The Very Best Of NYC Theatre

Exit Cuckoo, The Alice Complex, Twelfth Night and more!


Minding the young ‘uns is not for the faint of heart. Exit Cuckoo, playwright/actor Lisa Ramirez’s one-woman show about the challenges of childcare, runs Aug 3–9, blasting maternal myths wide open and offering an incisive glimpse into the lives of drastically different women with children. Ramirez recounts her experiences as a New York nanny through finely drawn vignettes in which she portrays a variety of roles and explores a wide array of maternal issues. Directed by May Adrales.

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Aug 9–21, see Tony nominee Xanthe Elbrick and Obie winner Lisa Banes play eleven different roles between them in The Alice Complex, Peter Barr Nickowitz’s new play about a women’s studies professor who throws a dinner party and gets more than she bargained for when one of her students arrives bearing an unusual parcel. Directed by Bill Oliver.

On balmy summer nights, why not take the indoor entertainment outside? Through Aug 24, head to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center for Lincoln Center Out of Doors, a three-week festival of free, world-class outdoor performances by the likes of “Soul Queen” Irma Thomas, folk singer Pete Seeger and dance troupes Evidence and Step Afrika!

Through Aug 24, New York Classical Theater presents George Bernard Shaw’s Misalliance in Central Park at 103rd Street and Central Park West. Director Stephen Burdman and the cast use trees, rocks and whatever else is handy as their set and scenery. No need to buy tickets or make reservations, so just show up to this free, outdoor play about a middle-class underwear salesman who breaks into the aristocracy and gets mired in romantic misadventure.

Through Aug 9, Point Productions presents Mythic Figurations: A Power Triptych, an original performance co-directed by company co-founder Samara Naeymi. Drawing upon a diverse range of influences from mythology to video games, Mythic Figurations reroutes the hero myth through the adventures of an office drone, a sleek assassin and a jaded has-been. Set design by Obie Award Winner Peter Ksander.

Aug 7–24, Pulse Ensemble Theater presents an urban interpretation of Shakespeare’s renaissance classic Twelfth Night, starring Raushanah Simmons as Viola and Annie Paul as Olivia. Set in modern-day New York City, the cross-dressing comedy of errors about love and mistaken identity plays with notions of cosmopolitan vanity and self-image. Says Director Alexa Kelly, “This production of Twelfth Night is loosely inspired by image-
conscious New Yorkers obsessed with their
fitness rituals.”

Aug 8–24, Shelly Feldman and Madalyn McKay star in the New York International Fringe Festival’s world premiere presentation of Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell: A Dark Comedy of Mythic Proportions. Written by David Stalling, the play explores what happens when women’s lib icon Anaïs Nin encounters Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Queen Victoria on an island in Hell, and begs the question of whether or not Sartre was correct in writing that “hell is other people.” Also starring Colleen Piquette as Joan of Arc and Marnie Schulenburg as Andromeda. Directed by Cristina Alicia.

On Aug 4 and 9, The Bad Musicals Festival presents The Great Plastic Surgeon of Oz, Zurbon Gish’s imaginative theatrical reinterpretation of the classic film about a trip to see the wizard. What if Dorothy were an aspiring porn star living in Van Nuys? Follow Dorothy and friends down the “Vulva Pink Road” toward some great and powerful equipment. Auntie Em and Uncle Henry would be shocked and appalled.

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