Six plays to see in New York

Sara is going to New York in late December (2012) and is compiling a list of plays to see while she is there and wanted my opinion. (See Four Shows and a Wedding for how she wrangles tickets for so many plays.)

I made a short list. I eliminated musicals which usually speak for themselves and need no annotation from me, and I eliminated anything too far out. The list and descriptions are from www.broadway.com/ and the annotations in italics are mine.

1. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike — Off-Broadway

Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce star in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Christopher Durang’s Chevhov-centric new play.

This to me is a flat out MUST SEE. Christopher Durang is my all-time favorite. If you find you like his humor, have I got a monologue for you: Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You.

Sigourney Weaver – I’ve  mentioned her before – is someone whose work you need to study. She is sublime in so many kinds of roles.

Thing is, you may need to be familiar with Chekov’s plays to fully get this. But even if you don’t know Chekov, Durang’s comedy is always delicious madness!

2. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — Broadway

Steppenwolf’s production of Edward Albee’s classic arrives on Broadway starring Tracy Letts and Amy Morton.

Another MUST SEE. A play you need to know with performances by two notable people. Tracy Letts is a playwright as well as an actor and wrote August: Osage County which featured Amy Morton, who was so wonderful. I can absolutely see her as Martha.

3. If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet — Off-Broadway

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Nick Payne’s comic drama.

Excellent review from The New Yorker. New-ish play that sounds interesting. Read The New Yorker synopsis

4. The Heiress — Broadway

Jessica Chastain, David Straithairn and Dan Stevens star in the Broadway revival of Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s drama.

The review I read wasn’t good, specifically Jessica Chastain, but I would see this because Chastain is a good actor and will be even better because of this misstep. I also like Straithairn. Another reason to see it is because you need to know this play.

5. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof — Broadway

Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker star in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic.

This hasn’t opened yet, but it is a play you need to know and it wouldn’t hurt to see Scarlett Johansson in this role that Elizabeth Taylor all but defined in the movie version. Debra Monk is in it and is always a welcome addition to any cast. Benjamin Walker (hey! he’s married to Meryl Streep’s daughter) is already a good actor (he graduated from Julliard and so did Jessica Chastain.) It previews beginning Tuesday, December 18 and opens Thursday, January 17, 2013.
6. Picnic — Broadway

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the Broadway revival of William Inge’s comedy.

Don’t know a thing about this production, except that it features Maggie Grace, Sebastian Stan, and Ellen Burstyn (who’s work you need to know). Picnic is a play you need to know. Just see it if you can.

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