By Michael Gioia
26 Jun 2013
Concluding June 29
Reasons to Be Happy (Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre). The world premiere of Neil LaBute's new play Reasons to Be Happy, which follows the characters of his Tony Award-nominated drama reasons to be pretty, stars Jenna Fischer, Josh Hamilton, Leslie Bibb and Fred Weller. According to MCC Theater, "Three years after a contentious break-up, Steph and Greg are wondering if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she's married to someone else and he's just embarked on a relationship with Steph’s best friend, Carly, a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings. Navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn’t going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy is a funny, surprising, and poignant new play about the choices and sacrifices we are willing to make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal: happiness." Visit MCCTheater.org.
Concluding June 30
I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers (Broadway at the Booth Theatre). John Logan's I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, the one-woman play starring award-winning singer and actress Bette Midler, is directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello. "Sue Mengers was an American original," according to production notes. "She was the first female 'superagent' at a time when women talent agents of any kind were almost unheard of. She came from near poverty, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and worked her way up through pluck, charm, and a legendary wit. In that uniquely American way, she invented herself; and when the career she wanted didn't exist, she invented that as well: 'Superagent.' It was a term Hollywood all but coined for her. By the 1970s, she represented almost every major star in Hollywood and went on to become the town's most renowned hostess." Visit IllEatYouLast.com.
Ann (Broadway at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater). Ann, the one-woman show about late governor Ann Richards, is written and performed by Emmy and Outer Critics Circle Award winner and Tony nominee Holland Taylor. The play is described as "an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary Governor of Texas. This inspiring and hilarious new play brings us face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed." Visit TheAnnRichardsPlay.com.
The Boat Factory (Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters). Dan Gordon's The Boat Factory features Gordon and Michael Condron. Here's how it's described: "Belfast 1947. The sun shines down on a post-war world. A 16 year-old boy starts life as an apprentice at Harland & Wolff's Titanic Shipyard. 1700 ships built between here and the Clyde, 67 different trades, 300 acres of land and 35,000 men employed at its height. Regarded as the biggest and best there is, if you can dream it they can build it. This is history - this is his story - this is The Boat Factory." Visit 59e59.org.
Dirty Great Love Story (Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters). Dirty Great Love Story is written and rhymed by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna. Here's how it's described: "In her eyes, he's a mistake. A mistake who keeps turning up at parties. In his eyes, she's perfect. He's short-sighted. This achingly-funny, romantic catastrophe fuses poetry and prose to ask - can a one night stand last a lifetime?" Visit 59e59.org.
Cornelius (Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters). Cornelius features Emily Barber, Alex Bartram, Robin Browne, Pandora Colin, Alan Cox, David Ellis, Andrew Fallaize, Col Farrell, Beverley Klein, Jamie Newall, Xanthe Patterson and Simon Rhodes. Here's how it's billed: "As unpaid bills flood in, Cornelius, partner at import firm Briggs and Murrison, is struggling to keep his creditors happy and his spirits up. With the collapse of foreign trade, and business changing from personalised service to catering for global mass markets, Cornelius is forced to confront the mental decline and suicide of his business partner Murrison, and his own impending bankruptcy. Miss Porrin, the firm’s loyal secretary, has been deeply in love with Cornelius for years, but her closeted world is challenged by the arrival of the young, free and optimistic typist, Judy, who shows Cornelius the life he could have once have led..." Visit www.59e59.org.
The Comedy of Errors (Off-Broadway at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park). The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors stars Hamish Linklater and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as twins Antipholus and Dromio. In addition to Linklater ("The New Adventures of Old Christine," The Vandal, Seminar) and Ferguson ("Modern Family," On the Town) as Dromio and Antipholus, respectively, the cast includes J. Clint Allen (ensemble), de’Adre Aziza (Courtesan), Becky Ann Baker (Emilia), Emily Bergl (Adriana), Keith Eric Chappelle (Balthasar), Robert Creighton (Angelo), Reggie Gowland (ensemble), Jonathan Hadary (Egeon/Pinch), Bryan Langlitz (ensemble), Heidi Schreck (Luciana), Skipp Sudduth (Duke/Luce) and Jessica Wu (ensemble). Visit ShakespeareInThePark.org.
Venice (Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Luke's). The Public Theater's production of the new rock and hip-hop musical Venice, about corruption, betrayal and power, features Leslie Odom, Jr., Haaz Sleiman and Jennifer Damiano. According to the Public, "An electrifying new musical, Venice will ignite the stage with a fusion of musical styles from hip-hop and rock to soaring anthems of love and hope, tracing a young man's rise as he fights for what's right against a backdrop of deceit and sibling betrayal. Part epic romance, part political tale, Venice will transport you to a fallen city in the not-so-distant future where revolution is in the air, political structures are crumbling, and only the children of the city's fallen heroes can change the course of history." Visit PublicTheater.org.
Concluding July 3
Lucky Guy (Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre). Lucky Guy, the new play by late writer Nora Ephron, stars Tony nominee Tom Hanks as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike McAlary. Lucky Guy is characterized as "a new play about the scandal- and graffiti-ridden New York of the 1980s, as told through the story of the charismatic and controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. From his sensational reporting of New York’s major police corruption to the libel suit that nearly ended his career, the play dramatizes the story of McAlary's meteoric rise, fall and rise again, ending with his coverage of the Abner Louima case for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, shortly before his untimely death on Christmas Day, 1998." Visit LuckyGuyPlay.com.