Dear theatre friend,
Now that the holidays are past, exciting plays are on the horizon– for a short time, some are even half-price. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the re-opening of intimate spaces which have weathered a 2 year crisis, as have we.
“On Sugarland” by Obie Award-winning playwright, Aleshea Harris, is one of 17 Off-Broadway shows offering 2 for 1 tickets at NYC Off-Broadway Week, February 14th-27th. New York Theatre Workshop will be presenting “On Sugarland” from February 3rd until mid-March. If you hadn’t seen Harris’s previous play, “Is God Is,” you might like to read this laudatory Guardian review.
Another on offer is “English,” a world premiere by multi- award winning playwright Sanaz Toossi at the Atlantic Theatre, February 4th- March 13th. Set in a language class in Iran, I can’t wait to compare this to my actual experience of attending a school in Isfahan about 20 years ago. Not only were the female-only students happy to pull off their chadors once the door was shut, but eager to show off their American tee shirts beneath. If I remember correctly, Tom Cruise was a favorite image!
The Irish Arts Center has enlarged their theatre programming in their new, expanded space. “The Same,” by the prolific Enda Walsh, will be on from February 16th- March 6th. Not only did it win the Irish Times’ Best Play Award in 2017, but both cast members, Eileen Walsh and Catherine Walsh, won Best Actress Awards. Here’s The Guardian review of the original staging in Cork. It’s not often we get to see the same production — please go, and pretend you’re in Ireland!
Unless you’re one of my London readers, you’ll miss the newest Florian Zeller play, “The Forest,” opening this month at The Hampstead. However, you can see another of Zeller’s masterful plays, now on film, “The Father,” courtesy of Prime Video. It stars the consummate actors, Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.Very rarely has the magic of a live performance been transferred to film so successfully– I found it to be as emotionally charged, one might say, devastating. A superb reason to stay at home!
I’ve been accused of only appreciating dark entertainments, however I’ll be off to The New Ohio Theatre to see “Jane Anger” by Talene Monahon. It’s been described as a “new Jacobean feminist revenge comedy.” If that doesn’t immediately grab you– it stars the enchanting Michael Urie. I’ll see anything he’s in!
In closing, The Public is presenting “Out of Time,” a world premiere of five monologues by Award-winning Asian American writers. It’s a co-produced with the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) and has a cast of actors all over 60, exploring themes of age, memory, identity.
After seeing octogenarian actor, Glenda Jackson’s astonishing performances in “King Lear” in 2016, then in Albee’s “Three Tall Women” in 2018, it’s clear that more attention must be paid to older actors’ work. They can bring so much depth to their roles, on stage and off.I congratulate NAATCO for highlighting a somewhat forgotten cohort.
That’s all for this month. Hope to see you again– in the theatre!
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.