Openings and Previews



Lea Salonga and George Takei star in a musical based on Takei's childhood experiences in Japanese-American internment camps, written by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione. Stafford Arima directs. In previews.

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Before Your Very Eyes


The European collective Gob Squad stages a play based on observations of New York kids, in which seven characters fast-forward from adolescence to old age as the audience watches from behind one-way mirrors. In previews. Opens Oct. 26.

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Dada Woof Papa Hot

Mitzi E. Newhouse

Scott Ellis directs a play by Peter Parnell ("QED"), in which two gay couples with kids navigate the pitfalls of urban parenting. In previews.

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First Daughter Suite


Michael John LaChiusa’s new musical imagines the inner lives of Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Patti Davis, Amy Carter, and other Presidential daughters. With Rachel Bay Jones, Mary Testa, and Barbara Walsh. Opens Oct. 21.

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Sarah Benson directs a new musical by César Alvarez and his indie band, the Lisps, in which a Civil War soldier and a mathematical genius try to invent a machine that will create utopia. In previews. Opens Oct. 20.

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Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King

Cherry Lane

Minhaj, the comedian and "Daily Show" correspondent, performs a solo show about being a first-generation Indian-American. In previews. Opens Oct. 23.

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Helen Lawrence

BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House

At the Next Wave Festival, Stan Douglas directs a multimedia piece set in nineteen-forties Vancouver, in which the actors perform in front of blue screens that project seedy film-noir settings. Oct. 14-17.

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Peter Jay Sharp

In a new comedy by the performance artist Taylor Mac, directed by Niegel Smith, a young man returns home from the military to his transgender brother and his mother (Kristine Nielsen), who has decided to take down the patriarchy. In previews.

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Kill Floor

Claire Tow

LCT3 presents a new play by Abe Koogler, directed by Lila Neugebauer, in which an ex-con (Marin Ireland) finds work at a slaughterhouse and tries to reconnect with her teen-age son, a staunch vegetarian. In previews. Opens Oct. 19.

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King Charles III

Music Box

Tim Pigott-Smith stars in Mike Bartlett's speculative play in blank verse, directed by Rupert Goold, which imagines Prince Charles’s ascent to the British throne. In previews.

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Perfect Arrangement

The Duke on 42nd Street

In Topher Payne's comedy, directed by Michael Barakiva for Primary Stages, two couples recast their lives like a sitcom amid the lavender scare of the nineteen-fifties. In previews. Opens Oct. 15.

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City Center Stage I

Marylouise Burke and Holland Taylor star in a new comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by David Hyde Pierce for Manhattan Theatre Club, about two women in assisted living who are forced to share a room. In previews. Opens Oct. 20.

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Rothschild & Sons

York Theatre at St. Peter's

Robert Cuccioli plays the patriarch of the Rothschild banking dynasty, in a new version of the 1970 musical "The Rothschilds," by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Sherman Yellen. In previews. Opens Oct. 18.

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Based on Chekhov's "The Seagull," Lauren Pritchard and Michael Kimmel’s new musical follows a fading country star (Kate Baldwin) who returns home to Nashville. In previews.

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Annaleigh Ashford, Matthew Broderick, and Julie White star in Daniel Sullivan's revival of the A. R. Gurney comedy, about a New York couple and their dog. In previews. Opens Oct. 27.

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(Read more) 


Stage Voices Publishing for archived post and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other worl related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.



(Ben Brantley,’s article appeared in the New York Times, 10/2; via Reg.)

Three faces have been staring at me from the shadows since I heard that Brian Friel had died. None of them belong to Mr. Friel, whom I have never met and don’t think I’d even recognize from a photograph.

But more than any image I can recall, these three faces capture the stricken, eloquent loneliness that made Mr. Friel feel like an intimate companion of mine, one who whispered in my ear that he knew exactly where all of us really live, underground and in secret, nursing wounds we can never entirely reveal to others.

(Read more)


Stage Voices Publishing for archived post and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other worl related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.




(Tara Brady’s article appeared in The Irish Times, August 27th, 2015; Maja.)

It’s impossible not to feel a little disappointed watching Liv Ullman’s translation of August Strindberg’s most-performed play. But why? The setting – Fermanagh in 1890 – could not be bettered, as it has landed the production at Castle Coole, an impeccable neo-classical building, that lends an aura of airlessness and artefact to a work that finds these same flaws in the social order.

More impressively, the precise geography allows Morton and Farrell to split their vowels into a wonderfully distinct and expressive northwestern dialect. Both actors acquit themselves well.

(Read more)


Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.




(Elisabeth Vincentelli’s article appeared in the NY Post, 9/10; via Marie.)

Tormented sexual identity, flamboyance, self-destruction, Southern accents: sounds like something by Tennessee Williams.

Well, you’re half-right. The new off-Broadway show “Desire” consists of six new one-act plays based on William’s short stories.

The evening is uneven — a given with this sort of project. But director Michael Wilson pulls together the various approaches, the cast swiftly switches from role to role, and Williams’ themes and obsessions mostly come through, even when the adapters take liberties with the stories.

(Read more)


Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.



  Carl Theo

Carl Hancock Rux is an American poet, novelist, OBIE award-winning playwright, interdisciplinary performative artist, and recording artist. His albums include Rux Revue (Sony), Apothecary Rx (Giant Step), Good Bread Alley (Thirsty Ear), and Homeostasis (CD Baby). Rux is the author of the OBIE award-winning play Talk, and the critically acclaimed novel Asphalt. His work has been published in numerous journals, anthologies, and magazines including Interview, The New York Times, A Rude Magazine, Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, and American Theatre magazine. The Exalted, Rux’s new work, concerning genealogy and genocide,with music by Theo Bleckmann—in which both star--is directed by Anne Bogart. Part of the 2015 Next Wave Festival, Oct 28—Oct 31, 2015, the play will be presented at BAM Fisher/Fishman Space (321 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn, NY, 11217).  Rux will additionally be involved in Steel Hammer (2015 Next Wave), a staged incarnation of Julia Wolfe’s oratorio, also directed by Bogart.  Visit Rux’s Web site at: http://carlhancockrux.com/

Visit BAM: http://www.bam.org/ 


Carl Hancock Rux Gives an Exclusive Interview with SV's Bob Shuman—Part II will Be Published October 19 


Who are you in Beckett?

Krapp (in his twenties).


. . .  in A Chorus Line?

Mike Costa, the tap dancer. 

(In the musical, Mike Costa sings, “I'm watchin' Sis go pitter-pat. Said, ‘I can do that.’”)


What character are you in Chekhov?

Peter Trofimov, the “eternal student” in The Cherry Orchard.  His utopian idealism is lofty and impractical, and he has an unquenchable intellectual thirst for translating symbols into ideology. Where we differ is that he emphasizes truth over love, and I think of myself as quite the opposite.


Do you ever find yourself writing about a place where you don’t want to be? 

I write about people who are in places I think I have been in, literally and metaphorically. It’s the only way I’m able to relate to the experience of their crisis.


Why was Strindberg right?

Because he was an occultist, pessimist, and fanatic who believed in political realism’s Thucydidean trap.*


Who first told you that you could be a dramatist and are you still in contact with him or her?   

I gave myself permission to be a dramatist because it was my passion, my desire, and creative inclination. Yes, I am still very much in contact with myself.


How are you different or special?

I’m not. I’m the same as every other playwright, except I seem to have no commercial aspirations.


Do you find it hard to write about your childhood—and where was that set?

It has, at various times, been both difficult and freeing to write about my childhood (set in Harlem, the Bronx, foster care, or in dysfunctional familial settings). My childhood wasn’t very pleasant, but I survived it, and I believe I am the better for it. Memory is an agent of emancipation.


Why would Meryl Streep decide against performing in one of your plays?

She wouldn’t decide against it.


. . . James Earl Jones?

Because his father was my first acting teacher.


What’s the nicest thing that someone ever said to you about a play you don’t want to be remembered for?

There are no plays I’ve ever written that I don’t want to be remembered for, but the nicest thing anyone ever said about a play I may have not received great reviews about was that they actually appreciated the work despite what the published opinions of the critics.


Which of your plays forced you to grow most?

Talk forced me to grow because it was a long, tedious process of research and self-reflection, and I had to understand the thesis of it before I could fully grapple with the existential truth of its dramatic precepts and what it meant to me personally.


What does your family say your career is, and when’s the last time that they suggested that you make a major life change?

They think I’m a multidisciplinary abstract artist . . . and they never suggest I do anything differently because they don’t fully understand what I’m trying to do.


The first play you ever saw?

Lloyd Richard’s production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Broadway, starring Theresa Merritt and Charles S. Dutton. I was nine years old and attended the theater with my aunt. I remember being drawn into the power of its language, and the mystery of a world I’d never seen before (Chicago 1920s).


What’s your most underappreciated work?

A play called Mycenaean. It was about the ancient and contemporary world and the historiography and temporal disjuncture of cyclical tyranny. It was produced during the height of the controversial George W. Bush administration and the war on terrorism.


Give the answer to an essential question about yourself that you realize won't be asked here.

I think the American polyglot fails to define my essential identity.


What is your essential identity?

The “I” of my Soul’s individuality; the intrinsic qualitative dimension of my existence (which is beyond simple classification).


Describe the kinds of actors and directors you look for regarding your projects?

Actors who are in fact, frustrated poets, backseat playwrights, would-be dancers, and part-time singers who recreate the characters they are given, in gardens of philosophical ideology and the phenomenology of Proustian memory.

Directors who are visual artists who read Kant, Jung, Heidegger, and Heraclitus and understand the transcendental neuroscience of dreams.


Your favorite after-theatre indulgence?

A cigarette and Greyhound cocktail.


. . .  a pre-show ritual?

Silence, conscious rhythmic breathing and meditative communication with the dead.


If you could put two plays in a time capsule—and one of them was yours—what would they be?

August Strindberg’s A Dream Play and Carl Hancock Rux’s Talk.


What dead playwright would you consider communicating with through an Ouija board?

Jean Genet. I’d want to talk with him about the Politics of Truth and the power of being an uninvited guest.


What living playwright wouldn't you have the nerve to introduce yourself to?

Tony Kushner, but it worked out in the end because he introduced himself to me.


Tell us why your new play, The Exalted, is not a movie.

There are no pretty girls with nude scenes.


How isn't it politically correct? What's it about?

It bookends two stories: a German Jewish art critic who dared champion African art during the post-war German Reich and later, fought in the Spanish Civil war and attempted to flee Nazi persecution during the Vichy regime and the first 20th century genocide that befell German South West Africa in Namibia. It reminds us that we tend to exalt one atrocity over another and is essentially about shared experiences and theoretical perspectives regarding race, post-structuralism, postmodernism, structuration, nefarious refugee homelessness and genocide.


What’s a better idea than graduate school in the Arts?

The continual opportunity to make art.


What’s a better idea than a talkback?

A group psychotherapy session in which the audience talks about themselves (not the play they have just seen) as a means of understanding the play they have just seen.


When shall we meet again?  In thunder, lightning, or in rain?


(End of Part I)


*A Thucydidean trap is, quite simply, the inordinate national conceit of providence resulting in political catastrophe. Strindberg was (among other things) an anarchist and socialist with pacifist ideologies who saw the inherent danger in the conceit of monarchies.


Press: Baha Ebrahimzadeh/BAM

Photo Courtesy of John Labbe/BAM (l, Carl Hancock Rux; r, Theo Bleckmann. All rights reserved.

Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.


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