–Rossellini’s bold and provocative documentarypremieres on Planet Green on Saturday, April 23, at 10 p.m. (ET)–
(Silver Spring, Md.)—The iconic, award-winning actress and director Isabella Rossellini has teamed with Planet Green to create the groundbreaking and stylized one-hour documentary, ANIMALS DISTRACT ME. Rossellini wrote, directed and stars in this special, which offers viewers a one-of-a-kind personal examination of how humans and animals coexist.
This irreverent, comical and personal documentary focuses on the animals that “distract” Rossellini during a day in her life in New York City. As Rossellini attends a photo shoot, meets with Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley and lunches with world-renowned chef Mario Batali, her thoughts focus on the animals she encounters along the way. These sequences are brought to life through whimsical vignettes that build on Rossellini’s reputation as a visual artist. One memorable scene features Charles Darwin (played by Rossellini and voiced by Campbell Scott) as he stops by to pontificate the principles of evolution. Covering topics as diverse as rats in the subway, her own dog Sweety and the demodex that live on her eyelashes, this fantastical documentary will surprise and wildly entertain viewers.
(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/21.)
The truism that families come in all shapes and sizes is illuminated with haunting beauty in the new play “Kin,” by Bathsheba Doran. The daisy chain of relationships depicted in this exquisitely wrought comedy-drama, which opened on Monday night at Playwrights Horizons, moves through a couple of generations and across several American states and two countries. It might even be said to include a live bear and a dead dog.
But Ms. Doran’s elliptical collage of interconnected lives coheres to form a piercing portrait of the contemporary social architecture, in which the distance between people can be widened or collapsed with disorienting ease, whether it is through the click of a keyboard, a telephone conversation or a chance encounter. Many of the characters in the play never actually meet, and yet we come away with a moving sense of how each individual’s experience resonates — troublingly or happily — in the lives of almost everyone else.
Please call the phone number listed with the theatre for timetables and ticket information.
Sutton Foster and Joel Grey star in Cole Porter’s musical set on a cruise across the Atlantic, with an original book by P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse, which has been revised by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Kathleen Marshall directs and choreographs the Roundabout Theatre Company production. In previews. (Stephen Sondheim, 124 W. 43rd St. 212-239-6200.)
BABY IT’S YOU!
A new musical with a book by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, directed by Mutrux and Sheldon Epps, based on the story of the pioneering music mogul Florence Greenberg, who discovered the Shirelles and created Scepter Records. Beth Leavel stars. Previews begin March 26. (Broadhurst, 235 W. 44th St. 212-239-6200.)
Keen Company presents this play, written by Michael Frayn in 1985, about the effect of a new job on an architect and the people around him. Directed by Carl Forsman. In previews. (Clurman, 410 W. 42nd St. 212-239-6200.)
BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO
Robin Williams makes his Broadway acting début in a play by Rajiv Joseph, about a tiger (Williams), two American marines, and an Iraqi gardener who encounter one another in Baghdad. Moisés Kaufman directs. In previews. (Richard Rodgers, 226 W. 46th St. 212-307-4100.)
THE BOOK OF MORMON
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of “South Park,” and Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q”) wrote the book, music, and lyrics for this new musical comedy, a satire of American Mormon culture. Parker and Casey Nicholaw direct. In previews. Opens March 24. (Eugene O’Neill, 230 W. 49th St. 212-239-6200.)
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Aaron Tveit, Norbert Leo Butz, Tom Wopat, and Kerry Butler star in this musical adaptation of the 2002 film. With a book by Terrence McNally, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. Jack O’Brien directs. In previews. (Neil Simon, 250 W. 52nd St. 877-250-2929.)
THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY
Evan Cabnet directs a new play by David West Read, in which the death of a high-school student has unexpected repercussions. Opens March 23. (Black Box, Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 W. 46th St. 212-352-3101.)
GO BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE
Playwrights Horizons presents a comedy written by and starring David Greenspan, about an ancient-Greek chorus boy who is sent on a mission to the Hamptons after spending two thousand years in Purgatory. Leigh Silverman directs. Previews begin March 24. (416 W. 42nd St. 212-279-4200.)
Kathleen Turner, Stephen Kunken, and Evan Jonigkeit star in a new play by Matthew Lombardo, about a nun who faces a crisis of faith when she counsels a teen-age drug addict. Rob Ruggiero directs. Previews begin March 25. (Booth, 222 W. 45th St. 212-239-6200.)
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette star in this revival of the 1961 musical, about a young window cleaner who rises in the ranks of the World Wide Wicket Company without actually working. The book is by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, and the music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser; Rob Ashford directs and choreographs. In previews. Opens March 27. (Hirschfeld, 302 W. 45th St. 212-239-6200.)
Thanks so much for visiting Stage Voices for the latest in Theatre news and writing. In the past more than two years, I’ve had the privilege to conceptualize, agent, and edit (with Karen Malpede and Michael Messina) an important drama anthology published by Mike Levine at Northwestern University Press called Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays—the foreword is by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges. It’s a needed volume of artistic reactions to our wars in the Mideast by some of America’s and Great Britain’s finest dramatists:
Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo, Bill Cain, David Hare, Karen Malpede, Simon Stephens, Lydia Stryk, and Naomi Wallace
Their works validate and inform, challenge and elucidate our most deeply held beliefs about the current conflicts—they also help restore the notion that theatre is vital to cultural and political debate.
See if your own points of view aren’t changed by them.
All best–and thanks so much for reading,
Bob Shuman, Owner, Stage Voices
“We in America are confounded by contradictions and are here challenged to look, to see, to know ourselves–our lies and hypocrisy, our courage and goodness.”–Olympia Dukakis
“[Acts of War is a] powerful new collection of American and British plays. . . . Karen Malpede, Michael Messina and Bob Shuman, in editing this anthology, have made a vigorous contribution to the political and ethical debate. . . . Gathered into one forceful volume, [these dramas] make an important intervention in the discourse of war. . . . One hopes they will be performed in high schools, colleges and universities, and perhaps even for or by combat veterans and their families.”–Jean Randich, Truthdig (http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/iraq_and_afghanistan_on_stage_20110901/)
(Michael Winerip’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/20.)
For years, officials at Ursinus College had been trying to figure out how to capitalize on the fact that J. D. Salinger had spent one semester there in the fall of 1938.
They were hoping to attract publicity for Ursinus and tried everything they could think of to lure Salinger from the secluded world he’d lived in for his final 50 years. They offered to make him a guest lecturer; to build a literary festival around him; to award him an honorary degree. “No response,” said Richard DiFeliciantonio, the vice president for enrollment at the small liberal arts college here. “Absolutely nothing.”
Nigel is bored. But then he meets the glamorous Liv and Tony and becomes part of their beautiful world; a beauty that hides a disturbing secret.
Nigel ….. Paul Chequer Liv ….. Frances Barber Tony ….. David Schofield Roger ….. Struan Rodger Kelly ….. Alex Tregear Igor ….. Stuart McLoughlin Stowaway ….. Nyasha Hatendi
David Eldridge is one of Britain's most exciting playwrights. His adaptations of 'Festen' and 'The Wild Duck' won huge acclaim and his original writing includes 'Under The Blue Sky' and 'Market Boy'. His new play 'The Knot of The Heart' is currently playing at The Almeida. In this commission for Radio 3 he explores the idea of a fascism of the mind.
(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/18.)
Addiction is a difficult subject to dramatise: it depends on repetition, isolation, an inability to connect with other people. But, although David Eldridge's moving new play doesn't avoid all the pitfalls, it greatly heightens our understanding of the addictive personality and shows that dependence, whether on drugs or alcohol, is no respecter of class or status.
(Robert Hurwitt’s article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 3/14.)
"We are onions," the high school vice principal tells the student, explaining how deceptive appearances can be.
By the time playwright Rajiv Joseph finishes peeling away the men's protective layers in his riveting new "The North Pool," he's exposed not only a great deal about them, but life at Sheffield High and in America as well.