Monday, February 24, 2014

British Invasion: March 2014

In this month's report on British artists in New York, we've got writers, directors, and productions coming to town.  For your British flavor this month, think a strong cup of tea.

As before my measurement of excitement for these British works are ranked on a Kitson scale of 1 (no excitement) to 10 (all the excitement). 

Cabaret (Mar. 21-Aug. 31):  It's déjà vu all over again for this Sam Mendes/Rob Ashford production which first came to Broadway in 1998 but was a production first born at the Donmar Warehouse in 1993 with Mendes at the helm and Alan Cumming as the Emcee.  Performances start at Studio 54 this month. I'm seeing this but having seen it back in 1998, I'm at about 4 Kitsons.

Red Velvet (Mar. 25-Apr. 20): I've been anxiously anticipating this production which comes to New York from two sell-out runs at the Tricycle Theater in London. Starring Adrian Lester and written by his wife Lolita Chakrabarti, this play about a historic figure Ira Aldridge, a leading African-American actor who makes his West End debut in Othello, comes to St. Ann's Warehouse. With the positive notices this has received and Adrian Lester's long absence from the New York stage I am at 7 Kitsons for this show.

Stockholm (Mar. 5-29):  British playwright Bryony Lavery (Frozen) wrote this show in 2007.  It received positive notice by Ben Brantley last year in a production in Hudson, NY.  Now it is making its premiere in New York City through the One Year Lease Theater Company at 59E59 Theaters.  A ripped-from-the-headlines story about a couple who dance around love and danger.  A company I am not familiar with but an interesting premise and writer, so I'd say 5 Kitsons.

Beauty and the Beast (Mar. 13-30): From the artistic director of the British theater company Improbable, and starring well-known British, disabled actor Mat Fraser and his wife, American burlesque performer Julie Atlas Muz, comes a sexually explicit exploration of Beauty and the Beast, tackling sex and disability head-on.  This work was originally presented in New York in 2009 and since then the stars brought on board Phelim MacDermott to move the burlesque material into the theater space.  What the what?  I'm on a bit of theater hiatus this month...but hope some folks check this out.  6 Kitsons of curiosity.

Continuing from last month's report or ongoing:

A Doll's House (through Mar. 16) at BAM. It's a must see.  Gorgeous direction, compelling performances, and the door slam heard 'round the world continues to incite conversation and discussion afterwards.  7 Kitsons.  Worth your time especially if you've never seen this play before.

Love and Information (through Apr. 6):  Now extended this excellent Caryl Churchill play pushes the limits of how much your mind can hold when 100 characters and 50+ scenes flash before your eyes.  But it all adds up to a very exciting experience.   My review. 8 Kitsons.  Fast and furious and impressive. 

Antony and Cleopatra (through Mar. 23): A Royal Shakespeare Company co-production adapted and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney.  4 mildly interested Kitsons.

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