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May 24, 2015 — 199 Seats in the Shade (Part 1)

May 24, 2015 — 199 Seats in the Shade (Part 1)


The Pulitzer-winning experimental THE FLICK is not for everyone, Barrow Street Theatre
The Pulitzer-winning experimental THE FLICK is not for everyone, Barrow Street Theatre


Happy unofficial beginning of summer! I, myself, prescribe to the summer solstice to fall equinox-calendar, but to each her own. While summer is notoriously a graveyard for Broadway—each year, we generally see a whole host of casualties that don’t survive the Fahrenheit swells—Off Broadway, largely unaffected by calendar-year ticket sales due to short runs, has at least several palatable offerings right now. And some stinkers, as well. I mean, we always keep it real, don’t we? So much to talk about, I’m dividing this post into two parts (no, it’s NOT an homage to WOLF HALL).




Let me just get this off my chest before I implode—Daniel Tosh of TOSH.0 fame is coming to Brooklyn’s King’s Theater for a one-night-only performance. I normally think comedians who do stand-up and claim it’s a Broadway or Off-Broadway event because of the venue, are really lame. Sorry, Jackie Mason. But, I’ll make an exception for Tosh, mostly because I’m just sort of obsessed with him. Really, it’s unhealthy. (June 27th only)


Jesse, in that slight-of-hand movie no one cared about
Jesse, in that slight of hand movie no one cared about


Jesse Eisenberg, who I’m pretty sure I did youth theatre with back in the good old Brunswicks of New Jersey, has written and also stars in a new play coming to 42nd Street—the theater is called the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater—catchy, right? I’m definitely going to support a hometown boy. The plot is described as:

“Nobody likes Ben. Ben doesn’t even like Ben. He’s been kicked out of grad school, lives off his parents’ money, and bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate Kalyan, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his grade school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back.”

I can only wonder… did he write this (surely, he did) before the devastating earthquakes in Nepal this spring? The dramaturg in me is doing midnight rewrites RIGHT NOW in my head, to make it more relevant. (THE SPOILS opens June 2nd, closes June 28th)


I have those same socks, Amanda Seyfried
I have those same socks, Amanda Seyfried


I was just recommending a Neil LaBute monologue to a director friend this week, when I started catching wind of the reviews for THE WAY WE GET BY, the pithy playwright’s new work at the Tony Kiser Theatre on 43rd. Apparently, it’s a sleeper. So… maybe no monologues from this one. Film actress Amanda Seyfried makes her stage debut and apparently, she does a fine job. However, even some very brief Hollywood nudity can’t seem to save this one. (Closing June 14th)

Chris Noth of SEX AND THE CITY and like, every other New York serial, stars as the title character in DOCTOR FAUSTUS. I applaud a Christopher Marlowe adaption—I urge students to choose selections from his work over Shakespeare if you’re looking to stand out with an underdone classical monologue. I once played twin brothers in THE MASSACRE AT PARIS for the Marlowe Project. I can only imagine, in this production, that while Andrei Belgrader is credited as director, Mr. Noth had “a whole lot of opinions”. And that’s all I’ll say. (Classic Stage Company, previews June 2nd and runs for about a day and a half)


Justin with some other actor in NATIONAL TREASURE
Justin with some other actor in NATIONAL TREASURE


What can I say about the HAND TO GOD playwright’s new Off B’Way piece PERMISSION, other than it stars Justin Bartha, who is my old 10th Floor neighbor from the NYU dorm on 5th & 10th, my current neighbor on West 13th, and I just adore him. The play… well… here’s the description:

“Eric and Cyndy are looking for some direction. They’ve decided to follow the lead of their friends Zach and Shelley and make the real life practice of Christian Domestic Discipline the foundation of their marriage. But restructuring their lives and their union according to role play and a new moral code upends everything they knew–and took for granted–about one another, their friends, and more importantly, who really holds the power.” (Lucille Lortel, closing June 14th)


School Days-Jason
School days-Jason


Sweet, sweet Jason Ritter comes home to Atlantic Theatre Company to Stage 2 for MAMET GHOST STORIES (I remember when he was studying there in my roomie Maja’s class). What a great guy! And I love ghost stories. Director Scott Zigler better bring it (Reviewers can be scary, too). (Previews May 27th)

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