13 March 2007

OMG Totes Awesome

If you don't have friends who work at Playwrights Horizons, may I strongly encourage you to subscribe to their 2007-2008 season? It's just been announced (5/6ths of the way), and it is, as I said above, totes awesome. (Richard Nelson who?) Behold:

Kate Fodor's 100 Saints You Should Know - world premiere August/September 2007, PH's Mainstage.
Theresa cleans the rectory of the local parish to support her unruly teenage daughter. When its priest is forced to leave the church under uncertain circumstances and return home to his protective mother, Theresa finds herself compelled to pursue him. One eventful night joins them all, forcing a reckoning with the broken memories and shaken faith that divides them – and the discovery of a shared, tenuous common ground.

I read this play a while ago, and it's lovely. Realism about a disgraced priest? Yes. I love it.

Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending - world premiere September 2007, PH's Peter Jay Sharp Theater.
Having recently graduated from a major conservatory, and with a rocker boyfriend on the brink of stardom, aspiring composer Amanda Blue's 'extraordinary life' seems to be all mapped out. But when she's called home to answer her mother's distress call about a marital crisis, Amanda's grand plan starts to unravel. A Feminine Ending is a bittersweet new play about dreams deferred, loves lost, and learning to trust a woman's voice in a man's world.

I know nothing about this play. The synopsis scares me a bit, but what synopsis doesn't? Moving on...

Jordan Harrison's Doris to Darlene - world premiere November 2007, PH's Mainstage.
In the candy-colored 1960s, a biracial schoolgirl named Doris is molded into pop star Darlene by a whiz-kid record producer who culls a top-ten hit out of Wagner's Liebestod. Rewind to the candy-colored 1860s, where Richard Wagner is writing the melody that will become Darlene's hit song. Fast-forward to the not-so-candy-colored present, where a teenager obsesses over Darlene's music — and his music teacher. Three dissonant decades merge into an unlikely harmony in this time-jumping pop fairy tale about the dreams and disasters behind one transcendent song.

This is the one that really drives me crazy. With theatrical lust. And drives me to employ "OMG," because that's the only way to capture in words (or letters) the way my heart burns at the mention of this production, which is, for the record, with the unbridled passion of a 12-year-old about to meet a New Kid on the Block. Is it possible that Jordan hasn't had a real New York production yet? Apparently. But it's crazy. This is a knock-out brilliant wonderful beautiful lyrical magical play. Les Waters is directing. He's absolutely perfect. I guess I'm looking forward to it, or whatever.

Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone — New York City premiere winter/spring 2008, PH's Mainstage. Director to be announced. This is a Playwrights Horizons-commissioned play. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. in Washington, DC, will present the play's world premiere in June 2007.
Gordon is dead, but his cell phone lives on. When Jean, an empathetic museum worker, answers his ringing phone beside her in a café, she is soon playing unwitting comforter and confessor to the man's grieving friends and family. Before she knows it, Jean's ensnarled in the underbelly of the dead man's bizarre life. A wildly imaginative new comedy, Dead Man's Cell Phone is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technology-obsessed world.
We all know I love the Sarah Ruhl. (Remember?) Eurydice at Second Stage this May is going to rock your world. I think Dead Man's Cell Phone is going to be awesome. I think Clean House at Lincoln Center was an unfortunate fluke. Have faith. Charles Isherwood has devoted all of his available correct insights to the goodness of Sarah's writing, leaving him otherwise bereft, but giving her appropriate buzz.

Adam Bock's The Drunken City - New York City premiere spring 2008, PH's Peter Jay Sharp Theater.
Off on the bar crawl to end all crawls, three twenty-something brides-to-be find their lives going topsy-turvy when one of them suddenly begins to question her future after a chance encounter with a recently jilted handsome stranger. A unique theatrical take on the mystique of marriage and the ever-shifting nature of love and identity in a city that never sleeps.
This is a fun, sweet, funny play. I always want it to be not quite as light as it is - maybe that'll get fixed, or come through in production, or maybe it'll stay a tender confection, and still be great because Adam's a great writer, doing interesting things with theatre and language. How about that?

There's still one play to be announced, but it would be almost impossible to make this season suck. Yes, sometimes good plays get bad productions. But for a season of exciting plays by exciting writers, this is hard to beat. Especially from such a sturdy institution. (Mad, mad props to Tim Sanford. I hope your marketing department doesn't go all hara-kiri.) I doubt subscriptions are on sale yet, but when they are, I can't imagine it won't be worth it. They have a student subscription and an under-30 deal, and then all sorts of flex passes and whatnot. Hell, they do volunteer ushers. Just see these plays.

And no, I don't work for PH. (I realize I've been a little heavy on the promotion lately.) Could I really be this shameless if I did? Okay, I spent one summer a few years ago working in their telemarketing office. And damned if I don't wish I had a season like this to try to sell. ("So, this first play's about an American family in Italy, where a dark secret comes out. Next up is a play about a mother and daughter, with a dark family secret. And lastly a mother and her adopted daughter, and the dark secret between them.") Not that they shouldn't be paying me for this completely indecorous gushing. But you put all those awesome people (three Brown MFAs) in one season, and I'm basically reduced to mush. Thanks, Playwrights Horizons. Thanks a lot.

1 comment:

JJW said...

a totes from me to answer your totes.

i mirror your excitement for simliar reasons. isn't it nice for institutions to be supporting a rennaisance of new work from such exciting writers. totes.

(hi. i've been reading for awhile, but the mood just struck me to respond.)

yes, totes.

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