7 Days On Stage

/ Dance

Recently noted:

33 TO NOTHING Sex, isolation, alcohol, and angst have been the staples of gay theater since “The Boys in the Band.” Can there be anything at all new to say on these topics? Astonishingly, the answer is “yes,” at least in the case of the compelling and gently exciting “33 to Nothing,” a play with music by Grant James Varjas. Bottle Factory Theater, 195 E. 3rd St. $19-$30; 212-868-4444. Through Apr. 29. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Bridge and Tunnel In putting together “Bridge and Tunnel,” poet/playwright Sarah Jones demonstrates that she is an accomplished technician and mimic—and not very much more. Her ability to assume accents and to do them consistently is impressive. However, like any mechanical trick, it quickly loses its power to fascinate. Jones portrays a variety of characters who have come to a poetry slam in South Queens—all immigrants who have somehow come together through the Internet—the force of poetry being sufficient to eradicate all preconceptions, racial or religious stereotypes. Would that it were true. Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th St. Through Jul. 9. $26.25-$86.25 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DEFIANCE A Pulitzer Prize. Four Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Director. The highest-grossing Broadway play of all time. That’s the glory that is “Doubt,” the 2005 provocative stunner authored by John Patrick Shanley and directed by Doug Hughes. And it’s still going gangbusters. But what’s this—the duo back with another work? And it’s not just any old play, but “Defiance,” the second in a proposed trilogy of “hierarchy plays” in which Shanley exposes the decay and hypocrisy of once-sacred institutions. New York City Center Stage 1, 131 W. 55th St. Through Apr. 30. $65 at 212-581-1212 (David Kennerley)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

GREY GARDENS Beyond the structure and writing, the power of this show comes from the breathtaking performance of Christine Ebersole as Edith in the first act and Little Edie in the second. Ebersole does things with her beautiful soprano that can only be called alarming, and if you’ve seen the movie, she perfectly captures the cadence and vocal placement of Little Edie. What is most remarkable about both performances is the way in which she sustains the inherent tension of the characters and their inner lives. Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. $65 at 212-279-4200. Through Apr. 30. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

In Delirium: After The Sorrows of Young Werther Psychosis has never seemed so seductive than in this magnificent, one-person show. Adapted from the Goethe novel by Gisela Cardenas and Joshua Randall, this is the kind of theater one longs for but so seldom sees. It is a fully integrated, tightly constructed 65 minutes that leads us into a world of Wether’s mind and his ultimate tragedy. The stunning staging by Cardenas and the breathtaking and powerful performance by Randall achieve a kind of beauty, for all the darkness of the material, that makes this a rich and exhilarating piece of art. Sanford Meisner Theater, 164 11th Ave. at 22nd St. $15 at 212-352-3101. Through Apr. 23. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LOS BIG NAMES They say you can never go home, and when openly lesbian comedian Marga Gomez returned from L.A. to discover the house she grew up in was gone, this idiom became literal. Gomez was the only child of Willy Chevalier and Margarita Estremera, two big stars in New York’s Latin scene in the ‘60s, and she worked to become a successful lesbian comedian B.E.—before Ellen. In her new one-woman show “Los Big Names”—the first off-Broadway solo show by a Latina lesbian—she charts her tumultuous life and career, pays homage to her parents, and finally finds a place for herself. The 47th Street Theater, 304 W. 47th St. Through May 14. $30-45 at 212-239-6200. (Winnie McCroy).

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

THE PAJAMA GAME Kathleen Marshall’s bold, bright and exuberant revival of “The Pajama Game” is the perfect antidote to the midwinter blues. This classic show from 1954 that generally inspires groans when people talk about it—conjuring as it does images of bad high school and summer stock productions—is much more likely to inspire awe in the energetic and carefree production. Don’t ask for anything but to be entertained. The Roundabout Theater Company, American Airlines Theater, 227 W. 42nd St. Through Jun. 11. $66.25-$111.25 at 212-719-1300. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

RED LIGHT WINTER When sex is commodified, is love possible? Does anyone care? These are the questions that haunt one long after the end of Adam Rapp’s most mature drama to date. What makes the play so amazing is that Rapp, who also directed beautifully, has balanced the simplicity of a love triangle with the complexity of the emotions and the larger-scale sense of a world that has spun out of control. There is no happy ending for any of the characters, and the tragedies have an almost classic purity brought down to a paltry human scale. Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave. So. $65 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

RING OF FIRE. The so-called tribute to the music of Johnny Cash is an almost intolerably tedious jukebox musical, rattling around with “Good Vibrations” at the bottom of the cracker barrel. Richard Maltby Jr., who rustled up this mess, has strung a lot of Cash songs together and pretended it was a show. He assembled a talented cast of singers, but by the end of the first act, it’s apparent that Johnny Cash recorded the same song over and over and over. Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St. $86.25-$101.25 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

A SAFE HARBOR FOR ELIZABETH BISHOP “A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop” has so much going for it on paper it’s a shame it never realizes its potential. Taking as its source the poetry and writing of Elizabeth Bishop, there is a wealth of passion and depth that Marta Góes never finds in her play. Indeed, the best parts are the poems themselves, and their lyrical economy. It’s clear that Góes has tried to use this as a structural guide for her play, but instead of the compact and focused images Bishop delivers, this series of short scenes fails to match their emotional depth. Primary Stages, 59 E 59th St. Through Apr. 30. $60 at 212-279-4200. (Christopher Byrne).

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

SWEENEY TODD Rich in storytelling, gripping in intellectual scope, and performed by a superlative cast, this quintessential 20th century musical, with book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has been reconceived for today’s world. Intimate, gripping, and more darkly disturbing than previous productions, it is political theater of the first order in the guise of a seat-edge storytelling experience. The Eugene O’Neill Theater, 230 W. 49th St. $35-$100 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

WELL “Why can’t you make yourself well?” the tearful, exasperated Lisa Kron asks her mother towards the climax of “Well,” her comic bio-play that she initially denies is about herself, or her mother. She declares the work a “multi-character theatrical exploration of issues of health and illness both in the individual and in a community.” By offering glimpses from her childhood, the 45 year-old Kron hopes to elucidate why some people get sick and then get better, while others spend their entire lives in a chronic miasma of unwellness, dragging down everyone around them. Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St. $26.25-$86.25 at 212-239-6200. (David Kennerley)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Services

gaycitynews.com

>