a full parade of Irish stereotypes, but with a great deal of heart. In honoring them, he has created a unique theatrical offering all his own.” – Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press

“Flawlessly staged and superbly acted.” – Frank Scheck, New York Post

“A real gem. A brutal and satisfying fable about the lies people tell, truths they hide, and the capacity for desire and disappointment.” –

Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News

“Hurry, hurry, hurry to the Atlantic, where McDonagh's work of tragicomic genius, is easily the funniest play now in New York. Actually, side-splitting, rib-tickling, knee-slapping is more like it -not to mention heartbreaking and soul-crushing.” – David Finkle, Theatermania

Atlantic Theater Company and Druid are proud to announce a four week extension of Martin McDonagh’s hit dark comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, which will now play through Sunday, March 1st, 2009 Off Broadway at Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).

The limited engagement, originally scheduled through February 1, 2009, began previews on December 9 before opening to unanimous critical acclaim on Sunday, December 21, 2008.

Directed by Tony Award® winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), the celebrated cast of THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN transfers intact following a UK tour, and features Kerry Condon, Andrew Connolly, Laurence Kinlan, Dearbhla Molloy, Aaron Monaghan, Tony Award® winner Marie Mullen (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Patricia O’Connell, David Pearse and John C. Vennema.

Set in 1934 on an island off the west coast of Ireland, Hollywood filmmaker Robert Flaherty arrives on the neighboring island of Inishmore to film his movie The Man of Aran and excitement ripples through the sleepy community of Inishmaan.  For orphaned Billy Claven, who has been relentlessly scorned by the island’s inhabitants, the film represents an escape from the poverty of his existence. He vies for a part in the film, and to everyone’s surprise, it is the cripple who gets his chance.

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN revives the unique relationship between Atlantic Theater Company, Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh, Tony Award® winning director Garry Hynes and the acclaimed Druid ensemble.

This production marks the third collaboration between Atlantic and McDonagh following the company’s critically acclaimed American premiere production of The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, which transferred to Broadway and received five 2006 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play. Atlantic and Druid previously collaborated on the world premiere of McDonagh’s hit play The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which transferred to Broadway and won four 1998 Tony Awards®.

The creative team for THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN features scenic and costume design by Francis O’Connor, lighting design by Davy Cunningham, sound design by John Leonard and original music composed by Colin Towns.

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN plays Tuesday through Friday at 8p, Saturday at 2p & 8p and Sundays at 2:00p and 7:00p. Visit www.atlantictheater.org for special holiday performance schedule.

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY AT THE LINDA GROSS THEATER is located at 336 West 20th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues).  Tickets are $65.00 and available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 (ticketcentral.com).

www.atlantictheater.org

Ticket Prices: $65.00

DAVID STOREY: HOME ON BBC RADIO (THROUGH 1/18) ·

First staged in 1970, David Storey's Home was a major critical success. It is a poignant, often darkly funny play which looks at the lives of five people. But who are they and where are they?  The following 90-minute Drama on 3 broadcast aired 1/11/09 on Radio 4:   

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00gnf7h

Harry …… Michael Maloney
Jack …… Adrian Scarborough
Kathleen …… Julia McKenzie
Marjorie …… Lindsey Coulson
Alfred …… Harry Myers

Adapted for radio and directed by Martin Jenkins.

YOUNG JEAN LEE: THE SHIPMENT–“SUBVERSIVE, SERIOUSLY FUNNY.”—NY TIMES ·

What follows is Charles Isherwood’s January 13, 2009 New York Times review of The Shipment by Young Jean LeeAdditional dates for the play are January 14-17, 21-24 (Wednesday–Saturday), 8PM, at the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea; (212) 255-5793, Ext. 11, or ticketweb.com :

Off-Center Refractions of African-American Worlds

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Cultural images of black America are tweaked, pulled and twisted like Silly Putty in “The Shipment,” a subversive, seriously funny new theater piece by the adventurous playwright Young Jean Lee at the Kitchen.

Ms. Lee, who is Korean-American, consciously set herself the uncomfortable task of creating what she calls a “black identity-politics show,” having explored and lampooned the culture of Christian churches and Asian-Americans in her previous works “Church” and “Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven.” (Clearly she likes a challenge.) Combing through the images of African-Americans that dominate the media, Ms. Lee wields sharp, offbeat humor to point up the clichés, distortions and absurdities, turning the wearily familiar — a foul-mouthed stand-up comic, a drug dealer, a would-be rapper — into loopy, arch cartoons . . .   

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/theater/reviews/13ship.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

(Work by Young Jean Lee is included in the Applause books One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the upcoming Duo!: The Best Monologues for Two for the 21st Century.)

LIZA MINNELLI: PALACE TAKE—MONEY, MONEY, MONEY ·

The following box-office information regarding Liza’s at the Palace has been provided by Scott Schechter, author, producer, Minnelli-Garland historian, and developer of Liza’s Web site, OfficialLizaMinnelli.com: http://www.officiallizaminnelli.com/. 

"Liza's at the Palace" grossed a total of $3,059,851 for the entire engagement, December 3rd, 2008,  through January 4th, 2009 — 22 performances. (Not counting the proceeds from the Dress Rehearsal benefit for the Actor's Fund, on December 2nd, 2008).

Yes, that's slightly over $3 MILLION dollars.  Very healthy numbers.  Here's a recap of the breakdown:

Week One (Dec. 3rd thru 7th; Four Shows): $554,543. (91% Capacity)

Week Two (Dec. 9th thru 14th; Four Shows): $660,699  (94% Capacity)

Week Three (Dec. 16th thru 21st; Five Shows):  $584,637 (69% Capacity)

Week Four  (Dec. 23rd thru 28th; Five Shows):  $672,776 (79% Capacity)

Week Five (Dec. 30th thru Jan. 4th; Four Shows):  $587,196 (91% Capacity)

Again, this is quite an accomplishment to bring-in $3 million dollars to the Broadway box-office during these times — Let alone how much Liza brought-in to other businesses via her fans who came into Manhattan to see her make history — again — at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.