The Very Best of NYC Theater

From pulp lesbians to dysfunctional family dynamics and more…


Tony and Emmy Award-winner Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner have joined the producing team of Off-Broadway’s new adaptation of the Beebo Brinker Chronicles, now through Apr 27 at 37 Arts. Fueled by booze and furtive sex, Beebo Brinker Chronicles follows the lives and loves of four friends in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village. Beth and Laura, secret lovers in college, still pine for each other. Before they can reunite, they find themselves entangled in a web spun by Beebo Brinker, a butch denizen of the underground bar scene, and Jack, a flamboyant fop with caustic wit.

Jonathan Wallace explores dysfunctional family dynamics set against an era of rampant software development and high-stakes corporate acquisitions in the new drama shapeshifter, at the Barrow Group’s Studio Theatre Mar 9–23. The play traces the lives of three siblings making a living in the software industry, including Deirdre, a shy, non-materialistic program designer who just wants a quiet life with her lover Victoria and struggles for her family’s approval when balking at the prospect of selling some of her software for millions. Amid business meetings and family confrontations on a Montauk beach, identities and personalities are dissected as we realize that adaptation (i.e. “shapeshifting”) can be just as detrimental as the refusal to change at all.

Unlike most of the stage works about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, 27 Rue de Fleurus is told from Alice’s point of view. In this new play (now through Apr 6 at Urban Stages), Gertrude grows tired of Alice’s lack of panache for telling her perspective of their story and attempts to hijack the play as only the author of such lines as “sugar is not a vegetable” can. But Alice has secrets to share with the audience that silence the famously verbose Gertrude. This celebrated couple confronts each other about love, marriage, jealousy, genius and a few other delicious topics while Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mabel Dodge, Sylvia Beach and even Jean Harlow drop by for a visit.

Mar 21–Apr 5 at the WorkShop Theater Company’s Jewel Box Theater, the new play A Brush With Georgia O’Keeffe takes a fresh and inspiring new look at the life of this renowned American painter (1887–1986) who, born on farmland in Wisconsin, managed to escape the limitations of gender, poverty and isolation to become the most distinguished American female artist of the 20th century. This compelling story, told with grace, passion and wit, spans approximately ninety-five years of O’Keeffe’s remarkable life.

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