Fall Arts Guide 2012: Theater
Performances begin October 7
Ayad Akhtar has little to feel ashamed about. A longtime stage and film actor, he has recently reinvented himself as a man of letters, releasing his first novel, American Dervish, and also unveiling this play about a man professionally assured and spiritually adrift. Staged by Kimberly Senior for LCT3, in the recently opened Claire Tow space at Lincoln Center, the script concerns Amir Kapoor, a successful Pakistani-American attorney who's about to undergo the trial of his life—at his artist wife's dinner party. Claire Tow Theater, 150 West 65th Street, lincolncenter.org
Performances begin October 12
'The Great God Pan'
Performances begin November 23
Either one portly actor is eating himself sick or the Playwrights Horizons' props department is already working on a series of prostheses for the protagonist of The Whale, Samuel D. Hunter's new play about a 600-pound man. If Charlie is destroying himself physically—via fried chicken and hoagies—the hero of Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan, downstairs in the main stage, is suffering psychologically, when a visit from a childhood friend uncovers incidents of abuse. Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, playwrightshorizons.org
Performances begin October 25
Performances begin December 18
P.S.122 looks to be having a sweet time in exile. While renovations to its First Avenue space take place, it has decamped to Long Island City for two co-productions with the toothsome Chocolate Factory. In the first, Big Dance partners with playwright Sibyl Kempson for a five-character harvest-festival piece scripted in an invented language. Then, playwright Kristen Kosmas crafts a new duet from a forgotten character in Chekhov's Three Sisters. The Chocolate Factory, 5-49 49th Avenue, Queens, chocolatefactorytheater.org
'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike'
Performances begin October 25
We'll drink, Uncle Vanya, we'll drink to this new Christopher Durang comedy at Lincoln Center, which satirizes several of Anton Chekhov's mournful characters. Vodka and tears flow in present-day Bucks County as put-upon Vanya and Sonia await the arrival of Vanya's actress sister and her latest lover. There's also a prophetic cleaning woman and very likely a seagull, all served up by director Nicholas Martin with a cherry orchard on top. Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 West 65th Street, lincolncenter.org
Performances begin October 26
Composer Michael John LaChiusa and playwright Sybille Pearson take great gulps of Texas tea in their musical adaptation of Edna Ferber's petroleum-fueled epic. Set amid two generations of sturdy Texas ranchers and slick oilmen, this sprawling new tuner at the Public Theater concerns marriage, miscegenation, revenge, and betrayal. Michael Greif directs the Lone Star saga, with Texas-two-step choreography from Alex Sanchez, in this co-production with Dallas Theater Center. Will they strike black gold? The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, publictheater.org
Performances begin October 30
Don't fidget, don't cough, don't text or tweet or sleep. And definitely don't sit back and relax. The latest show from Ontroerend Goed, an experimental Belgian collective last seen at Under the Radar, forces viewers to take an active role in the theatrical experience. Reframing the boundary between spectacle and spectator, this show at NYU's Skirball uses a digital camera and four bullying actors to turn ticket holders into the show itself. NYU Skirball Center, 566 La Guardia Place, nyuskirball.org
Performances begin November 16
Toga? Yes! Party? Not exactly. Director Ivo van Hove and his Toneelgroep Amsterdam specialize in making subtext super—taking characters' underlying lusts, fears, and aggressions and physicalizing them, often violently. At BAM's Next Wave Festival, they'll rev up Roman Tragedies, an ambitious trilogy compressing three of Shakespeare's classical downers (Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus) into one grand five-hour epic. There aren't any intermissions, but should you feel thirsty and/or brave, there is an onstage bar. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org
'Water by the Spoonful'
Performances begin December 11
New York audiences might have felt high and dry at the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize for this Quiara Alegría Hudes play, which had yet to premiere here. But local viewers can now get locally soaked as Second Stage offers Hudes's elaborate script, the second in a poignant trilogy based on the lives of her aunts, uncles, and cousins. Davis McCallum directs this story of addiction, recovery, forgiveness, injustice, and the healing power of the Internet. Second Stage Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street, 2st.com
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