Monday, September 26, 2011

Contest: Win Tickets to Chinglish

Update: The contest is now closed. Thank you to everybody who entered. The winners were picked at random from all the entries. Congratulations to Erin and Sarah P!

Of the new plays opening on Broadway this fall, the one that intrigues me the most is David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, which starts previews on October 11. The play, direct from Chicago's Goodman Theatre, is about an American businessman trying to launch a new enterprise in China. It's performed in both English and Mandarin (with English subtitles), which I'm assuming is a first for Broadway. Watch this video to learn more about the play:

To be entered to win a pair of tickets, tell me in the comments the funniest incorrectly translated sign that you've seen. If you can't think of one, you can tell me in the comments why you want to see the show. For an extra entry, tweet about the contest or retweet one of my tweets about it (only one tweet or retweet will count for an extra entry). TWO winners will be chosen at random (each winner will receive a pair of tickets) on Friday, September 30 at 5 p.m. Please include your e-mail address or Twitter handle in the comments so I have a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!

For an over $35% discount through November 13th:
Call 212-947-8844 and mention code CDDMX815
Visit and use code CGDMX815
Visit the Longacre Theatre Box Office (220 W. 48th Street) and mention code CGDMX815
Orchestra/Front Mezz: $74.50 - $79.50 (regularly $116.50 - $121.50)
Rear Mezz: $62.50 - $66.50 (regularly $86.50 - $91.50)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recommended Theater: After

When I heard about the execution of Troy Davis, who may or may not have been guilty, I couldn't help but think about Partial Comfort's After. In Chad Beckim's play, Monty (Alfredo Narcisco), convicted of rape at the age of 17, is finally cleared by DNA evidence after serving 17 years in prison.

Although After raises questions about our justice system, it is (fortunately) not overtly political. Beckim tells a very human story of people just trying to get by. Director Stephen Brackett smartly takes things slow, even though the show runs only 90 minutes.

In a sense, all the characters are imprisoned. Monty lives with the only family he has left, his sister Liz (Maria-Christina Oliveras), a workaholic who has just as much starting over to do as her brother. Monty's co-worker at doggy day care, Warren (Debargo Sanyal, who plays him too much like a caricature), is forced to be there because his father is the owner, even though he would rather be programming computer games. After so many years in prison, Monty is incapable of making decisions for himself. On a trip to CVS, he is overwhelmed by the selection of toothbrushes until sales associate Susie (Jackie Chung) offers to help him. She is spunky and eager, providing much of the comic relief, but as their relationship evolves, she starts to reveal her insecurities.

Monty isn't much of a talker, but Narcisco reveals so much with his facial expressions--pain, confusion, joy. His performance as a 17-year-old trapped in a 34-year-old's body is heartbreaking.

Tickets are only $18, so you have no excuse not to see After at The Wild Project. For an even better deal, Wednesdays are pay what you can.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


"I'm really glad they didn't have Facebook when I was a teenager," I said to my friend after a performance of Facebook Me at the Soho Playhouse. Middle and high school are tough enough without an even easier way to spread gossip and make others feel inferior. Facebook Me was written by and stars the teenage girls of the Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company, created in 2007.

Each character in the play will feel familiar--either because you knew her or were her. They deal with body images, jealousy, sexuality, fights with friends, all intensified through Facebook statuses, where everyone can see what you're doing all the time. For example, Liv (Sophie Hearn) made out with her best friend Nicky (Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart) at a party to impress a boy and a video was posted on Facebook. Now that boy won't accept Liv's "in a relationship" status and friends are shunning Nicky because they think she's gay.

Directors Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney have done an admirable job of staging the play so that the many storylines flow. Only the beginning of the play, where everybody speaks over each other, is confusing. This is an effective way to set up the overwhelming nature of Facebook, but it goes on for too long. The talented actresses are all between the ages of 13 to 15, which adds an authenticity to the play.

Some of the behavior portrayed in the show doesn't just apply to teenagers. Stella (Eliza Price) is helping her friend Sarah (Danielle Stefania) start her first Facebook page. Sarah just wants to be herself, a girl who loves Molly Ringwald movies and The Muppets, but Stella says she needs to be a different, more adult version of herself on Facebook. How many people are guilty of creating different personas online? Everybody using social media, no matter what age, could probably learn something from this play.

Remaining performances are Sat 9/24 @ 2, Sat 9/24 @ 9:30, and Sun 9/25 @ 2 at the Soho Playhouse.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Contest: Win Tickets to Follies

Update: The contest is now closed. Thank you to everybody who entered. The correct answers were:
1) 5 (I counted Gypsy)
2) The Royal Family and Lend Me A Tenor
3) Gloria Swanson
The winners were picked at random from the correct answers. Congratulations to Bonnie and Greene!

Follies was the first musical to open on Broadway this fall, and what a way to kick off the season. It received mostly rave reviews and even some early Tony talk. Eric Shaeffer's production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical transferred to the Marquis Theatre from The Kennedy Center. The cast of 41 includes two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters, four-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell, two-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, three-time Emmy nominee Ron Raines, and Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige.

To be entered to win tickets, you must answer three trivia questions correctly in the comments section of this post.

The questions are:
1) How many Stephen Sondheim shows has Bernadette Peters starred in on Broadway?
2) Jan Maxwell was nominated for two Tony Awards in the same year. What two shows was she nominated for?
3) It is said that Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman based the show off a photograph of what famous actress?

I have enabled comment moderation until the contest ends. TWO winners will be chosen at random (each winner will receive a pair of tickets) on Friday, September 23 at 5 p.m. Please include your e-mail address or Twitter handle in the comments so I have a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!

Save on tickets with the discount offer 2BUDDY.**

Purchase Now Through November 6

$97 Orchestra/Front Mezz (reg. $135/$125)

$75 Mid Mezz (reg. $95/$85)

Call: 877-250-2929 Online:

Visit: The Marquis Theater, 46th Street between Broadway and 8th Ave.


**Conditions: Valid for performances through 10/2/11 All prices include $2 facilities fees. Limit 8 tickets per order. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. ALL SALES FINAL. No refunds or exchanges. Telephone and Internet sales are subject to standard service fees. Offer may be revoked at any time or modified at any time without notice.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FRINGE ENCORE SERIES: PigPen Presents: The Mountain Song

The new college graduates that make up the all-male PigPen Theater Company are doing well for themselves so far. This summer, PigPen became the first company to win the top honor for a play at the Fringe Festival. Company members were still students at Carnegie Mellon last summer when they won overall excellence in a production for The Nightmare Story. The Mountain Song is their first production as official New Yorkers.

The Mountain Song is a fable told by a mountain about a father searching for his mute daughter. The story holds up on its own, but what makes this a worthwhile theater experience is the way its told with the use shadow puppets, folk music, and other inventive bits of lighting and staging. The goofy and likeable cast is made up of seven skilled musicians and natural storytellers--Arya Shahi, Ben Ferguson, Dan Weschler, Ryan Melia, Curtis Gillen, Alex Falberg, and Matt Nuernberger.

I don't think these guys need to worry about making it in New York. Coming up are a production of The Nightmare Story in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and a new show in Manhattan. But if you've never seen them, no need to wait. You still have time to catch The Mountain Song at the Soho Playhouse.

Remaining performances are Sat 9/17 @ 9:30, Mon 9/19 @ 8, Sat 9/24 @ 5, and Sun 9/25 @ 7:30

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Another Fringe Festival has come and gone, taking the end of summer with it, but the Fringe Encore Series is just getting underway. The series features 18 of the most well-received Fringe shows, including winner of the FringeNYC overall excellence award for best production of a play, The More Loving One.

Cory Conley's play takes place in a college town and explores how a trial affects two couples--Matt (David Beck, who resembles Patrick Wilson in everything but his voice) and his wife Lauren (Adriana Degirolami) and their roommate Heinrich (Jimmy Davis) and his boyfriend Henry (Preston Martin), who have been together just as long as Matt and Lauren. The action mostly takes place on the evening of campus move-in day. Matt has spent most of the day testifying against his friend and colleague in a statutory rape trial and as the couples discuss the events of the day, more about their relationships are revealed. The play treads familiar territory, but it goes in some genuinely surprising directions. It's structured in a way that constantly keeps you guessing. Director Craig Baldwin does well by the flashback scenes that shed light on some of the conversations without feeling forced. There are some laugh-out-loud moments to lighten the tension, mostly courtesy of Martin. The characters aren't all that likable, which makes it hard to care what happens to them (you may find yourself wanting to throw things at them), but Conley is certainly a playwright to watch.

Remaining performances are Wed 9/14 @ 9, Tue 9/20 @ 8, Thu 9/22 @ 9:30, and Mon 9/26 @ 8

Photo credit: Ryan Mekenian

Monday, September 12, 2011

Contest: Win Tickets to Relatively Speaking

Update: The contest is now closed. The winners were picked using a random number generator and have been contacted. Congrats Kristen and Vance and thank you to everybody who entered.

One silver lining to the end of summer is the start of the new Broadway season. Relatively Speaking, an evening of one-act plays by Woody Allen, Ethan Coen, and Elaine May, starts previews on September 20. Each play represents a different branch of the family tree. Coen's Talking Cure deals with the insanity that comes from family. May's George is Dead explores the "hilarity of death." And Allen's Honeymoon Motel takes place on a wedding day. The cast of 15 includes Julie Kavner, Steve Guttenberg, Mark Linn-Baker, and Marlo Thomas.

I'm a Woody Allen fan, so I'm most looking forward to Honeymoon Motel. And I love Rhoda, so I'm also excited to see Kavner aka Brenda Morgenstern onstage. To be entered to win tickets, let me know in the comments which of the one-acts you are most looking forward to and why. I will pick TWO winners at random (each winner will receive a pair of tickets) on Friday, September 16 at 5 p.m. Please include your e-mail address or Twitter handle in the comments so I have a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!

If you don't win, you can save up to 40% with this discount offer:
Offer valid on all performances September 20 – November 6 when you order by October 20, 2011

Tickets starting at $45 and Orchestra/Front Mezz from $74 -$79

Visit: ( and use code RSTELE
Bring this offer to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre box office, 256 W. 47th Street (between Broadway and 8th ave)

Call 877-250-2929 and mention code RSTELE

Offer subject to availability and prior sale. Offer valid for select locations only. Applicable only to specified performance dates and times. Not valid on previously purchased tickets and may not be combined with other offers. All sales final; no refunds or exchanges. Telephone/internet orders subject to standard service fees. All prices include a $2.00 facility fee. Offer may be revoked at any time. Seat restrictions and other blackout dates may apply. When purchasing at the box office, present offer prior to ticket inquiry. Expires 10/20/11.