The Very Best Of NYC Theatre

Distracted, Thirst, Rooftops and more…


Now playing off-Broadway is the New York premiere of Distracted, a fast-paced comedy about the tribulations of parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin, starring celesbian Cynthia Nixon as the mother of a young boy who may or may not be suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder. She scrambles to make sense of her son’s behavior by reaching out to the community around her, including neighbors, psychologists and teachers. The production did so well in previews that it has been extended to run through May 10.

Making its world premiere this month off-Broadway is Thirst: A Spell for Christabel, a play based on the unfinished gothic poem “Christabel” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which has been cited as an example of early lesbian erotic literature. The story follows Christabel and her father, hold-outs living in an abandoned forest that is dying from drought, who are visited by a mysterious woman that disrupts their very quiet world. The production has been commissioned for the inaugural show by First Light Productions, a new production group committed to developing and producing theater that “disrupt the perceptions of stereotypical stock characters in and throughout traditional media.”

Have you ever lost hours wondering just what might have happened when the self-doubting lesbian poet, Elizabeth Bishop, went to St. Elizabeth’s to visit the mentally incompetent poet-genius Ezra Pound? Well, fret no more! Inspired by the Bishop poem “Visits to St. Elizabeth’s” comes a new play, The Man in the Newspaper Hat, chronicling the fictionalized dramatization of what writer Hayley Heaton thinks might have happened in those encounters. If you have no idea what any of this means, don’t worry, there’s plenty of dynamic character juxtaposition to keep you rightly entertained.

Now playing through Mar 28 at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center is Rooftops, a satiric commentary on the current economic divide in America where one woman is ripped from her life of comfort and sent to a futuristic women’s debtor prison on top of a building.  These sedated women are subject to unlivable conditions and government experimentation, and are quickly deteriorating mentally and physically due to a diet of fast food chicken and forced procreation with the rooftop’s male watchdog. A point of interest about this show is the fact that 80% of the show’s lighting system is powered by a volunteer pedaling a bicycle at ten-to-twelve miles per hour (or else!) throughout the entire performance.

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