Critical NYC theater events, Feb. 2013: fall in love Off Broadway
There isn’t much new happening in Times Square this month while the big producers get new shows ready for the spring. But a few subway stops away where the theaters are smaller, the names are less well known, and the tickets are cheaper, there’s definitely a lot to love this month.
Primary Stages and John Rando present all six of David Ive’s classicly quirky one-acts. The series -- ranging from tales about three monkeys trying to produce Hamlet to different versions of Leon Trotsky’s death -- is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first performance and 600 productions later. It’s amazing that this is its first major New York City revival.
Ethan Hawke returns to the theater with this new play inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s drama, Baal. Clive is a creative, bold retelling where Hawke plays a songwriter in a downward spiral living in New York City in the '90s. Even if your not familiar with Brecht’s story you’re still promised some classic American tunes and great performances from Zoe Kazan and Vincent D’Onofrio who join Hawke at the cozy Acorn Theater.
Women’s Project and Laura Marks' new dark comedy about a woman pushed to her breaking point by the economy is coming into its last few weeks. Sure, it’s not exactly a the best way to get your mind off your own financial troubles, but the production has been reciving rave reviews and it stars Emmy winner America Ferrera -- who has apparently come quite far from her poncho-wearing days on Ugly Betty.
That’s right, theater exists across the bridge too. The Tectonic Theater Project will perform their moving, contorversial play, The Laramie Project, as well as its epilogue, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. The play, which first premiered in New York in 2000, brought to light the need for more hate crime laws in telling the horrific story of the murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. With this landmark double bill, directors Leigh Fondakowski and Moises Kaufman hope to remind us that the best way to keep history from repeating itself is to never forget our past.
In much lighter news, The Bard’s famous comedy about the battle of the sexes is coming to Long Island City’s Secret Theater just in time for Valentine’s Day. Although be warned, director Richard Mazda’s vision isn’t exactly…romantic. Mazda channels a bit of Waiting for Godot with his comedy set in a community of homeless people, but of course with Godot-esque clown tendencies.