Monthly Archives: June 2014



(Susannah Clapp’s article appeared in The Observer, 6/7.)

The Ustinov Studio is making history. Lynn Nottage wrote the marvellous Intimate Apparel in 2003, but this is its British premiere. Laurence Boswell's first-rate production shows the play's power and subtlety. The focus is precise but the range is wide. It speaks more profoundly because it declaims so little. Quietly subversive, its recovery of lost lives makes this a defining piece of American drama. First Death of a Salesman: white and male. Now Rebirth of a Seamstress: black and female.


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Openings and Previews

As You Like It

Central Park

New York Classical Theatre transposes the Shakespeare comedy to the nineteen-tens, for its fifteenth-anniversary production. The peripatetic show, on the grounds of Central Park, is free of charge. Opens May 29.

Ayckbourn Ensemble


The centerpiece of “Brits Off Broadway” is this trio of comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, playing in repertory: “Arrivals and Departures” (opens June 4), “Farcicals: A Double Bill of Frivolous Comedies” (opens June 10), and “Time of My Life” (opens June 11). Ayckbourn directs the Stephen Joseph Theatre productions. In previews.

Carnival Kids


Lucas Kavner wrote this play, directed by Stephen Brackett, in which an unemployed former rock star moves in with his grown son, who is adopted. Previews begin June 5. Opens June 9.

Clown Bar

The Box

Pipeline Theatre Company presents an encore of this play by Adam Szymkowicz, with music and lyrics by Adam Overett, in which a man returns to his clowning life after his junkie brother is found dead. Andrew Neisler directs. Saturdays only. Previews begin June 14.

Fly by Night: A New Musical

Playwrights Horizons

Playwrights Horizons presents the New York première of a musical by Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, and Michael Mitnick, set during the Northeast blackout of 1965, in which a sandwich-maker meets a pair of sisters. Carolyn Cantor directs. In previews. Opens June 11.

Holler if Ya Hear Me


Todd Kreidler wrote this new musical, based on the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, about life on the streets. The cast includes Tonya Pinkins; Kenny Leon directs. In previews.

Hot Season

Black Box

Strange Sun Theatre presents a play by Evan Mueller, in which a group of friends attempt to escape a life-threatening epidemic by taking shelter at a cabin in the woods. Kevin J. Kittle directs. Previews begin June 13. Opens June 16.

Just Jim Dale

Laura Pels

The veteran Broadway performer Jim Dale wrote and performs this solo show, about his experiences in the theatre. Richard Maltby, Jr., directs. In previews. Opens June 3.

The Killer

Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Michael Shannon stars in this 1959 parable play by Eugene Ionesco, translated by Michael Feingold, about a serial killer on the loose in an otherwise utopian city. Darko Tresnjak directs the Theatre for a New Audience production.

The Lion

City Center Stage II

The composer and singer Benjamin Scheuer wrote and performs this autobiographical musical, about his coming of age. Sean Daniels directs, for Manhattan Theatre Club. Previews begin June 10.


Park Avenue Armory

Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh’s staging of the Shakespeare play stars Branagh as Macbeth and Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth, in their New York stage débuts. In previews. Opens June 5.

Much Ado About Nothing


Jack O’Brien directs Lily Rabe, as Beatrice, and Hamish Linklater, as Benedick, in the opening play of the Public’s free Shakespeare in the Park season. In previews. Opens June 16.

The Muscles in Our Toes

Bank Street Theatre

Labyrinth Theatre Company presents a dark comedy by Stephen Belber, in which four friends convene at their high-school reunion and hatch a plan to rescue a friend who was kidnapped by a radical political group. Anne Kauffman directs. Previews begin June 14.

Our New Girl

Atlantic Stage 2

Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs the U.S. première of a play by Nancy Harris, about a London woman with a problematic son who receives a mysterious visit from a professional nanny. Mary McCann stars. In previews. Opens June 10.

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise


The Play Company presents the English-language première of a play by Toshiki Okada, translated by Aya Ogawa, about the darkness that lurks beneath the lives of thirty-something Japanese professionals. Dan Rothenberg directs. In previews. Opens June 2.

They Call Me Q

St. Luke's

Qurrat Ann Kadwani wrote and stars in this play, about her experiences as an Indian girl growing up in the Bronx. Obaid Kadwani and Claudia Gaspar direct. In previews.

The Village Bike

Lucille Lortel

MCC presents this play by Penelope Skinner, starring Greta Gerwig, Jason Butler Harner, and Scott Shepherd, about a pregnant woman who takes her desires into her own hands when she buys a used bike. Sam Gold directs. In previews. Opens June 10.

When January Feels Like Summer

Ensemble Studio Theatre

Cori Thomas wrote this play, about the effect that five Harlem residents have on one another and the world around them. Daniella Topol directs the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Page 73 co-production. In previews. Opens June 5.

When We Were Young and Unafraid

City Center Stage I

Cherry Jones, Zoe Kazan, Cherise Boothe, Patch Darragh, and Morgan Saylor star in a new play by Sarah Treem, in which a woman running a women’s shelter takes issue with the influence that one of the residents has over her teen-age daughter. Pam MacKinnon directs the Manhattan Theatre Club production. In previews. Opens June 17.

The Who & the What

Claire Tow

LCT3 presents a new play by Ayad Akhtar, in which a young woman clashes with her Muslim family over the book she has written about women and Islam. Kimberly Senior directs. In previews. Opens June 16.

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Wednesday, 6/3/14:  opening day for Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte—the urbaneer's version of a camping trip. First, the wildlife—a lady getting off the subway at 71st Street swings her fist into my balls:

“Hey, you just hit me, lady!”

(Unapologetic) “Sorry.” 

(I drop my pen into the tracks.) “Well, it hurt.”

She reaches toward her unseen boyfriend, as if giving a refined high-five or taking a bow at ABT.  Pent up aggression after a long, cold winter in the city?  Just wait until July:  temperatures are now only in the mid-seventies.  The thought goes through my mind, as I walk up to the park: “Narcissists are never wrong.”

Here’s what I’m seeing: Lime green and yellow, the colors for Shakespeare in the Park this year; the plays are Much Ado About Nothing–with Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater—Jack O’Brien directs.  This production plays from 6/3-7/6–the Stage Voices review will be written further into the run.  John Lithgow will star in King Lear, 7/22-8/11, directed by Daniel Sullivan). One rule, regarding the Shakespeare in the Park line, which I was unaware of–having been booted off the Pacino standby for this transgression several years ago:  You can now allow a friend to join you in this line until 6:00 pm.   “Really six.  You show up five minutes after 6:00.  Forget it,” #8 tells me (I’m first in line today).  Other ways to get tickets? Distribution in your borough, donation to the Public, and a ticket lottery:–Events/Shakespeare-in-the-Park/Free-Virtual-Ticketing-Lottery/?SiteTheme=Shakespeare .  Somebody says there’s a video from the Public on Facebook.

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