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Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 1/23/2008

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Spain - 1/23/2008

MCC Theater has announced the three productions comprising its upcoming 2007-8 season at the Lucille Lortel Theatre:

Spain, by Jim Knable, January 23-March 8, 2008

"Recently-divorced Barbara retreats into her very active imagination, in which she meets a sexy Conquistador. Together, they embark on an adventure she has long dreamed of, and she finds her self-confidence through an unconventional form of the simple act of love."

Individual tickets to all MCC productions are available through TicketCentral.com or by calling (212) 279-4200 once on-sale dates are announced to the general public. Subscriptions are available now and are as low as $50 for the entire season. For more information and to purchase packages, call Jessica Crone at (212) 727-7722, ext. 224. For more information, visit www.MCCTheater.org.

Tranced - 1/26/2008

San Jose Repertory Theatre, under the art direction of Timothy Near, announced their 2007-2008 Season with five of six plays. Near has assembled an entertaining, captivating and challenging season, balancing the revelations and excitement of contemporary plays with the thrill of seeing the classics innovatively interpreted and produced, a hallmark for Near and San Jose Rep.

The 2007-2008 Subscription Season is filled with romance, intrigue, suspense, music and laughter! Five of the six plays are announced.

Subscriptions are now available to renewing subscribers and reservations are being taken for new subscriptions. Prices begin at $222 for a six play subscription. For subscription tickets, call 408-367-7255 or buy online at www.SJRep.com:

Tranced January 26 – February 24, 2008 The new play by Robert Clyman calls into question the concept of 'truth' and explores the powerful art of persuasion. In this chilling psychological thriller, Philip is a highly respected psychiatrist famous for using "trancing," a form of hypnotism, to help his patients uncover suppressed memories. When he trances Azmera, a foreign grad student, he learns that her secret could have profound consequences for thousands of people in an African village. Enlisting the aid of an ambitious reporter with connections to the Director of African Affairs, Philip is pulled into a suspenseful vortex that calls into question the very nature of truth.

I Am My Own Wife - 1/25/2008

The New Conservatory Theatre Center has announced a diverse array of productions for Pride Season 2007-08.

Season subscriptions for Pride Season 2007-08 range from $140 to $280. This year, NCTC introduces a New Audience Flex Pass for ages 18-25, which includes all nine Pride Season productions for only $75, with a valid ID. Returning subscribers may purchase subscriptions for Pride Season 2007-2008 beginning April 2, and subscriptions will be available for new subscribers starting May 7.

Single tickets are $20-$40 and go on sale July 5, 2006. Season samplers (three-show subscriptions) range from $50-100. Single tickets and subscription packages are available through the NCTC Box Office at 415-861-8972 Wednesday through Saturday, 1:30-7PM, and Sunday through Tuesday, Noon-3PM. Tickets and subscriptions may also be purchased online at www.nctcsf.org. Student rush tickets may be purchased for $15 with a valid student ID at the NCTC box office two hours before the performance.

The New Conservatory Theatre Center is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue, near Market Street. I Am My Own Wife January 25 – March 2, 2008 Drama Written by Doug Wright Walker Theatre

Based on a true story, the Tony Award-winning I am My Own Wife tells the fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime

The Miracle Worker - Papermill - 1/23/2008

Paper Mill Playhouse, during its 2007-2008 season, will explore six outstanding titles with intergenerational appeal – some new to the Paper Mill stage and some returning favorites:

January 23-February 24 The Miracle Worker "Before Helen Keller became a world famous speaker, author, and advocate, she was a blind, deaf, and mostly mute child living in Alabama in the 1880's. Misunderstood, pitied, and consequently spoiled by her family, at the age of six she terrorized the household with her tantrums and tricks. Then, Anne Sullivan arrived. She was merely 20 years old herself, but Anne held the key that would unlock the door between Helen and the world. William Gibson's Tony Award-winning play (adapted into the Academy Award-winning film) unfolds the trials and tribulations Anne and Helen encountered as they forged what would become a 49-year-long friendship. From their isolation in the family cottage house to the watershed moment when Helen finally understood the concept of language and communication, The Miracle Worker is a profoundly moving retelling of the groundbreaking work of two pioneers, as well as the tender relationship between them."

The performance schedule for the 2007-2008 season at Paper Mill Playhouse is: Wednesdays at 7:30PM, Thursdays at 2:00PM & 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 2:00PM & 8:00PM and Sundays at 2:00PM & 7:30PM. Single tickets go on sale on August 13th and range in price from $25-$92. Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.

Mrs. Warren's Profession - 1/27/2008

Rep Stage. Through February 24. $15-$25. Wed - Thurs at 7:30PM, Fri - Sat at 8PM, Sat - Sun at 2:30PM. www.repstage.org 410-772-4900

Come Back, Little Sheba - 1/24/2008

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced its upcoming Broadway production of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba will be directed by Michael Pressman and will star Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winner and Tony Award nominee S. Epatha Merkerson.

The production of Inge's play will begin previews at the Biltmore Theatre (261 West 47th Street) on Thursday, January 3 and will open on Thursday, January 24.

"Lola (Merkerson) is a faded beauty queen trapped in a lonely marriage to Doc, a recovering alcoholic on the brink of relapse. When a pretty young woman becomes a boarder in their cluttered Midwest home, their lives are unsettled as unspoken passions rise to the surface. As the emptiness of their marriage is laid bare, can they find their way back to each other or will they be undone? S. Epatha Merkerson stars in this new production of William Inge's true American classic, an absorbing tale of lost hopes and unfulfilled promise, told with unflinching honesty and heartbreaking power," state press notes. For information on how to subscribe please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

The Sea - UK - 1/23/2008

Eileen Atkins and David Haig will lead the cast in Edward Bond's black and riotous comedy, The Sea, the second production in Jonathan Kent's Haymarket Season. The Sea will run from January 17 –April 19 with press night on January 23, 2008. Designs are by Paul Brown, with lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis - Kent's long term and regular collaborators who join him for the season.

"A wild storm shakes a small East Anglian seaside village and sets off a series of events that changes the lives of all its residents. Set in the high Edwardian world of 1907, The Sea is a fascinating blend of wild farce, high comedy, biting social satire and bleak poetic tragedy," explain press notes.

Theatre Royal Haymarket is located at Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT. Call the box office at 0870 4000 626 or visit www.trh.co.uk.

Performances are Monday – Saturday at 7.30PM; Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. The Sea (£20.00 - £47.50) plus concessions

Critics' Circle Theatre Awards - UK - 1/29/2008

The 19th Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, hosted by the Circle's Drama Section Chairman, Charles Spencer, theatre critic of The Daily Telegraph, will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.

Jerry Springer the Opera - 1/29/2008

The smash hit London musical Jerry Springer The Opera which will play Carnegie Hall (881 7th Avenue) for two nights only on January 29 and 30, 2008.

Joining Harvey Keitel as "Jerry Springer" are Max von Essen (Les Miserables) as "Tremont," a transsexual involved in a love quadrangle, and Tony Award Nominee Emily Skinner (Side Show) as "Andrea," whose diaper-loving husband is having an affair with Baby Jane. Also joining the cast are Linda Balgord (The Pirate Queen) as "Zandra, Irene & Mary," Lawrence Clayton (Bells are Ringing) as "Montel & Jesus," Luke Grooms as "Dwight & God," Sean Jennes as "Chucky," Sam Kitchin (Frozen) as "Steve," Patricia Phillips (The Phantom of the Opera) as "Peaches" and Laura Shoop (Bernarda Alba, Fiddler on the Roof) as "Baby Jane."

Tickets for Jerry Springer The Opera – In Concert are $175.00 - $59.00 and are available now through CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800 or www.carnegiehall.org or by visiting the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street & 7th Avenue). Performances are Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 8PM and Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 8PM

Three Travelers - 1/24/2008

Richard Abrons' comedy/drama, Three Travelers, at St. Clements Theatre (423 West 46th St.) Sunday, January 13, 2008. The official opening will be on Thursday, January 24, 2008. Jay Broad Directs.

"In Three Travelers, three jaded western tourists (a corporate whiz, his uptight wife and their free-spirited British friend) search for answers to their discontent by seeking wisdom in India from a world-famous, deceptively irreverent Guru," explain press notes.

Performances of Three Travelers are Tuesday – Saturday at 8PM and Saturday and Sunday at 3PM.

Tickets are $35 - Tuesday through Thursday and $45 Friday through Sunday and can be ordered through ticket central at 212.279.4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.

Late Nite Comic at Barnes & Noble - 1/28/2008

January is overflowing with musical and theater events at Barnes & Noble. Below are the Any Wednesday events for the month, followed by some musical theater events, and then other music events of interest. February, Barnes & Noble will be starting a new series on Monday nights at 6PM entitled "Cool Mondays," featuring the best in jazz.

All the programs below are free and open to the public, and take place in the spacious third floor event space of Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble at 66th St. and Broadway. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, please contact Bart Greenberg at AnyWednesdayBN@aol.com or 212-595-9340.

Monday, January 28 at 7PM Late Nite Comic: Lyricist/composer Brian Gari has realized his dream of an all-star recording of his 20 year old Broadway musical. Guests include Liz Larsen, Luba Mason, Seth Rudetsky, and Martin Vidnovic.

Betrayed - 1/25/2008

Culture Project will next produce the World Premiere of George Packer's new play Betrayed, directed by Pippin Parker in 2008. Marking Packer's playwriting debut, Betrayed will begin performances on Friday, January 25 at Culture Project's SoHo theater (55 Mercer Street). Opening Night is set for February 5, 2008.

"In early 2007, The New Yorker writer George Packer published an article about the desperate situation of the Iraqis who had risked their lives to help the American effort in their country and were being hunted down as a result, with little or no U.S. protection. The article helped draw national attention to a humanitarian crisis and a moral scandal. Betrayed, Packer's first play, based on his interviews in Iraq and other countries, tells the story of three young Iraqis - two men and a woman - who are motivated by hope to go work for the Americans, until they begin to wonder who, if anyone, can be trusted…"

Performances are Monday at 8PM, Wednesday – Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 3PM & 8PM and Sunday at 3PM. Tickets are priced at $25 - $60 and will be available beginning tomorrow by calling 212-352-3101 or visiting www.cultureproject.org

Amanda Green @ Birdland - 1/28/2008

Amanda Green appears at Birdland on Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7PM. Joining Amanda Green to pose the eternal question "Does This Song Make My Ass Look Phat?" will be Broadway dazzlers Brooks Ashmanskas, Jenn Colella, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Jeny Foote and Amy Spanger. Green and her star-studded cast will perform songs from many of her shows and projects, including High Fidelity, Feeling Electric, and Debbie Does Dallas. Tom Kitt, Green's co-composer on 2006's High Fidelity, will act as musical director for the evening.

Amanda Green performs Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7PM at Birdland, 315 West 44th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves), New York City.

Tickets: $25.00 + $10.00 Food/Drink Minimum (Per Person) Tickets can be purchased Online: www.BirdlandJazz.com; or by Telephone: 212.581.3080.

Bret Shuford @ Beechman - 1/27/2008

Bret Shuford (www.bretshuford.com), currently appearing in Disney's newest musical, The Little Mermaid, will make his solo cabaret debut on Sunday, January 27, 2008, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre at Westbank Café in New York City. The evening of contemporary and Broadway favorites, as well as compositions from multi-award-winning musical director Michael Holland, will begin at 9pm. There is a $25 cover and a $15 food and/or beverage minimum. For reservations call

Erin Wegner Brooks @ Broadway Baby Bistro - 1/24/2008

Catch Erin Wegner Brooks, with acclaimed Musical Director David Brunetti, in her debut solo concert, "Dare to Dream". An evening of inspiration from the Broadway songbook, "Dare to Dream" will show in The Music Box of the new Broadway Baby Bistro on Thursday, January 24th at 8:00pm. A concert for all audiences, "Dare to Dream" explores a singer's journey through Broadway auditions, life in the Big Apple, and the emotional highs and lows that come from pursuing a dream. Ms. Brooks has been praised for her "lush vocals" by John Curran of The Press of Atlantic City and can currently be seen as Mrs. Pinkerton in Pinkalicious at New World Stages.

The Music Box at Broadway Baby Bistro is located at 318 West 53rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. $12 music charge and a $15 Food/Drink minimum. Major credit cards accepted. Reservations: (212) 757 – 5808.

Friends With Benefits 3 - 1/28/2008

This is the third Friends With Benefits after 2 sold out shows! Hosted by MAC winner Amy Wolk and Mamma Mia's Gerard Salvador, Friends with Benefits 3 features scheduled guests Jonathan Groff (Sprink Awakening), Norm Lewis (The Little Mermaid), Titus Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Steve Rosen (The Farnsworth Invention), Justin Patterson (Young Frankenstein), Rob Evan (Jekyll and Hyde) and the After Party's Brandon Cutrell.

Friends with Benefits 3: Monday, January 28th 9:30 PM at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street). Tickets call 212-206-0440 reservations strongly suggested. $15 cover, 2 beverage minumim. All proceeds go to BCEFA

The Slugbearers of Kayrol Island - 1/25/2008

The Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre continues its 2007-08 Season with the unique new musical The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (Or, The Friends of Dr. Rushower) with libretto and drawings by Ben Katchor and music composed by Mark Mulcahy, with previews to begin January 25, prior to its official press opening on February 12 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street).

"Ben Katchor's drawings form the animated background for The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, set in and around Manhattan and on a tropical factory-island of exploited workers. For this unique new musical, Mr. Katchor was inspired by the tradition of the 'picture reciter,' a form of live entertainment from 17th-century India. Updating and exploring this tradition, he has created original, hand-drawn still and animated sequences which complement Mark Mulcahy's indie-rock score," explain press notes.

Bob McGrath is set to direct the ensemble cast led by Peter Friedman, Bobby Steggert, Stephen Lee Anderson and Tom Riis Farrell. John Carrafa (Urinetown) will choreograph. The cast of The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island includes Stephen Lee Anderson, Tom Riis Farrell, Jody Flader, Peter Friedman, Matt Pearson, Bobby Steggert and Will Swensen.

Performances of The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island run January 25 through March 2; Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $60; 2 hours prior to curtain, students may purchase any available seats for $20 each. Valid student ID required; limit 2 tickets per ID. For reservations and additional information about Vineyard Theatre, call 212-353-0303 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org

Straight Up with a Twist - 1/24/2008

The New York Off-Broadway premiere of the award-winning comedy Straight Up with a Twist, written and performed by Paul Stroili, and directed by Bill Penton begins previews Thursday, January 17, with the opening set for Thursday, January 24, 2008.

Straight Up with a Twist takes a look at one family, as they try to figure out a straight guy who says: "Don't call my house during the football game…that's when I vacuum!" Paul Stroili portrays his Bronx-born mother, his Italian father, his Goombah brother, and a host of other characters who struggle to understand a straight guy who "can't work power tools, but can perfectly fold a fitted sheet."

Performances are Thursday – Saturday at 8PM, Saturday at 3PM and Sunday at 3PM & 7PM at 115 MacDougal Street.

Tickets ($45) are available at Telecharge (212)239-6200 www.Telecharge.com or visit www.Straight-Up.com

The Odd Couple - LA Reprise! - 1/25/2008

Reprise! Broadway's Best, headed by artistic director Jason Alexander, is announcing casting for the staged reading of The Odd Couple.

Cleavant Derricks (Vinnie), Wayne Knight (Murray), Michael Kostroff (Speed) and Patrick Warburton (Roy) are announced to join Martin Short and Alexander in the staged reading of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple – which has two performances January 25 and 26 at the Wadsworth Theatre.

Tickets are on sale online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 714-740-7878, or by visiting Ticketmaster outlets, and at the Wadsworth Box Office, located on Wilshire Blvd, just west of the 405 freeway on the Veterans Administration grounds in West L.A. For more information visit reprise.org.

Ian Talbot Joins Hairspray UK - 1/28/2008

Ian Talbot will star as 'Wilbur Turnblad' in the smash hit award-winning musical Hairspray from Monday 28 January. He will join Michael Ball as 'Edna Turnblad', LeAnne Jones as 'Tracy Turnblad' and Ben James-Ellis as 'Link Larkin', who will all continue to star in the show until Saturday 25 October 2008.

Saturday Night Underground - 1/26/2008

On January 26, "Saturday Night Underground" welcomes an array of New York's most ground-breaking talent, including: Rent's Anthony Rapp, Look Ma… No Ears' Lindsey Alley, The Little Mermaid's Bret Shuford, and The Jewish Gay White MC Soce: The Elemental Wizard. Also new to the show is the Shot to Sing promotion where, each evening, audience members can win a free shot by singing a song from a particular theme. The theme for January 26 theme will be rock musicals. (Performance opportunities subject to the discretion of Ben Rimalower.)

The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located downstairs, within The West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd St. at 9th Avenue.) There is a full bar menu available, and reservations are not necessary for this event. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis, and priority may be given to those who wish to order from the bar menu. There is no cover charge.

Sunday in the Park with George - 1/25/2008

Sunday in the Park with George will begin previews on January 25, 2008 and open officially February 21, 2008 at Studio 54 on Broadway (254 West 54th Street). This will be a limited engagement.

"The Georges Seurat painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, is the inspiration for this compelling musical fantasy which celebrates the art of creation and the creation of art," describe press notes, "The first half of Sunday in the Park with George, set in 1884, sees the painting and its rich comic tapestry come to life in a world where, for Georges, art comes before love, before everything. In the second half, set in 1980s New York, we see the great grandson of Georges and his search for inspiration amongst the unfolding world of contemporary art."

Jenna Russell (Dot/Marie) and Daniel Evans (George) star, with Michael Cumpsty (Jules/Bob), Alexander Gemignani (Boatman/Dennis) and Jessica Molaskey (Yvonne/Naomi) with Mary Beth Peil (Old Lady/Blair). The Menier Chocolate Factory's Olivier Award winning production is directed by Sam Buntrock with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli.

The cast will also include Ed Dixon (Mr. Charles), Santino Fontana (Soldier/Alex), Kelsey Fowler (Louise), Jessica Grove (Celeste #2/Silent Artist), Alison Horowitz (Louise), Stacie Morgain Lewis (Frieda/Betty), Drew McVety (Louis/Billy), Anne Nathan (Nurse/Mrs. Harriet), Brynn O'Malley (Celeste #1), David Turner (Franz/Lee).

Tickets are available at Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the Studio 54 Box Office (254 West 54th Street). Through ACCESS Roundabout, 100 tickets will be available for the first preview performance (January 25) for only $10 each. Sunday in the Park with George will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8PM with a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2PM.

The Phantom of the Opera - 20th Anniversary - 1/26/2008

The most successful stage musical of all time, the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Group, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, will reach an unprecedented milestone when it celebrates its 20th Anniversary on Broadway on Saturday, January 26. On that date, playing its 8,138th and 8,139th performances at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street), it will become the first Broadway production ever to run 20 years.

The longest-running show in Broadway history (a feat it achieved in January 2006 when it surpassed the then-record run of Cats), the musical is the winner of 7 1988 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Since its Broadway debut on January 26, 1988, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed over $675 million, making it the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. Total New York attendance is at 12.5 million. It has since gone on to play over 8,000 performances – the only show in Broadway history to do so – and all with no end in sight.

The Man and His Muse - 1/28/2008

Internationally award-winning storyteller and author Syd Lieberman brings us his hilarious take on growing up and raising a family in Chicago, his signature rendering of literary and Jewish tales, and his captivating personality. He may even croon some show tunes.

January 28, 2008: 2PM and 8PM: Caldwell Theatre Co (7901 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton FL 33487). Call 561-241-7432. www.caldwelltheatre.com

Celebrity Autobiography - 1/28/2008

"Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words," the acclaimed, long-running L.A-based comedy sensation will return to New York City on Monday, January 28, 2008 at The Triad Theater (158 West 72nd  Street).  "Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words" will play a strictly-limited six-week engagement, performing weekly on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. from January 28 – March 3. Tickets are scaled at $35 - $45 (plus a 2 dink minimum). A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Actors' Fund.

The line up of revolving performers who will interpret the actual words and stories written by the famous and the infamous will include Xanadu stars Jackie Hoffman, Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Roberts and Mary Testa; two-time Emmy Award winner Kristen Johnston; Tony Award winner Andrea Martin (Young Frankenstein), Tony winner Karen Ziemba (Curtains), Rachel Dratch ("Saturday Night Live"), Richard Kind ("Spin City" and The Producers on Broadway); Seth Rudetsky (The Ritz); Jack Plotnick ("Lovespring International"), Dayle Reyfel and creator Eugene Pack, as well as other participants to be announced shortly, and weekly surprise guests.

Tickets for "Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words" are scaled at $35.00 - $45.00 (plus a 2 drink minimum).  Tickets are available in advance through Smartix by phone at 212-868-4444 or online at SmartTix.com.


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From This Author Eugene Lovendusky

Eugene Lovendusky graduated summa cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Writing for Electronic Media and a minor in Drama. Raised in the SF (read more...)