The Very Best of NYC Theater

Saint Joan, Broken Nails, Let Them Eat Cake

The Queens Players present George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. In 1431 Jeanne d’Arc—a young peasant girl who led an army—was burned at the stake as a heretic. Shaw referred to the heroine as “the most notable warrior saint in the Christian calendar, and the queerest fish among the eccentric worthies of the Middle Ages.” Burned for her alleged heresy, witchcraft and sorcery at the age of 19, Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint in 1920. Thru Nov 13.

Broken Nails: A Marlene Dietrich Dialogue makes its New York premier at La MaMa E.T.C. Nov 11-21. Beautiful, intelligent and controversial, screen siren Marlene Dietrich continues to fascinate both women and men in death as she did in life. Anna Skubik, a Polish actress and puppeteer, animates the German icon in the form of a life-size puppet dramatizing the star’s last days in Paris.

See the world premiere of Holly Hughes’ Let Them Eat Cake at Dixon Place beginning Dec 2. A show about marriage equality from the wrong side of the tracks, Hughes’ new tour-de-force purports to be the wedding nightmare your mother warned you about. Guests are asked to salvage the situation by interrogating what it means to be married, single, gay, straight, commitment-phobic, a joiner, included or jeering from the outskirts. On opening night a special Dixon Place benefit performance includes a post-show talk back with special guests and, of course, cake.

Bread and Puppet Theater at Theater for the New City presents The Decapitalization Circus Dec 2-19. In numerous death-defying stunts, performers demonstrate the effects of capitalization on life in the U.S. and citizens’ courageous efforts to decapitalize the same. The performers represent the whole scale of the financial spectrum, from benign billionairism to despicable homeless anti-social-elementarianism. The Possibilitarians, a multi-instrumental variety ensemble, provide the appropriate/inappropriate sounds for the circus.

The lovely ladies of Naked in a Fishbowl perform every Monday night through Dec 27 at the SoHo Playhouse. With raw humor, startling honesty and infectious comedy, this unscripted, episodic show eavesdrops on the lives of six friends in New York City. Audiences return to watch a new story unfold every Monday night as the actresses begin with a new location and scenario and then fully improvise the evening’s performance. The lives of Bonnie, Jean, Sara, and Sophie are completely exposed in original performances that have been called “smart, honest and definitely fearless.”

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