The Very Best Of NYC Theatre (October 2009)

Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Diary Of Anne Frankenstein and more!

Following revelatory sell-out seasons at La Mama Melbourne and Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, A Quarreling Pair by Australia’s Aphids returns to its inspirational and intellectual source, NYC. Presented by La MaMa E.T.C., A Quarreling Pair is an evening of three miniature puppet plays including the play by that name written by American avant-garde writer Jane Bowles in the 1940s. Bowles’ play is an intense study of the desire to feel both safe and free in our most precious relationships. Aphids’ evening adds two more plays for the same two sister characters: Mr. Peterson’s Milk by Lally Katz, where the sisters are fearlessly together, sharing a surreal adventure inside the milkman’s brain; and Cynthia Troup’s And When They Were Good finds the sisters restless, inhabiting an old fairytale. Both plays are filled with Bowles’ unique blend of comedy and dark candour and elaborate on her ambivalent imagery.
Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey portrays that great woman of American letters—letters from readers seeking advice, that is—the legendary, columnist Ann Landers in David Rambo’s play The Lady With All The Answers. Drawn from Landers’ life and letters, the play is a touching and comic portrait of a wise, funny, no-nonsense woman who was, in fact, one of the most influential figures in America. Virtually millions of readers wrote to her seeking her advice and sometimes controversial opinions on matters ranging from marriage, divorce, life, death and sexuality, to the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom.

It’s half past one in the fabulously cluttered Cavendish duplex in the East Fifties, and anyone who’s anyone is still asleep. So begins The Royal Family, the classic comedy of theatrical manners presented by The Manhattan Theatre Club. This devilishly funny play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber follows the Cavendishes, a famous family of stage stars, as they go about the drama of the day: choosing scripts, dashing off to a performance, and stealing kisses with handsome beaus. But what’s this business about the younger Miss Cavendish wanting to quit the stage for domestic bliss? Never, darling!

Don’t miss Carrie Fisher as the life of the party in Wishful Drinking, an uproarious and sobering look at her Hollywood hangover which runs through Jan 3 at Studio 54. Fisher brings her Postcards from the Edge wit to this story of her battle with addiction, depression and being every young boy’s Star Wars wet dream.

The groundbreaking epilogue to the Laramie Project, entitled The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, will be performed in New York at Lincoln Center and over 150 other theaters across the country on Oct 12. The Lincoln Center premiere will feature a pre-show that will be webcast live to the other productions and include guest host Glenn Close, welcoming remarks by Judy Shepard and a post-production Q&A moderated by National Public Radio Arts and Culture correspondent Neda Ulabay. The epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community.

Mary Shelley-meets-Hitler in New Absurdist Comedy The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein opening Oct 4 at the 13th Street Rep. Directed by Elizabeth Elkins the play follows Anne, a lowly hermaphroditic Franken-girl with big dreams and an even bigger diary, as she comes of age in the attic of an abandoned genetics laboratory in Bavaria in 1945. After years of peaceful anonymity, Anne’s privacy comes to an end when her cruel and twisted creator, Dr. Gustav Frankenstein, returns to the defunct compound with an eye toward his most fiendish experiment yet—the resurrection of Adolf Hitler!

For all dates, times and locations, see the arts and entertainment listings.

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